Contexts of Co-creation: Designing with System Stakeholders

  • Peter JonesEmail author
Part of the Translational Systems Sciences book series (TSS, volume 8)


The concept of co-creation includes a wide range of participatory practices for design and decision making with stakeholders and users. Generally co-creation refers to a style of design or business practice characterized by facilitated participation in orchestrated multi-stakeholder engagements, such as structured workshops and self-organizing modes of engagement. Co-creation envelopes a wide range of skilled social practices that can considerably inform and enhance the effectiveness of organizational development, collaboration, and positive group outcomes. New modes of co-creation have emerged, evolving from legacy forms of engagement such as participatory design and charrettes and newer forms such as collaboratories, generative design, sprints, and labs. Often sessions are structured by methods that recommend common steps or stages, as in design thinking workshops, and some are explicitly undirected and open. While practices abound, we find almost no research theorizing the effectiveness of these models compared to conventional structures of facilitation. As co-creation approaches have become central to systemic design, service design, and participatory design practices, a practice theory from which models might be selected and modified would offer value to practitioners and the literature. The framework that follows was evolved from and assessed by a practice theory of dialogic design. It is intended to guide the development of principles-based guidelines for co-creation practice, which might methodologically bridge the wide epistemological variances that remain unacknowledged in stakeholder co-creation practice.



I am grateful to Alexander Christakis and Thomas Flanagan for their reviews, challenging questions, and commentaries that informed and contributed to this article. As with any project larger than a single paper, the ideas in this study will continue in practice and in future discourse. I also express my appreciation for insights contributed in exchanges with Kevin Dye, Jeff Diedrich, and Kirk Weigand.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OCAD UniversityTorontoCanada

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