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2018 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Discussing Ethical Impacts in Research and Innovation: The Ethics Canvas

Authors: Wessel Reijers, Kevin Koidl, David Lewis, Harshvardhan J. Pandit, Bert Gordijn

Published in: This Changes Everything – ICT and Climate Change: What Can We Do?

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Technologies are increasingly intertwined with people’s daily lives. Consequently, there is an increasing need to consider the ethical impacts that research and innovation (R&I) processes, both in commercial and non-commercial contexts, bring about. However, current methods that offer tools for practicing ethics in R&I inadequately allow for non-ethicists such as engineers and computer scientists to practise ethics in a way that fits the character of their work. As a response, we propose a tool for identifying ethical impacts of R&I that is inspired by a method for the generation of business models, the Business Model Canvas. This tool, the Ethics Canvas, enables researchers to engage with the ethical impacts of their R&I activities in a collaborative manner by discussing different building blocks that together constitute a comprehensive ethical interpretation of a technology. To assess the perceived usefulness of the Ethics Canvas, a classroom experiment was conducted, followed-up by a questionnaire. The results suggest that the Ethics Canvas (1) is perceived as useful for identifying relevant stakeholders and potential ethical impacts and (2) potentially triggers reconsiderations of technology designs or business models.

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Footnotes
1
With “practicing ethics” we refer to any way of doing ethics R&I processes in the broadest sense.
 
2
This study has been approved by the Trinity College Dublin Research Ethics Committee.
 
3
For our current purposes and the scope of this paper it is not feasible to propose a full-fledged method. However, the Ethics Canvas tool fits with a newly developed method that introduces a narrative approach in ethics of technology [13].
 
4
The two traditional business model approaches that the business model canvas was compared with are the “software ecosystem model” approach and the “board of innovation” approach [19].
 
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Metadata
Title
Discussing Ethical Impacts in Research and Innovation: The Ethics Canvas
Authors
Wessel Reijers
Kevin Koidl
David Lewis
Harshvardhan J. Pandit
Bert Gordijn
Copyright Year
2018
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99605-9_23

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