Design thinking workshop

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Design workshops are a format to develop science communication activities and strategies, in a collaboration between scientists/engineers and others (including social scientists, communication experts, policy makers, etc.). These communication activities could take any shape and form (e.g. outreach activity, open discussion forum, reflection tools, brochures, …), but one thing sets them apart from other science communication activities: they are based on design requirements (wishes and demands) of both people with a background in actual science/engineering, and experts in the field of communication/collaboration.


They bring together scientists/engineers and societal stakeholders (NGOs, general public, policy makers, etc.) in a format that suits the requirements of all involved
parties, and through ownership in the design phase of the activities, organizes commitment for participation of all involved actors.

Target groups

  • Children, Teenagers, Adults.

This activity requires the input of scientists/engineers, and organisers of a design workshop with skills to facilitate such workshops. The workshops can take various forms (comparable maybe to a focus group setting), and generally includes 4-10 people.


The basic setup of a design workshop is as follows:

  • Gather design requirements for the communication activity for all stakeholders involved
  • Collaboratively develop prototypes / scenarios based on these design requirements
  • Select and develop one suitable activity
  • Run a pilot workshop and develop it further through iterating these 4 steps


As an outcome, you can expect designs of prototypes of strategies/activities made in collaboration with scientists and/or engineers.


The Role of Design Thinking in Scientific Research
& Communication