Opportunity Design: what, where and how?

DS 71: Proceedings of NordDesign 2012, the 9th NordDesign conference, Aarlborg University, Denmark. 22-24.08.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Assoc. Prof. Poul Kyvsgaard Hansen, Professor John Rasmussen, Assoc. Prof. Kaj A. Jřrgensen, Assoc. Prof. Christian Tollestrup
Author: Mřller Nielsen, Louise; Heidemann Lassen, Astrid; Tollestrup, Christian; Lřwe Nielsen, Suna
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: 1: Aalborg University, Denmark; 2: Design Society, United Kingdom
ISBN: 978-87-91831-51-5


Creating and growing new businesses is basically about turning an entrepreneurial opportunity into future business. In literature the emergence of opportunities is often described as opportunity recognition or opportunity discovery, which points to the understanding that opportunities are out there just waiting to be recognized or discovered. This assumption of pre-existence also implies limited intentionality on part of the entrepreneur in proactive creation of opportunities. Even though central characteristics of the opportunity recognition process have been identified as creative or development oriented, the act of ‘recognition’ is still a central part of the definition. Recently the term “Opportunity Design” has been introduced, suggesting that opportunities can be proactively and intentionally designed. However, the relatedness between the opportunity recognition process and opportunity design is not clear. Furthermore, there is still a lack of approaches, methods and tools, which can support entrepreneurs in designing the entrepreneurial opportunities. In this paper, we take steps towards defining opportunity design in respect to the opportunity recognition process, and identify some of the specific approaches applicable to the design of opportunities. By looking at industrial designers working with entrepreneurial opportunities, it becomes evident that there is a set of approaches, which can turn the opportunity recognition process into an intentional and proactive process.

Keywords: Research agenda, entrepreneurship, design, opportunity recognition, opportunity design


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