Symposium: Design for debate – Exploring its potential for public management and governance

Utrecht University School of Governance and IRSPM invite you for the

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The theme of this symposium is “design for debate” and, more specifically, provocative design methodology. The symposium is under the aegis of the International Research Society for Public Management, Special Interest Group on Design-led approaches, and is organized by the Utrecht University School of Governance in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We hope to discuss how design can address society’s wicked challenges including sustainability, digitalisation, and inclusiveness. We welcome submission of topics for academic discussion by 18 November 2022.

This panel is a continuation of the IRSPM Special Interest Group ‘Design-led approaches to renewing public management and governance’. We very much welcome you to continue the academic discussion, on previous themes or on the current theme, by submitting an extended description of your contribution (e.g. abstract, sneak preview or outline of max 400 words) due 18 November to Merijn Bruijnes ( Topics of concrete contributions may include (but are not limited to):

  • Theoretical and empirical analyses of design for democracy
  • Critical analyses of instrumental design approaches
  • Theoretical and methodological analyses of design for conversation
  • Design as a method to deepen stakeholders’ engagement
  • Theoretical and empirical analyses of provocative design

The first day will consist of a scientific program with (paper) presentations and discussions of your contributions. The second (full) day will consist of a workshop where you will learn about the provocative and critical design method and apply it to one of three societal wicked issues: sustainability, digitalisation, and inclusiveness. The program’s aim is to stimulate rich learning about the potential of provocative design for democratic debate on wicked issues.

Note there is no conference fee but we ask you to register for the symposium by sending an e-mail to Merijn Bruijnes ( with you name and affiliation.

Feel free to forward this invitation to interested parties and you can always contact us for further information.

We hope to see you all in January,

Merijn Bruijnes, William Voorberg, & Albert Meijer

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By e-mail, to Merijn Bruijnes (, stating your name and affiliation.