Today, technology has become a main determinant of the quality of life of individuals and the quality of society. New technologies contribute to human well-being, but they may also introduce considerable risks to humans, the environment and future generations. We therefore have every reason to ascertain that the new technologies we develop as a society respect the values we hold dear. Various governments, companies and research funding agencies have now recognized this need for responsible innovation. Responsible innovation can, as a concept, be understood in a more substantive and in a more procedural sense. As a procedural notion, responsible innovation refers to a process of innovation that meets certain procedural norms, like anticipation, reflexivity, responsiveness and inclusiveness.
As a substantive notion, responsible innovation refers to a process of innovation which results in certain products, i.e. innovative technologies, which reflect important moral values. This includes values like, health, safety, human welfare, sustainability, justice, inclusiveness, democracy, privacy, trust, and autonomy.
In this course we will discuss the concept of responsible innovation and how it might be understood. We will discuss tools the approach of Value Sensitive Design (VSD) as a way to put in practice the more substantive notion of Responsible Innovation. Next, we will discuss each of the four procedural dimensions: anticipation, reflexivity, responsiveness and inclusiveness. For each, we will look at possible approaches, possibilities and pitfalls.
The following topics will be covered in the lectures:
- The notion of Responsible Innovation (RI)
- The relation with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- The approach of value Sensitive Design (VSD)
- The four procedural dimensions of RI: anticipation, reflexivity, responsiveness and inclusiveness
After this course, students should be able to:
• Provide and justify specific definitions of the notion of responsible innovation
• Explain the approach of Value Sensitive Design (VSD) and apply it to concrete cases and examples
• Relate responsible innovation to corporate social responsibility (CSR)
• Identify opportunities and challenges for responsible innovation in concrete cases with respect to the four dimensions of responsible innovation: anticipation, reflexivity, responsiveness and inclusiveness
• Develop strategies for implementing responsible innovation