Workshop organisation and moderation

We take workshop organisation very seriously. Workshops can be powerful tools for insight. Synthesising new knowledge from the different forms of expertise that participants bring to the table – knowledge that none of the participants could produce on their own – is a captivating experience. When such synergies occur, it is a workshop that participants will remember. But it doesn’t happen automatically. It requires careful  attention to the programme, to the people in the room, and to the topic at hand. Rather than filling the programme with consecutive talks followed by Q&A, the presentations, group work and plenary discussions have to be carefully orchestrated to create an environment where synergies can materialise. Over the years, social research has produced a wide array of tools and methods to break the monotony of plenary lectures and enable productive dialogue. We draw on this body of knowledge to create a programme that leads to real results. Recent examples include:

SPINE-24 workshop (2020). At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, DPF facilitated the first workshop of the Safe-by-Design Policy International Network (SPINE), a network of policy makers from all over Europe, on 1-2 December 2020.

Basisnet summer sessions (2020). In June and July 2020, DPF and Bureau KLB organised a series of stakeholder meetings on the transport of hazardous substances by rail at the request of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and water Management.

GoNano co-creation sessions (2019/2020). DPF supported the pilot partners in the GoNano project with the planning and organisation of a series of co-creation workshops bringing together researchers, professional users, civil society organisations, industry and policy makers to co-create concrete suggestions for future nanotechnologies. See the report: Insights and lessons from the GoNano co-creation activities (pdf) for an overview of the findings.

Modernising Biotechnology Policy (2018/2019), a series of stakeholder workshops on the modernisation of biotechnology policy organised for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in close collaboration with Kees Le Blansch of Bureau KLB.

Rethinking Policy Assessment in the Age of Convergence (2018), providing support to the OECD Working Party on Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Converging Technologies with the organisation of a multi-stakeholder workshop on coverging technologies.

A series of workshops on the genetics clinic of the future, in collaboration with the Center for Society and Genomics and the Centre for Genome Diagnostics at Utrecht University. This workshop series brought together an interdisciplinary group of experts to identify solutions to controversial, interdisciplinary challenges to clinical implementation of next-generation sequencing. See the summary report of the CGD-ReDaPeD workshop – The genetics clinic of the future, held on 16-17 2014 in Brussels. The workshop led to the succesful application for the EU-funded project on the genetics clinic of the future (GCOF).

A series of workshops on nanotechnology governance for the EU project NanoDiode. Building on the collective experience gained from two years of organising dialogue activities in the NanoDiode project, the workshops brought together European policy makers and concsortium partners to identify opportunities for the effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe. The results are summarised in the NanoDiode fact sheet: policy recommendations for nanotechnology governance.

A European workshop on nanotechnology outreach, education and dialogue, organised in collabroation with Maria Neicu, Jennifer Millar, and Matteo Bonazzi. The results are summarised in the workshop report Reaching Out to the Future (2013).

A theminar on midstream engagement, organised for ZonMW in 2012. The theminar explored best practices in knowledge utilisation with ZonMw staff.

A series of international stakeholder meetings on future societal issues in industrial biotechnology, organised for the Kluyver Center for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation. The paper Future Societal Issues in Industrial Biotechnology (Biotechnology Journal, 2007) summarises the results.

If you would like to discuss how to get the most out of your workshop, please feel free to contact us at:, or call: +31 6 143 652 16.