Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Research-Technology Management

For a Special Issue on

Foresighting, Imagining, and Crafting Desirable Futures

Manuscript deadline
16 September 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Prof. Claudio Dell’Era, Politecnico di Milano – Italy
[email protected]

Prof. Stefano Magistretti, Politecnico di Milano – Italy
[email protected]

Prof. Evy Sakellariou, Kingston University – UK
[email protected]

Prof. Riccardo Vecchiato, Kingston University – UK
[email protected]

Prof. Sinéad Roden, Trinity College Dublin – Ireland
[email protected]

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Foresighting, Imagining, and Crafting Desirable Futures

Research-Technology Management is seeking submissions for a special issue on initiatives that are accelerating innovation.

Guest Editors:

––Lead Editor: Prof. Claudio Dell’Era, Politecnico di Milano – Italy

––Prof. Stefano Magistretti, Politecnico di Milano – Italy

––Prof. Evy Sakellariou, Kingston University – UK

––Prof. Riccardo Vecchiato, Kingston University – UK

––Prof. Sinéad Roden, Trinity College Dublin – Ireland

This special issue is in collaboration with the 2024 Innovation and Product Development Management Conference being held June 5–7, 2024, in Dublin, Ireland. The conference will host a Special Track to present papers submitted for this call. All papers submitted to IPDMC will received feedback from SI guest editors and an experienced team to improve their quality before authors submit them to RTM.

To IPDMC Directly to RTM*
Extended Abstract for presentation @ IPDMC (optional): December 15, 2023

Full paper for presentation @ IPDMC (optional): April 11, 2024

IPDMC 2023 (presentations for pre-submission feedback, optional): June 5–7, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland

Full Paper Submission Deadline: September 15, 2024

Publication Issue: May–June 2025

Submission Deadline: September 15, 2024

Peer Review: September 15–November 30, 2024

Publication Issue: May–June 2025


* RTM also welcomes special issue submissions from authors not involved with IPDMC.


Given the increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) of the economy and society, scholars and practitioners delving into innovative approaches for steering the future from a human-centered standpoint. As the challenges of innovation grow more intricate, organizations need to develop their future-oriented thinking and foresight skills. This goes beyond merely predicting customers’ changing needs—it entails proactively developing strategies to attain favorable outcomes for both individuals and society. Researchers advocate for the construction of theories grounded in “acts of disciplined imagination” to envision not only likely and possible, but also desirable futures.

Many organizations embed future thinking to support their innovation operations and improve their long-term performance. The term “foresight” encompasses a wide range of practices that managers can use to enhance their ability to detect new events and trends early, to explore their future evolution and effects, and to design the most effective response options. Recent research reports the need for a design-driven and practice-based view over the construction of the future. Researchers propose the idea of scholars as “embedded-embodied actors” who participate in crafting more desirable futures, rather than adopting a normative perspective. Design thinking methods are “future informed” and user innovation studies advocate for the creation of user needs that are future oriented. Digital technologies like AI can enhance the foresighting, imagining, and crafting of desirable futures.

This Call for Papers aims to foster a richer understanding of the various approaches aimed at foresighting, imagining, and crafting desirable futures at the individual, team, organizational, and/or system level. We aim to bring together scholars and practitioners from across different disciplines and industries to expand research and practice. We are actively seeking papers on the following topics:

  • Imagination and creativity in a VUCA environment, which challenge traditional thinking and convention;
  • Paradoxes around innovation in a VUCA environment to foresight, imagine, and craft desirable futures;
  • Organizational capabilities organizations need to create desirable futures;
  • Processes and practices that organizations can implement to craft desirable futures;
  • Technologies and approaches that can foster foresight, imagination, and crafting of desirable futures;
  • Actors (public, private) involved in the foresight, imagination, and crafting of desirable futures and their interactions;
  • Selection and involvement of ordinary and lead users in the foresight, imagination, and crafting of desirable futures.

Given the versatility and interdisciplinarity of these topics, we welcome studies that follow different methodological approaches. We also encourage innovative, provocative, and critical submissions, including case studies, qualitative and quantitative studies, Managers@Work (an investigation of an ongoing project where one author works with the study company), and concepts or frameworks that have been tested in practice.

RTM articles are concise and practice oriented. Submissions should demonstrate companies’ experiences, what’s changing, adaptations, and managerial lessons learned/practical implications. Ideal submissions offer concrete examples and data to support their topic. Successful submissions will offer readers practical information they can put to work immediately.

We prefer submissions at around 4,000–4,500 words. We will occasionally publish truly groundbreaking pieces as long as 5,000 words. Articles should be submitted via our Editorial Manager system at For submission requirements and author’s guidelines, visit Email questions to RTM’s managing editor, Tammy McCausland, at [email protected].


We highlight relevant published research related to this topic:

Berglund, H., Bousfiha, M., and Mansoori, Y. 2020. Opportunities as artifacts and entrepreneurship as design. Academy of Management Review 45(4): 825–846.

Bühring, J., and Liedtka, J. 2018. Embracing systematic futures thinking at the intersection of strategic planning, foresight and design. Journal of Innovation Management 6(3): 134–152. Doi: 10.24840/2183-0606_006.003_0006

Ehls, D., Gordon, A. V., Herstatt, C., and Rohrbeck, R. 2022. Guest editorial: Foresight in strategy and innovation management. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 69(2): 483–492. Doi: 10.1109/TEM.2021.3077342

Gama, F., and Magistretti, S. 2023. Artificial intelligence in innovation management: A review of innovation capabilities and a taxonomy of AI applications. Journal of Product Innovation Management (early view).

Garud, R., Gehman, J., and Giuliani, A. P. 2018. Why not take a performative approach to entrepreneurship? Journal of Business Venturing Insights 9: 60–64.

Gordon, A. V., Ramic, M., Rohrbeck, R., and Spaniol, M. J. 2020. 50 years of corporate and organizational foresight: Looking back and going forward. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 154: 119966.

Gümüsay, A.A. and Reinecke, J. (2022). Researching for desirable futures: From real utopias to imagining alternatives. Journal of Management Studies 59: 236–242.

Magistretti, S, Ardito, L, and Messeni Petruzzelli, A. 2021. Framing the microfoundations of design thinking as a dynamic capability for innovation: Reconciling theory and practice. Journal of Product Innovation Management 38(6): 645–667.

Nonaka, I., and Takeuchi, H. 2021. Humanizing strategy. Long Range Planning 54(4): 102070.

Rohrbeck, R., and Kum, M. E. 2018. Corporate foresight and its impact on firm performance: A longitudinal analysis. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 129: 105–116.

Sakellariou, E., Karantinou, K. and Goffin, K. 2020. From user insights to user foresights: Applying video-based ethnographic narratives and user innovation in NPD. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 153(2): 119873. Doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2019.119873

Sarpong, D. and Meissner, D. 2018. Special issue on corporate foresight and innovation management. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management30(6): 625–632.

Simeone, L., and D’Ippolito, B. 2022. The potential of design-driven foresight to support strategy articulation through experiential learning. Long Range Planning 55(6): 102181.

Tharp, B. M. and Tharp, S. M. 2019. Discursive Design. Critical, Speculative, and Alternative Things. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Vecchiato, R. 2012. Environmental uncertainty, foresight and strategic decision making: An integrated study. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 79(3): 436–447.

Vecchiato, R. 2015. Creating value through foresight : first mover advantages and strategic agility. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 101 25–36.

Verganti, R., Dell’Era, C. and Swan, K. S. 2021. Design thinking: Critical analysis and future evolution. Journal of Product Innovation Management38: 603–622.