Call for contributions2019-04-05T10:17:45+00:00

Call for long abstracts

Challenging complexity by Systemic Design towards sustainability is an interdisciplinary conference aiming to represent the state of the art of systems thinking application in design towards sustainability and stimulate an international debate among academics and professionals on the topic.


We ask everyone who wishes to present their work at RSD7 to submit a long abstract of maximum 1000 words (title, keywords and references excluded). The abstract should be submitted by 15 MAY 2018 through EasyChair at this link: You should upload the abstract in text form as well as in a PDF file including any images and the conference topics to which your work relates. The abstract submission form will guide you through the process but we recommend you download and read the call for abstracts for more detailed information.  

Your abstract will undergo a peer review process by independent referees. We will notify the selected abstracts to be presented at RSD7 within the deadline present on the home page. If you have received an email telling you that your abstract has been selected, you should register for the conference and present your work during the RSD7 symposium (24-26 October 2018).

After the conference, you will be asked to prepare a working paper that will be included in the RSD7 proceedings: you may consider the feedbacks gathered during your presentation discussion. All the working papers will be included in the official RSD7 proceedings, published in Open Access by the Politecnico di Torino. Then, the authors will be asked to fully develop their papers to submit them for peer-reviewed publication in external scientific journals.

Download the Call for Long Abstracts HERE


The conference theme encompasses many areas of Systemic Design, exploring the opportunities for systems and design thinking in different interdisciplinary and complementary domains. We welcome works addressing this wide theme from different perspectives, fostering special reflections on the relevant topics proposed below.


Policy design has not been traditionally able to effectively keep pace with the rhythm of changes that affect society today with an unprecedented frequent and radical character. More and more often policies are challenged to find innovative and flexible solutions to properly tackle these issues. Recently, the value of Systemic Design perspective of analysis has been widely recognized in different fields, not least in the policy area, for its ability to address complexity and provide creative, complex -not complicated- solutions with long term time frame. Theoretical and practical contributions on design thinking for decision-making are welcome, together with analysis on the development of strategies for sustainable innovation and innovation in territorial governance.

Main Topics

// Innovation in territorial governance
// Strategies for sustainable innovation
// Design thinking for decision-making
// Democracy and responsibility


Industrial processes are an important item of our economy that influences not only the economic aspects but also the environmental ones. Among all the industrial processes, by now the food industry affects our daily life and is absolutely globalised. Systemic Design can be suitable for dealing with industrial processes strategically. Each process can be analysed at different levels of detail and from different perspectives, from the analysis of the single activities, up to observe the whole, holistic view of it. In this track, we support theories, case studies and practice-based research about industrial processes and agrifood systems, based on Systemic Design and system thinking.

Main Topics

// Industrial ecology in a Circular Economy
// Sustainable innovation in industrial development
// Sustainability of agro-industrial systems


Investigating socio-technical systems means taking into account the complexity that revolves around people, technologies and their interaction. The flow of information and feedback are considered as fundamental in pursuing the goal of reducing individual consumption of resources. Although the concept of artificial intelligence dates back to the 70s, with machine learning and deep learning we will experience a transition of AI from the theoretical field to the applied one, also in the design field. Along with the research on socio-technical systems, we support case studies on artificial and smart systems, as well as the use of data for improving the sustainability of both products and services.

Main Topics

// User interaction and enhancement in the age of AI and autonomy
// Internet of Things (IoT) for sustainability
// Information technologies in the design domain
// Systemic Design for learning from data


Nowadays, our territories are at the forefront facing the economic crisis and climate change which has brought major challenges. These territories, as living metabolism, are on the need to seek for resilience to be able to deal with climate and economic impacts. In this wide context, the Systemic Design research encourages the implementation of a new cultural paradigm which aims to foster innovation in local resources for a sustainable development. We encourage reflections on new territorial realities that concern the sustainability of regions and bioregions, sustained by the flourishing growth of society generating a Circular Economy that supports it. Likewise, the City metabolism and urban ecologies subjects focused on new ways of communicating economic systems to citizens in order to empower the cooperation across infrastructure, governance, and social innovation.

Main Topics

// Local resources innovation transitioning to a Circular Economy
// Sustainable development of regions and bioregions
// City metabolism and urban ecologies
// Interdisciplinary models for economy-design
// New ways of communicating economic systems


Our social care systems are facing significant societal and organisational challenges that require enhancing their resilience and sustainability. A paradigm shift is claimed to re-balance the relations between stakeholders: people should play an active role in their care, while public and private stakeholders are called to promote a horizontal dialogue to boost social flourishing. We are moving from a provider-led perspective to a new era of human-centred care. This transition is both delicate and complex and entails a systemic and interdisciplinary approach to design sustainable products, services and systems. Theoretical considerations and case study experiences are welcomed to give substance to the dialogue about the role of systems and design thinking in promoting this transition towards sustainable and healthy living.

Main Topics

// Sustainable innovation for health systems
// Patient empowerment and caregiving
// Systemic innovation in social care
// Social Flourishing & Cultural Sustainability


Today is clear that we need a paradigm shift to provide a sustainable future for the next generations. Many theories are growing up to give some answers in that sense. In Design School has emerged Systemic Design to manage the actual complexity and to outline sustainable future scenarios.  Systemic Design is addressed from diverse cultural backgrounds, used in different fields of research, overpassing the boundary of the design. We would like to stimulate a debate more at a theoretical level on the models and processes related to complexity theories, their impact on innovation, education,  and ethics. New perspectives, based on historical reflections, are welcomed.

Main Topics

// Systemic Design theories
// Innovation processes in complex systems
// Systems and design thinking in education
// Historical perspectives on Systemic Design

Call for exhibition “Visualizing Complex Systems”

The multi-faceted nature of information brought the society towards a radical change, especially in this era where data production and collection are reaching levels that could not even be imagined until a few years ago. From relations to components, from process to systems, the importance to make these elements more visual became essential to enable new scenarios, innovative systems, and creative mindset in an educative and formative way. This special call for visualisation works aims at giving prominence to design research and works representing systemic complexity. The ability to collect, cross-check, visualize and study quantitative and qualitative information about phenomena and their patterns is itself at the core of the project, becoming strategic for enabling new systems thinking and their design application. Identifying the relationship between components, thus guaranteeing personal expression, horizontal communication and visual thinking, is the first step to enhance a more conscious and transparent decision-making process with a perspective of sustainability.


We ask everyone who wishes to present their work at RSD7 to submit a short abstract of maximum 350 words (title and keywords excluded), 3-5 high-resolution images and any correlated links/website in case of interactive visualisation. The work should be submitted by 15 JUNE 2018 through EasyChair at this link: You should upload the abstract in text form as well as in a PDF file (which should include images and any links). The submission form will guide you through the process but we recommend you download and read the call for visualisation works for more detailed information.

Your work will undergo a peer review process by independent referees. We will notify the selected ones to be presented at RSD7 within the deadline present on the home page. If you have received an email telling you that your work has been selected, you should register for the conference and exhibit your visualization during the RSD7 conference.

Authors of accepted works are required to bring an explanatory hardcopy poster to display during the RSD7 symposium, that should be prepared following an official layout. The authors should be available at the poster to discuss their work during the conference.

Download the Call for Exhibition “Visualizing Complex Systems” HERE


We welcome different types of works dealing with the visualisation of complex systems:

// Data and process visualisation
// Visual representation of part-whole relationships
// Visual tools for decision making
// Giga-mapping


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