Call for papers for a CIJ Special Issue on ‘Innovations in Career and Life Design’


Call for papers for the CERN IdeaSquare Journal of Experimental Innovation (CIJ)

Special Issue on ‘Innovations in Career and Life Design’

Submission deadline: 19 August 2024  

Special Issue Editors:

Bettina Maisch, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany
Steven A. Gedeon, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Canada
Barbara Wolf, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
Karina Cagarman, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Sebastian Kernbach, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland


In the scientific spirit of CERN, this Call for Papers is focused on the biggest experiment in humanity: LIFE DESIGN. It is about transformations and innovations related to the deepest questions of what it means to design your life in your private as well as professional context for flourishing, meaning, happiness, and well-being. We seek inspiring articles that spark new ideas, go against what is commonly understood, and inspire us to ask more questions and create new experiments to advance practice-oriented and experimentation driven innovation in the field of life design.

Future dynamics, characterized by rapid technological advancements, globalization, and evolving societal norms, are shaping our lives and demanding adaptability, self-leadership, and lifelong learning (Landberg & Wolf, 2022). Traditional career paths and life trajectories have become less predictable; consequently, a flexible framework for people to continuously reassess and redefine their goals and strategies, ensuring resilience and relevance in a rapidly changing world, is essential to long-term happiness and well-being (Wolf & Maisch, 2023a).

Life design has been hailed as a new paradigm in career construction that empowers individuals to actively shape their lives through thoughtful, creative, and meaningful career development (Savickas 2009; 2012). With its roots in Career Construction Theory (CCT) (Savickas, 1997), life design signifies a shift toward more person-centric and self-directed career planning, emphasizing intrinsic motivation and contextual adaptability (Savickas et al., 2012).

The field of career and life design has grown to incorporate elements of design thinking, entrepreneurship, and positive psychology as well (Burnett &Evans 2016, Cagarman, 2022; Gedeon, 2021; Gedeon & Kernbach, 2024; Maisch & Wolf, 2022; Wolf & Maisch, 2023b).
Life Design Counselling (LDC) integrates career counselling and psychotherapy using Systematic Treatment Selection (STS) and employs assessment tools, concepts, and interventions from both career planning and positive psychology theoretical orientations and world views (Cardoso, 2016; Savickas, 2015). Positive psychology elements of life design use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, self-talk, self-reflection, and introspection to challenge  and change one’s internal resources, beliefs, attitudes, automatic thoughts, intentions, and behaviours to increase positive emotions, decrease negative emotions, and enhance
psychological well-being, satisfaction with life, meaning and self-actualization (Boniwell, 2012).

While LDC is practiced in a dyadic setting with an expert and non-expert (e.g. therapist and patient), new life design approaches and innovations rooted in design thinking and entrepreneurship are characterized by a less hierarchical, peer-to-peer collaborative team setting in which the participants help each other with their design challenges. This educational approach to career and life design typically involves workshops that use team-based design thinking, blending project-based learning, identity narrative, self-determination, and positive psychology interventions for individuals to introspect, develop visions, ideate life scenarios and test life
prototypes (Maisch et. al., 2024).

Emerging evidence demonstrates life design's effectiveness in enhancing a wide variety of positive life outcomes, including self-esteem, career decision-making, adaptability, resilience, self-efficacy, and life satisfaction (Camussi et al., 2023; Poech & Wolf, 2024; Wolf & Landberg, 2022; Pordelan et al., 2021; Williams et al., 2022). Entrepreneurial education, experiential learning, and student-centric pedagogies have been shown to positively empower students with essential competencies and attitudinal learning outcomes related to happiness and well-being, including alertness, curiosity, empathy, proactivity, resilience, adaptability, optimism, internal locus of control, self-efficacy, self-esteem and core self-evaluation (Gedeon, 2022).

Theoretical frameworks underpinning these empirical results include Bandura’s social cognitive theory (Bandura, 2001), Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991), and theories of motivation (Acquah et. al. 2021). Additional related frameworks and theories include effectuation theory (Sarasvathy 2009), business model canvas (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2012), business model you (Clark et al., 2009), speculative design (Dunne & Raby, 2013) and design science research (Hevner, 2007).

There is still much work to be done regarding theory-building, model development, experimentation, and discovery of innovations in career and life design. How can we understand and improve the impact of career and life design programs on participants’ life outcomes such as happiness, satisfaction with life, subjective well-being, engagement (flow), relationships, meaning, autonomy, mastery, purpose, self-esteem, self-efficacy, internal locus of control, optimism, hope, resiliency, growth mindset and empathy in addition to potential career and life outcomes including work-life balance, family, health, job satisfaction, stress, financial security,
entrepreneurial mindset and positive impact in society (Wolf & Landberg, 2023)?

Given the inter-disciplinarity of the subject, we encourage short, thought-provoking papers from diverse perspectives and disciplines including CBT, CCT, STS, LDC, design thinking, positive psychology, entrepreneurship, future of work, counselling psychology, creativity and innovation, educational science, instructional design, behavioural economics, and others.

This Special Issue is welcoming paper submissions from scholars and practitioners from various disciplines to exchange different perspectives, build a differentiated research agenda, and foster the dialogue in academia and practice about the potential, effects, instructional methods, and impact of life design in the context of a career, future of work, protirement, happiness and well-being at the individual level, organizational/corporate level and society at large. In the spirit of CERN, we encourage innovations in how to experiment, measure, and acquire insights into the nature of our lived experiences.

Among topics that might be of interest for this Special Issue of CIJ, we welcome manuscripts from areas including but not limited to:
● History and evolution of the topic area and research streams of life design.
● Theoretical and conceptual frameworks, models, constructs, scales, lexicon, taxonomy or classification of career and life design, happiness, and well-being.
● Relations between life design in the context of CBT, CCT, STS, LDC, design thinking, entrepreneurship, positive psychology, self-leadership, behavioural economics, and other research streams.
● Cases of successful implementation of life design formats and interventions.
● Life Design process, toolkits, and best practices.
● Design elements to foster specific aspects within life design.
● Empirical evidence on the influence and impact of life design.
● Innovations in how to experiment, measure, and gain insights into the effectiveness of
career and life design interventions, programs, and educational methods.
● General trends and descriptions of life design, including metaliterature reviews.

About the Journal of Experimental Innovation (CIJ)

The CERN IdeaSquare Journal of Experimental Innovation (CIJ) aims to communicate thought- provoking, contemporary, and latest findings in experimentation-driven innovation research. CIJ is an interdisciplinary, open online journal that publishes empirical and theoretical research to push the boundaries of various topics around in-situ experimental innovation.

CIJ encourages research that is between and even beyond disciplinary lines and welcomes research advancing innovation process methodologies, tools, educational approaches, knowledge exchange, management, and policy. CIJ intends to be intellectually challenging in the name of true scientific curiosity and to cultivate evidence-based, novel insights to advance understanding of how new knowledge and basic research turn into use for society through innovation.

In this special issue, the contributions should be aligned with the values and tradition of the Journal stated in their Manifest:
BOLD: CIJ is an outlet for unconventional, early-stage, thought-provoking experimentation- driven research. We aim to foster new innovation methodologies, tools, educational approaches, and experiments to push the boundaries of creativity to drive societal innovation.
INTEGRATIVE: CIJ is an interdisciplinary journal orchestrated by interdisciplinary teams and guided by the principles of open science and open innovation.
OPEN: CIJ provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. CIJ encourages (but does not require) the disclosure of data associated with the manuscripts to support and facilitate scientific work to build on existing knowledge. 
CONNECTING: CIJ is interested in understanding the impact that knowledge can produce within science and society. Taking in learnings from real experiences to inform future theory and practice alike.
EXPERIMENTAL: At CIJ, we are intrigued by where good ideas come from and how we can systemize those processes. Authors are invited to take different angles to their research, presenting solutions, innovations, design models, and methods involving individuals, teams, or organizational experiences.
USEFUL: CIJ encourages replication studies and remains a resource center for researchers and scientists who wish to further develop previously collected data and learnings. At CIJ, authors are urged to consider the  applicability and relevance of their outputs for future research.
MISFIT: CIJ is a place where high-risk high-gain research is welcome and encouraged. Research that doesn't fit in any existing discipline either because it is between—or simply beyond—disciplines. Everything that challenges the status quo and could inspire future generations in the true spirit of scientific curiosity.

Submission procedure
The submitted manuscripts should follow the CIJ guidelines and use the CIJ template
(they can be found at ) containing the manuscript outline and submission information.

When ready to submit please choose the dedicated section entitled 'Submission to the Special Issue 'Innovations in Career and Life Design'

1 April 2024                      Call issued
19 August 2024                Deadline for submission
16 September 2024         Reviews returned to authors
10 October 2020              Revised papers submitted
End of December 2024   Special issue published

Meet the Guest Editors

16 May 2024 Meet the Editors at 3E conference, Amsterdam

Contact: Prof. Dr. Steve Gedeon

06 June 2024 Meet the Editors at BCERC conference, Munich

Contact: Dr. Karina Cagarman

27 June 2024 Meet the Editors at EURAM conference, Bath

Contact: Prof. Dr. Matteo Vignoli
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kernbach


For further information in case of questions concerning the Special Issue, please contact:

Bettina Maisch, Special Issue Editor (
Matteo Vignoli, Editor in Chief, CIJ (
Valeria Brancolini, Managing Editor, CIJ (
Acquah, A., Nsiah, T. K., Antie, E. N. A., & Otoo, B. (2021). Literature review on theories of motivation. EPRA International Journal of Economic and Business Review, 9(5), 25-29.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 50(2), 179-211.
Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual review ofpsychology, 52(1), 1-26.
Boniwell, I. 2012. “Positive psychology in a nutshell: The science of happiness”. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Burnett, W. & Evans, D. J. (2016). “Designing your life: How to build a well-lived, joyful life”. London: Vintage.
Cagarman, K. (2022) New Course Design: Combining Design Thinking and Positive Psychology Interventions into a Workshop Format for Life Design. Presented at EURAM, 15–17. June 2022, Winterthur, Switzerland.
Camussi, E., Meneghetti, D., Sbarra, M. L., Rella, R., Grigis, P., & Annovazzi, C. (2023). What future are you talking about? Efficacy of life design Psy-lab, as career guidance intervention, to support university students’ needs during COVID-19 emergency. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.
Cardoso, P. 2016. “Integrating life‐design counseling and psychotherapy: Possibilities and practices”. The Career Development Quarterly, 64(1): 49-63.
Clark, T., Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2012). Business model you. Pearson France.
Dunne, A. & Raby F. (2013). Speculative everything: design, fiction, and social dreaming. MIT press.
Gedeon, S.A. 2022 “Empowering Students for Future Work and Productive Citizenry through Entrepreneurial Education” Public Affairs Quarterly Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 197-210.
Gedeon, S.A. 2021. “Entrepreneurial Career and Life Design: Using Entrepreneurial Principles to Achieve Happiness and Well-Being” Open Educational Resource, Toronto: Ryerson University.
Gedeon, S. & Kernbach, S. (2024). What is Life Design? Accepted at EURAM, 25-28 June 2024, Bath, UK.
Hevner, A. R. (2007). A three cycle view of design science research. Scandinavian journal of information systems, 19(2), 4.
Landberg, M. & Wolf, B. (2022). Why Life Design interventions should target the willingness to change – Conception of a Change Competence Model. EURAM, Winterthur.
Maisch, B. & Wolf, B. (2022). 4D LOOPING Framework: Self-Discovery as a starting point for a holistic Life Design as entrepreneurial innovation process. Presented at EURAM, 15–17. June 2022, Winterthur, Switzerland.
Maisch, B., Wolf, B., Cagarman, K., & Schulte-Holthaus, S. (2024). Exploring Entrepreneurial Life Design: A Conceptual Causal Mapping Approach. Accepted at EURAM, 25-28 June 2024, Bath, UK.
Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers (Vol. 1). John Wiley & Sons.
Poech, A. & Wolf, B. (accepted for 2024). Design Your Life: Resilienz und Selbstwirksamkeit als Schlüssel zu einem gesünderen Leben. In: Weiterbildung. Zeitschrift für Grundlagen, Praxis und Trends.
Pordelan, N., Hosseinian, S., & Baei Lashaki, A. (2021). Digital storytelling: a tool for life design career intervention. Education and Information Technologies, 26, 3445-3457.
Sarasvathy, S. D. (2009). Effectuation: Elements of entrepreneurial expertise. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Savickas, M. L., Nota, L., Rossier, J., Dauwalder, J.-P., Duarte, M. E., Guichard, J., Soresi, S., Van Esbroeck R., & van Vianen, A. E. M. (2009). Life Designing: A Paradigm for Career Construction in the 21st Century. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 75(3), 239–250.
Savickas, M. L. (1997). Career adaptability: An integrative construct for life‐span, life‐space theory. Career Development Quarterly, 45(3), 247-259.
Savickas, M. L. (2011). Life design: A paradigm for career intervention in the 21st century. Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(1), 13-19.
Savickas, M. L. 2015. “Life-design counselling manual”. Rootstown, OH: Vocopher.
Williams, K. E., Hutchings, P. B., & Phelps, C. (2022). Beyond learning in higher education: an evaluation of the ‘Life Design’ initiative to improve student employability. Studies in Higher Education, 47(6), 1184-1198.
Wolf, B. & Landberg, M. (2022). 4D LOOPING: Entrepreneurial Life Design as a strategy to manage change for high potentials. G-Forum, Dresden.
Wolf, B. & Landberg, M. (2023). 4D LOOPING. A new conceptual framework based on life design for empowering leaders to change the world for the better in a sustainable way. EURAM, Dublin.
Wolf, B. & Maisch, B. (2023a). Transformative Kompetenzentwicklung: Entrepreneurial Life Design im Fokus. Presented at IEES, 1. December 2023, Stuttgart, Germany.
Wolf, B. & Maisch, B. (2023b). Entrepreneurial Life Design: Teaching entrepreneurship as a future competence for resilience and sustainable transformation. Presented at G-Forum, 27-29. September 2023, Darmstadt, Germany.