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Call for papers – Special Issue: The Value of Design-driven Entrepreneurship

8 September 2020

4 mins

Dr Ida Telalbasic, Lecturer within the Institute for Design Innovation, will be a Guest Editor for a Special Themed Section in The Design Journal which will explore The Value of Design-driven Entrepreneurship.

The Design Journal invites submissions responding to the themes below for a Special Issue of the journal.

Design contributes to a diverse spectrum of disciplines. Examples include: service design for health, design thinking for business, or citizen centred design for policy making. But what about design for entrepreneurship, i.e. design for starting, developing and managing new ventures, including new businesses, public sector initiatives, academic programmes or securing one’s own livelihood?

The central question here is: how does design add value to the field of entrepreneurial activity and does the field of entrepreneurship add value to the field of design?

Currently, the research on entrepreneurship is mostly linked to innovation and strategy literature while the study of the value of design is primarily located within the body of work amongst design practitioners and design researchers.

Entrepreneurship contributes to sustained economic growth
and development, helping to create employment and opportunities, even in times of crisis. It also makes contributions to knowledge transfer and innovation in agile, adaptable, inclusive, multidisciplinary and, in some cases, disruptive ways.

In turn, design, as a new mindset, capability, set of processes and systemic approaches, is a central driver for change management and innovation. Furthermore, the role of designers is shifting from being creatives and service providers to becoming founders, investors and entrepreneurs, highlighting the growing importance of jointly studying design and entrepreneurship. There is a recognition that both design and entrepreneurship seek opportunity creation, are practice-based, action and process-oriented, and that there is potential for cross-fertilisation and the creation of new knowledge.

Through this call, the Design Journal aims to raise interest and invite contributions to explore the ways entrepreneurial conversations, projects, and provocations are enabled, activated, sustained, and scaled through design (i.e. driven by design thinking, service design, strategic design, and systems thinking to innovate in product-service-systems, business models, and ecosystems).

This special issue welcomes, but is not limited to, contributions that critically review the theoretical lineage that links design with entrepreneurship:

  1. What is the common ground, central to identifying, enabling and fostering design-driven entrepreneurial activity within organisations and communities in urban/rural contexts?
  2. Identify the design approaches to entrepreneurial practices: What are the differences and overlaps in, for example, design-driven vs design-led vs design-centred entrepreneurship? Can design play a role in developing knowledge-based capabilities and have a positive impact on intrapreneurship or corporate venturing?
  3. Examine how entrepreneurship (whether as a product, service, business model, ecosystem) can be successfully driven by design: What are the challenges, opportunities and limitations?
  4. Capture the changing role of designers in the entrepreneurial landscape: What does the evolution from a creative service provider to a founder, investor and entrepreneur signify for both the design and entrepreneurship communities?
  5. Validate the design contribution in incubating, accelerating, and scaling startups and ventures, including social entrepreneurship: What is the role of design in innovation models, processes, and strategies?
  6. Demonstrate design strategies for resilience in times of socio-economic crisis through a collaborative mindset and opportunity-driven thinking: How does design contribute to resilient entrepreneurship by enabling agility, adaptability, inclusivity, multi-disciplinarity and managing disruption?
  7. Evaluate design-driven entrepreneurship through enabling, designing and curating ecosystems: What is the value and impact of design-driven entrepreneurship within innovation ecosystems, business ecosystems, knowledge ecosystems, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and service ecosystems?


Authors are invited to submit full papers (maximum 7,000 words including all text) responding to the theme described above. All submissions are double blind peer reviewed, and a selection of accepted papers will be published in Vol. 24 Issue 5 of the Design Journal in September 2021.

Relevant PhD study reports, reviews of recent publications or exhibitions on this topic are also invited. Please contact the Editorial Office for further details.

Before submitting, authors should consult the referencing, style and formatting information in the Instructions for Authors.


Papers should be submitted electronically by Monday 14 December 2020.
PhD study reports and book/exhibition reviews should be submitted electronically by Monday 1 March 2021.


For more information, please contact the Guest Editor, Dr Ida Telalbasic,
or the Editorial Assistant, Kirsty Christer.

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