Imagining societal challenges: from vision to action

Past Event
19 January 2022 13:00 (GMT)
19 January 2022 14:00 (GMT)

To tackle grand societal challenges, the role of imaginaries can be crucial in the creation of societal awareness, understanding and support. That is, how we represent things, for example in the media, has great impact: evocative images and the recurrence of visual conventions have a strong affective impact and often gain professional and public recognition (Beckert, 2013; Goldberg & Grubb, 1991; Moeller, 1999).

However, despite the potential mobilizing effect of imaginaries of societal challenges, how we represent, envision and see societal challenges has been an underrepresented topic. That is, the perception and reception of societal challenges are crucial to increasing the understanding and awareness of them within the larger society and to facilitate our collective response to address these challenges. Yet, often, the construction of such shared imaginaries, that can facilitate or hinder our understanding and perception of those challenges and their solutions, has remained a topic of marginal concern.

In this session, we want to present and discuss the role of images and visual forms in the construction of shared understandings of societal challenges that can resonate within the larger society or even mobilize a wide variety of stakeholders to take action. We explore this conundrum in the context of the Dutch mission-oriented innovation policies for health.

During the session, we demonstrate the results in presentations of 5-10 minutes, and discuss the role and importance of future imaginaries to enable forward-looking action to address societal challenges and missions. We engage in audience interaction to bring this topic further.

Ref: #21

Conceptualisation of innovation for transformative change
Transformative Missions


Amber Geurts
Dr. Amber Geurts is researcher in Challenge-driven Innovation at the Rathenau Institute, the Netherlands. She is also a visiting research fellow at Aalto University, School of Business in Finland. Amber holds a PhD in innovation management, and has a keen interest for questions concerning mission-oriented innovation policy in the Netherlands and Europe. The Rathenau Institute conducts independent research on the societal impact of science, technology and innovation.
Nico van Meeteren
Prof. Dr. Nico L.U. Van Meeteren is executive director and secretary general of the Dutch Top Sector Life Sciences and Health (Health~Holland), Professor at Erasmus MC, and CEO of the foundation Topcare. Guided by Van Meeteren and the Health~Holland executive team, the Top Sector LSH developed the 'Visions of the Future 2030' for the Societal Theme Health & Care of Mission Driven Policy of the Cabinet Rutte III with many experts from the quadruple helix-partners.
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Rooske Eerden
Rooske Eerden is self-employed graphic recorder at Scratch Graphics. She is an expert in graphic recoding, generative scribing, animations, visuals and infographics. She has been the graphic designer of the 'Visions of the Future 2030’ for the Societal Theme Health & Care of Mission Driven Policy of the Cabinet Rutte III.
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