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‘Designing for Value Change’ – Call for Papers

Feb 22, 2021 | General News

Steffen Steinert and Tristan de Wildt of the Value Change Team, together with Steven Umbrello, are putting together a special issue on Designing for Value Change for the journal Prometheus.

Call for Papers 

A key insight from the philosophy of technology is that technological artifacts and sociotechnical systems are not value-neutral, but support or constrain certain values. Several philosophical accounts for understanding the embedding of values in technological artifacts have been proposed and approaches like Value Sensitive Design, Design for Values, and Responsible Innovation have been established for integrating values into technical design. A blind spot is, however, the possibility of value change after a sociotechnical system has been designed and implemented. For example, when many of our current energy and transportation systems were designed sustainability was not yet a central value, and we are now struggling to incorporate this value into these systems. Progress in the field is currently inhibited by the lack of a philosophical theory of value change in sociotechnical systems. Additionally, the possibility of value change questions the adequacy of existing research and design methods to integrate values into technical design.

This special issue fills the gap by exploring and developing such a theory(ies) and design approaches. It seeks to move beyond the state of the art by exploring dynamic rather than static accounts of values, by developing insights into the dynamics of value change, by extending analysis about the embedding of values in technical artefacts to sociotechnical systems, and by developing design strategies that aim at designing sociotechnical systems that can better deal with value change.

This special issue aims to contribute to this ongoing discourse by exploring the issues central to value change and responsible innovation. Investigators in the field are invited to contribute their original, unpublished works. Both research and review papers are welcome. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

developments and conceptualizations of philosophical theories of value change

conceptualizations of values as being dynamic to account for value change in sociotechnical systems

taxonomies and mechanisms of sociotechnical value change

philosophical and empirical analyses of embedding values in sociotechnical systems

the benefits and shortcoming of value sensitive design approaches to value changes

design strategies for converging technologies like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and nanotechnology

design strategies that deal with value change

research methods to study value change




Initial round of review to be completed by September 1, 2022

Revised paper submission deadline: October 15, 2021

Second round of review to be completed by November 15, 2021

Submission of accepted papers for editorial work and proofreading: November 30, 2021

Return of proofs from authors December 15, 2021

Publication of special section papers: First Quarter 2021


Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit their original research articles directly to Steven Umbrello ( Papers submitted to Prometheus should not be so technical or specialised that they cannot be appreciated by a readership that includes academics, practitioners, and policymakers and excludes no one. Papers should be between 6.000-8.000 words (excluding references). The guest editors will be glad to offer advice to authors before formal submission. Desk review will determine whether the paper is suited to the journal and ready for peer review. A paper that passes desk review will be sent to at least two anonymous reviewers. Prometheus selects referees who are experts in each paper’s subject, but referees provide only advice to the editors and do not determine a paper’s fate. Because expert referees are likely to know who is writing in the area, Prometheus adopts a single-blind review system: referees are anonymous, but not authors. Always the aim is that authors should find refereeing rigorous and helpful. All submissions will be acknowledged, and every effort will be made to ensure rapid processing. Prometheus does not use an automated manuscript submission system and authors should feel free to contact editors at any time.



As of 01 January 2021, Prometheus will be fully Open Access (OA). The project “Pluto Open Journals” will be realised in partnership with Knowledge Unlatched, and with the support of Libraria, a group of anthropologists and other social scientists committed to Open Access. Pluto Journals does not charge any author fees for publication or submission.



For more detailed instructions on how to format your paper prior to submission please visit the ‘Instructions for Authors’ page:



Steven Umbrello

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies; Università degli Studi di Torino

Steffen Steinert

Ethics and Philosophy of Technology Section, TU Delft

Tristan Emile de Wildt

Ethics and Philosophy of Technology Section, TU Delft


About Prometheus

Prometheus is a scientific journal that is pushing against the boundaries surrounding the understanding of innovation, in its broadest sense.