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Understanding opportunity creation between design and entrepreneurship

Theme: New Business


  • Professor Louise Valentine, University of Dundee, UK.
  • Professor Brigitte Borja de Mozota, Designence, France


  • Professor Mikko Koria, Loughborough University, UK
  • Professor Poul Christensen, Southern Denmark University
  • Dr Ida Telalbasic, Loughborough University, UK.
  • Lauren Baker, PhD Researcher, University of Dundee, UK.


Entrepreneurship is an emerging concern in the design profession, as well as in research and education more broadly. We have yet to fully understand, for example, how many designers are now employed in start-up teams, what exactly they do, and what impact this has on the company.

Risk in entrepreneurship remains rather a delicate issue, but it is an incredibly rich research area from a management perspective. Opportunity creation seems to be key to the relationship between design and entrepreneurship, and looking at this area through the lens of opportunity creation is a positive and promising approach.

This track calls for papers that offer specific examples of how design relates to entrepreneurship, how entrepreneurship affects design, as well as research that engages with the role of design in business and opportunity creation. The aim of this track is to generate a varied and unexpected collection of case studies, new knowledge, research papers, teaching models, business models and to better articulate the landscape of design entrepreneurship.


  • How is value created using design-led entrepreneurship as opposed to other types of entrepreneurship?
  • What are the difference and similarities between design and entrepreneurship, and how can these relationships be further developed?
  • How is design thinking contributing to forms of design entrepreneurship in different countries and continents?
  • How could interdisciplinarity between design and entrepreneurship give light to new theories, knowledge, insights and frameworks?
  • Can (or are there examples already of) incubation programmes and accelerator programmes be design-led and how?
  • What role can, or should, entrepreneurship play in design education and design curricula?
“A person who sees a problem is a human being;
a person who finds a solution is visionary;
and the person who goes out and does something about it is an entrepreneur.”
Naveen Jain