The Centre for BioSystems Genomics (CBSG) is a Dutch public-private partnership in plant genomics active in potato and tomato research and exploitation. Its Societal Interface Group (SIG) has been developed to inform its communication strategy and governance practice. This new instrument identifies and discusses early signals from society by bringing together people from different societal backgrounds with members of CBSG management. This interactive learning process facilitates the inclusion of public concerns and needs in scientific developments in the field of plant genomics, and simultaneously enables genomics scientists to search for more societal aims, meanings, and starting points for their research agenda. Analysis of the SIG sessions revealed that the input of public expertise is not threatening or irrational, but provides the opportunity to harness the creative potential of future users highly relevant for the development of societal practices in which plant genomics plays a role.