CPT-37806 Researching Socio-Technical Practices, Innovation and Responsible Futures


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Group work9
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. SR Vellema
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. SR Vellema
Examiner(s)dr. ir. SR Vellema

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

CPT-37306 Politics of Knowledge and Inclusive Innovation or CPT-21304 Introduction to Technology, Agro-ecology and Development.

Continuation courses:

MSc Thesis Knowledge, Technology and Innovation; MSc Thesis Strategic Communication; CPT-32806 Change, Inter-human Processes and Communication.


The course starts from the premise that science, technology and innovation are transformative. They have the power to create futures and vulnerabilities. Unless we make innovation processes responsive both to the needs of social actors and the bio-material world, future changes will occur without explicit societal shaping, commonly driven by the power of incumbent interests and the delegation of ‘the good’ to market forces. The course teaches students how to research the relationship between socio-technical practices, innovation processes and responsible futures. In three blocks, students review the systematic for making descriptions of everyday practices, appraise the contextualisation of innovation and change processes in case studies, and conceptualise and use deliberative and anticipative methodologies. Each block combines reading of literature, individual or group assignments, and feedback on the reviews and applications of the methodological perspectives examined. The methodologies are contextualized as necessary and appropriate for helping society to get better at the conversation between today and tomorrow in an inclusive and socially robust manner. The course concludes with an individual assignment: writing a paper making a problem and question of own choice researchable.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- compare core concepts and theories at the interface of the study of socio-technical practices, innovation processes and responsible futures;
- evaluate the scope and value of three methodological perspectives on integrative research;
- relate methodological choices to the challenge of engaging society in innovation for development;
- prepare a plan explaining what kind and how much evidence is needed to research and analyse a problem of their own choosing.


The course consists of lectures, literature research, interactive discussions, group presentations, group work and the writing of an individual paper.


- group presentation on how to observe and describe socio-technical practices (5%);
- individual review of two case studies, proposal for a case study contextualising inclusive innovation and peer feedback (10%);
- design and facilitation by group of an anticipatory dialogue about emerging technologies (5%);
- individual 3000 words paper on the application of these methodological and conceptual competences to a research problem of own choosing (80%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Available on Blackboard.

Compulsory for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMScC: Inclusive Innovation, Communication and Development3WD
Restricted Optional for: MOAOrganic AgricultureMScB: Sustainable Food Systems5AF
MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc5AF