ISPIM SIG | Responsible Innovation


We bring together people from industry, academia, policy making and consultancy, as well as different disciplines, including business and management, natural science and technology, social and political science, and the humanities.

We use the term "RI" broadly in line with a definition by Von Schomberg: “a transparent, interactive process by which societal actors and innovators become mutually responsive to each other with a view to the (ethical) acceptability, sustainability and societal desirability of the innovation process and its marketable products…” [1]. Similarly, RI can be characterized by the following terms: anticipatory; reflective; deliberative; and responsive [2].

Our understanding of Responsible Innovation builds on various traditions, e.g., on Technology Assessment (TA), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Creating Shared Value (CSV) or Social Innovation (SI), and on existing expertise in topics like: sustainability, societal engagement, user involvement, stakeholder management, business models and (applied, professional or business) ethics.

The purpose of the Responsible Innovation (RI) Special Interest Group (SIG) is to further develop the subject in the ISPIM community. 


We invite and welcome practical examples of Responsible Innovation in different industries, e.g., (e-)health, energy, sustainability, mobility, digital innovation, and security/defense. We are interested in drivers, outcomes and best practices, e.g., in smart cities or living labs. Moreover, the aim of the SIG is to combine practice and theory; wewill address both ‘practical’ issues, like how to organize stakeholder engagement (which is also theoretical), and ‘theoretical’ issues, like selecting an appropriate ethical theory for a particular case (which is also practical). Overall, our aim is to ‘mainstream’ Responsible Innovation so that the industry can adopt it!

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This SIG has overlaps with other SIGs, most notably with the SIG Innovation Management Methods for Industry on Exploring Solutions (e.g., because of our ambition to mainstream Responsible Innovation in the industry), and with the SIG Digital Disruption (e.g., because digital disruption can offer challenges regarding data protection and privacy, and for societal values like freedom, fairness and accountability as well as opportunities to drive sustainability).

Examples of topics we are interested in (not exhaustive):

  • Anticipation, foresight, and technology assessment

  • Reflection and deliberation, and stakeholder engagement

  • Responsibility, legislation, (applied, professional and business) ethics

  • Sustainability and effects on the environment

  • Wellbeing and effects on society and social processes

  • Constructing “responsible” business models

  • Societal and ethical values in digitalization

  • Digital technologies as enabler of sustainability and responsibility

  • Algorithmic fairness and data-based decision-making

  • Social innovation and social entrepreneurship

Webinar - Learning in the Humanitarian Innovation Laboratory by John Bessant




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