Gene Editing and Societal Engagment Toolkit


Gene editing has the potential to address urgent challenges in the environment, climate resilience, human health, and food and nutrition security. Over the last few years, there has been increasing demand for and recognition of the importance of societal engagement in gene editing. Despite this growing awareness, building organizational capacity and commitments to design, implement, and incorporate engagement into gene editing research and development are important steps that have not been adequately addressed.

As a step toward filling this gap, the Kavli Center worked with the Keystone Policy Center and the Innovative Genomics Institute to host a workshop and create a toolkit that would begin to equip developers with the tools they need to design engagement into their own work. Hosted in early 2023, the Gene Editing & Societal Engagement Workshop brought together private, public, and NGO leaders to enhance knowledge, collaboration, and capacity to effectively conduct societal engagement in support of beneficial outcomes of gene editing in food, agriculture, and the environment. In Summer 2023, the team released the toolkit, available to all who may wish to begin or supplement their journey in considering engagement as part of their research and development plan.

About the Toolkit

This toolkit provides guiding questions, planning frameworks, and references to support gene editing researchers, developers, and partners in getting started on societal engagement for gene editing. While some guiding questions emphasize the biotechnology's application in food, agriculture, and the environment, the toolkit as a whole is aimed at applications of gene editing in all sectors, including human health.