Course Description 2016

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 accountability (to stakeholders and to society) and transparency. 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 the course we follow the 7 chapters of the MOOC Responsible innovation, which is developed by the Ethics and Philosophy Faculty Technology Policy and Management of the TU Delft. During every session a group of students prepares an interactive session in which dilemma’s that are presented in the course material are acted out and experienced by fellow students. The students who prepare the session also report on what happened during the session on the sharing research platform using multimedia.

On the basis of the chapter and these sessions every student has to write column of max 600 words per week and post this on the sharing research platform.


Course Outline 

  1. Responsible Innovation and Applied Ethics
  2. Institutions and Values
  3. How Innovations come About
  4. Frugal Innovations as Responsible Innovations
  5. Understanding and Identifying Risk
  6. Risk Analysis and Safety Engineering
  7. Value Sensitive Design


Learning Objectives

After this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand and be able to explain the various theories and dimensions of responsible innovation;
  • Recognise instances of responsible and irresponsible innovation;
  • Discuss and assess the ethical and societal implications of real-life cases at the hand of theories pertaining to responsible innovation;
  • Apply tools and approaches to responsible innovation, like Value Sensitive Design, to their own innovation efforts.


  • 30 % of the grade: participate in the research by being present and engaging in all sessions.
  • 30% of the grade: prepare with the group one of the weekly sessions [interactive format] and report on the format and experience of fellow students.
  • 40% of the grade: write and publish a column in the collaborative research platform every week. And give weekly feedback on the column of two of your peers. There are a total of 7 columns and max. 600 words each. The best column is sent to jury and professor to be graded. 

Re-sit examination possibility: to be discussed with individual students in line with examination regulations. The re-sit assignment has to be done within a month after completion of the original assignment.