Research goals and main areas of research

Discursive methods of investigation are distinguished by the fact that perspectives of social groups, individuals and experts are collected as elements and results of a mutual exchange of views and arguments. In the course of this dialogue, the perspectives of those involved usually become clearer and more informed facilitated by a growing mutual understanding of each other’s viewpoints. Examples of discursive methods of investigation used by DIALOGIK are group Delphi, focus groups, and round tables.

A large part of our research takes place across disciplines and in an international context. Often our research is interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary, that means jointly conducted by scientists of different disciplines and non-scientific research partners such as economic or civil society organizations.

We have successfully used and further developed our expertise in more than 150 international and national projects since our foundation in 2003.

Our special areas of research and expertise include risk research, communication and participation research, and research on the inter-relationships between technology, science, and society.

Our guiding principle is to understand communication and collaboration as opportunities rather than necessities.

Our main research objective

is to develop theoretical and practical knowledge regarding how to design and conduct communication and participation processes so that planning processes, decision-making processes, and the implementation of decisions at different political and societal levels are improved. A future founded on the ideal of sustainability relies on innovative forms of communication and dialogue between often conflicting social forces. The more complex the challenge is, the bigger the need becomes for effectively and legitimately including diverse interests and values in tackling it. Therefore we have made it our job to broaden our knowledge about communication, cooperation, and participation and use this knowledge for helping to develop solutions to complex problems. We investigate forms, instruments, effects, and potentials of communication, cooperation, and participation in regard to:

  • Tackling major societal challenges such as climate change
  • Dealing with major societal controversies such as risk conflicts in the fields of environmental and health protection
  • Engineering and environmental education, for instance with the aim of stimulating interest among children and young people for mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology

In our research work we bring together theoretical reflections about the role of dialogue and participation in political, economic and social life on the one hand, with the development and conduct of innovative dialogue and participation processes as well as the use of established processes, on the other. This allows us to learn continually through an iterative process of theoretical development and practical validation.

DIALOGIK – already by combining dialogue and logic in our name we have committed ourselves to the integration of knowledge and action.

Our ambition is to

make a difference by offering conceptual, theoretical and practical contributions towards a new communication and participation culture in our common quest for a sustainable future.

Key target groups of our research results and services are

  • Political decision-makers at national, regional, local, and European levels
  • Public and private foundations which fund research that is linked with our areas of expertise
  • Scientific peers who are active in research areas similar to DIALOGIK’s
  • Individuals, associations, and interest groups who take an interest in our research results and services
  • Private corporations, provided that they undertake non-profit tasks (e.g. in the areas of Responsible Research and Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility, or stakeholder dialogues)