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The Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation

26-27 June 2017 at Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt, Munich, Germany

The World Forum for Ethics in Business and the Max-Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition are coming together for a series of conferences on ‘Ethics in Innovation.’ This conference series is also supported by the Peter Löscher Chair for Business Ethics, Technical University of Munich (TUM), the European Patent Office and the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.

Innovation is recognised today as a powerful tool for social, economic and even cultural growth and evolution. Yet, ‘innovation’ is often considered to be either an end in itself, or primarily a means of promoting socio-economic efficiency and increasing corporate profits. In the 21st century global village, however, there is a growing recognition of the need to not only ensure and encourage innovations as such, but also to ensure and encourage innovations that achieve specific societal goals, such as environmental protection, inclusiveness, sustainability, affordability, and competition. There is a need, therefore, to broaden the academic, socio-economic, cultural and political discourse pertaining to ‘innovation’: In addition to the current emphasis on efficiency and profits, there is a need to include ‘ethics’ (as understood in both eastern and western cultures) as a specific goal towards which societal and industrial innovation must aspire and adhere.

With the aim of expanding the dialogue pertaining to ‘innovations’ as such and that pertaining to the ‘type’ of innovations that we, as a global society, desire, the Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovations seeks to bring together experts and practitioners from a variety of disciplines, and from diverse philosophical and cultural backgrounds, to one platform to exchange ideas, practices, practical experiences and current academic research pertaining to ‘ethics’, ‘innovation’ and their interface in the 21st century global village. The conference series is envisaged as one that will continue for four consecutive years, each year taking up issues of ethics and innovation from a multi-disciplinary perspective, with a particular focus on (i) both eastern and western philosophy, culture/religion and legal history, and (ii) a specific technological focus area. In the first year, the focus is on the information and communication technologies (ICT) and will invite experts from India and Europe to discuss the underlying ethical issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Venue

German Patent and Trade Mark Office
(Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt) – DPMAforum
Zweibrückenstraße 12
80331 München
Germany

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INVITATION BROCHURE

CONFERENCE PROGRAM

The Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition and the World Forum for Ethics in Business, in partnership with the German Patent & Trade Mark Office, the Peter Löscher Chair for Business Ethics at the Technical University of Munich, and the European Patent Office, are organizing a series of conferences titled the ‘Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation.’

Introduction & Concept

What is considered ‘ethical’ and ‘innovative’ varies from person to person, culture to culture, and even from industry to industry. This difference in perception may, at first glance, seem to be of interest only from a purely academic perspective. In reality, however, it plays a crucial and practical role in ensuring a healthy and balanced public debate, which, in the end, can influence all segments of human life, including the approach to education, the focus of scientific research efforts, the framework of laws and policies, and even the flow of capital at the level of societies, communities, countries and regions.

It is perhaps no wonder, therefore, that despite widespread globalization, even in the 21st century, it is not corporate profits alone that drive the direction and success of an innovation. Diverse ethical views, including socio-cultural norms, social or individual history and the historical evolution of world views predominant in various regions of the world, all play a significant role in determining the direction and goals of innovation in various societies or communities on the one hand, and the manner in which these innovations are viewed, disseminated and used around the globe, on the other.

Ethical issues and dominant world views emerging therefrom, broadly speaking, may often also guide the adoption of laws and regulations associated, inter alia, with testing, adopting, disseminating, using and even patenting of certain types of innovations, to the exclusion of others. Yet, in the 21st century global village, with the confluence of diverse cultures through immigration, job hunts and growing frequency of inter-cultural marriages, it is necessary to re-think the fundamental understanding that we as a human society have of the terms ‘innovation’ and ‘ethics’ as such, and of their relationship with one another in narratives employed at national and international debates linked with innovation.

Structure & Topics

The first Munich Conference on Ethics in Innovation therefore asks several fundamental questions that cut across traditional disciplinary barriers and calls for an open, multi-disciplinary, and multi-stakeholder discussion of these fundamental questions. Day 1 of the conference outlines the most fundamental questions of ethics and innovation from the perspective of disciplines and discourses that affects all segments of human life. The questions considered on Day 1 of the conference include, but are not limited to, the following: ‘Is there a ‘common minimum’ ethical value system that binds us as a human society? What are the socio-cultural and economic consequences, if any, of labelling certain material and immaterial creations as ‘innovations’ and not others? What role do ethical concerns play in the life and work of those engaged in some of the most groundbreaking innovations? What approaches to education can help nurture both ethical and innovative outlooks in individuals from diverse cultures? In what circumstances can people of one culture accept and embrace innovations from other cultures? Can such acceptance lead to greater communal harmony and secular yet economically prosperous living? Can innovations in the digital age serve to bring diverse cultures closer together in a democratic and secular framework? Is there a need to regulate innovations that might have an opposite effect?

Day 2 focuses on issues of ethics and innovation in a specific field, namely, information and communication technologies, including means of promoting equitable and inclusive innovations in the ICT sector globally, including by providing equitable access to venture and seed capital funding, how to promote innovations in the digital field that are supportive of larger societal goals such as democracy, peace, sustainability and inter-cultural harmony, means/need of regulating content in online media, issues of ethics linked to artificial intelligence and the internet of thigs, and adoption of means inclusive and exclusive of traditional intellectual property protection to promote, recognize and disseminate innovations emerging from diverse socio-cultural and economic contexts.

To ensure a rich multi-cultural and multi-stakeholder discussion of these issues, engaging experts as well as students and young professionals from diverse disciplinary fields from across the globe, the first Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation is split into two segments:

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: 26 June 2017

08:00 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:30 Welcome & Introduction

Ethics & Innovation: What We Knew Then, What We Know Now

09:30 – 10:30 Keynote Panel: ‘Ethics’ and ‘Innovation’- Revisiting the Foundations

10:30 – 11:00 World Youth Forum Student Panel (I)

11:00 – 11:30 Panel Discussion and Q&A

11:30 – 11:45 Breathe Deep! Relaxation Quarter

11:45 – 12:00 Tea/Coffee Break

12:00 – 13:15 Panel I: Science, Ethics and Innovation: The Common Ground

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch

14:15 – 15:45 Panel II: Continuing Education for Ethics in Innovations

15:45 – 16:00 Relax! Meditation Quarter

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee/Tea Break

16:15 – 17:45 Panel III: Regulations for Ethical Innovations

17:45 – 18:00 Recap! Reflection Quarter

18:00-19:00 Conference Dinner (for speakers/organizers/WYF Delegates)

19:15-21:00 Cultural Programs & Public Talk with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar* (hosted by the Technical University of Munich @ TUM Audimax)

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: 27 June 2017

8:30 – 9:00 Registration

Ethics & Innovation in the 21st Century ICT Sector

9:00 – 10:30 Panel IV: Ethics and Digitization

11:00 – 12:30 Panel V: Ethics, Economics and Artificial Intelligence

12:30 – 13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 15:15 Panel VI: Information, Innovation and the Internet of Things

15:15 – 15:30 Relax! Meditation Quarter

15:30 – 15:45 Tea/Coffee Break

15:45 – 17:15 Panel VII: Access, Affordability & Participation: Promoting Sustainable & Inclusive Innovations

17:15 – 17:45 World Youth Forum Student Panel (II)

17:45 – 18:30 Expert Group Discussion & Conference Closing

CONFERENCE PROGRAM: 26 June 2017

08:00-09:00: Registration

09:00 – 09:30: Welcome & Introduction

Ethics & Innovation: What We Knew Then, What We Know Now

09:30 – 10:30 Keynote Panel

The Keynote Panel of the conference brings together some of the world’s most renowned humanitarians, philosophers, academics and innovators to share their views on fundamental human values, principles, practices and concepts that lie at the very root of the terms ‘ethics’ and ‘innovation,’ and their interface with business, economics and peaceful multi-cultural living in the 21st century global village.

10:30 – 11:00 World Youth Forum Student Panel (I)

11:00 – 11:30 Panel Discussion and Q&A

11:30 – 11:45  Breathe Deep! Relaxation Quarter

11:45 – 12:00 Tea/Coffee Break

12:00 – 13:15 Panel I: Science, Ethics & Innovation – The Common Ground

Panel I will look into what modern science has to say about ‘ethics’ and ‘innovation’ and what circumstances enhance or nurture these aspects of human psyche. It also seeks to understand how researchers engaged in ‘controversial’ areas of scientific research view ethical concerns of society linked to their research.

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch

14:15 – 15:45 Panel II: Continuing Education for Ethics in Innovations

Although innovation is often a word associated with industries and corporations, at the center of any innovation is an individual person – either as an originator, developer, funder or dissemi­nator of an idea, invention or creation. That human race is innovative is undoubtedly true, and more so today than perhaps ever before. In fact, some believe that given adequate education and opportunity, every member of society is a potential innovator. Accordingly, systems and approaches to education are being re-evaluated and re-structured acknowledging that ‘infor­mation alone is not education.’ Systems of education that are aimed at maintaining, nurturing and bringing forth the innovativeness inherent in human beings, are gaining acceptance and even popularity, not only at the level of primary education, but also in the form of continuing education in Universities and work places. The third panel of the Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation, therefore, looks at new or evolving understanding, approaches and systems of (continuing) education, that are primarily aimed at nurturing an ethically rooted, in­novative individual.

15:45 – 16:00 Relax! Meditation Quarter

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee/Tea Break

16:15 – 17:45 Panel III: Regulations for Ethical Innovations

As the concept of ethics and innovation changes within plural, global societies and economy, the legal and regulatory environment which may often be slower in acknowledging, and therefore responding to these changes, needs also to be continually revised and re-assessed. In this process, each of the considerations discussed in the previous panels need to be taken into account, along with practical economic considerations. The final panel of the first day will bring together speakers engaged actively in government or legal/ economic policy research to understand current and emerging frameworks for governance and regulation in the field of ethics and innovation.

17:45 – 18:00 Recap! Reflection Quarter

CONFERENCE PROGRAM: 27 June 2017

 Ethics & Innovation in the 21st Century ICT Sector

While seeking to expand the discourse and dialogue pertaining to innovation to include a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural understanding of ethics within its rubric, it is necessary to also bear in mind that ethics should not be seen as a ‘brake’, as something to slow down innovation. Ethics should also be seen as promoting both entrepreneurial spirit, as well as the spread of new ideas, each of which is in the interest of companies. In fact, in the globalized world, ethics in business has acquired proportions larger than personal ethos or virtues, in part due to changing laws and regulations (as is sought to be discussed in panel III), and in part, as a response to societal awakening and corresponding change in public expectations and demands.

Day 2 of the Conference seeks to highlight issues of ethics that uniquely underly the present day information and communication technologies, including the manner in which the present day socio-cultural and political environment influences, and in turn is influenced by, these technologies. While some of these issues are already commonly known and discussed, others are either ‘hidden’ or ‘unknown’ or are so recent in their origin that they are yet to become part of mainstream media or academic discourse. The panels of Day 2 of the conference invite speaker-experts from the government, industry and academia who are most informed about the current and emerging ethical issues underlying the creation, use and dissemination of the latest information and communication technologies.

09:00 – 10:30 Panel IV: Ethics and Digitization

The internet has made innovation and creativity a household name in the 21st century. It has also made knowledge, information and innovation accessible from all corners of the globe, irrespective of the place of their origin. Needless to say, this free flow of information and innovation has changed the way we relate with one another on a daily basis. It has also broadened our perspectives and horizons like never before: We not only know more about how people live, think and feel in remotest regions of the world, but are also able to access products and services from these regions on the click of a mouse. At the same time, as digital innovation responds to increasingly diverse demand sets, including, particularly, the demand for knowledge and information, it also influences broader social and political goals such as democracy, secular outlook, inter-cultural harmony and diversity. The issue of regulating the digital environment, by balancing the interest of diverse interest groups and cultures on the one hand, and larger goals of social harmony and inclusive growth on the other, becomes a delicate, yet urgent matter. Panel IV looks into legal and regulatory concerns associated with these issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

10:30 – 10:45 Breathe Deep! Relaxation Quarter

10:45 – 11:00 Tea/Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30 Panel V: Ethics, Economics and Artificial Intelligence

Going deeper into specific issues that challenge our current understanding of ethics and of the type of innovations that we, as a global society ‘desire’ or aspire towards, the fifth panel considers the interface of ethics, economics and legal instruments available, inter alia, to regulate innovations in the field of artificial intelligence. It further looks into, what, if any, are the ‘common minimum standards’ of ethics that can and are being imbibed into instruments and technologies employing artificial intelligence. Which laws and regulations, if any, guide the adoption of these common minimum standards and what modifications may be necessary in these laws and regulations?

12:30 – 13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 15:15 Panel VI: Information, Innovation and the Internet of Things

Technology today has not only made data, information, ideas, objects and people more accessible, but has also made it easier for them to communicate and remain in constant interaction with one another – knowingly or even unknowingly. What are the ethical implications of innovations in the age of ‘Internet of Things’? Whither issues of data and information privacy? The 6th panel looks into these issues using an unusual and interdisciplinary approach.

15:15 – 15:30 Relax! Meditation Quarter

15:30 – 15:45 Tea/Coffee Break

15:45 – 17:15 Panel VII: Access, Affordability & Participation: Promoting Sustainable & Inclusive Innovations

Ethics not only requires companies to rethink their innovative focus and structures, but also to introduce new policies, and to reevaluate their incentive schemes. Issues like CSR, Corporate Citizenship or Corporate Sustainability Management become central to companies’ core business, their R&D and innovation portfolios, and thus to their thriving in the future. At the same time, leading academics today recognize that the society is moving further from becoming an ‘information society’ to an ‘innovation society’. In this scenario, it is necessary to ask if every individual in society is gaining equitable access to the resources and finances necessary to engage in the innovative process and bring innovative new products and processes to the market. Panel 7 accordingly looks into the economic and financial policies of major emerging and developed economies of India and EU today, that are aimed at promoting sustainable and inclusive innovations, ensuring not just access and affordability, but equal opportunity of participation.

17:15 – 17:45 World Youth Forum Student Panel (II)

17:45 – 18:30 Expert Group Discussion & Conference Closing

The conference finale will comprise of a Group Discussion, where panel chairs and other ex­perts will consider means of promoting ‘ethical innovations’ in the ICT sector. The discussion will also include inputs from the audience in the form of comments and Q&As.

The Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation 2017 Registration Form
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The deadline for registrations is 12 June 2017.

Confirmed speakers and moderators

(in alphabetical order):

Dr. Rachel Alemu, PPD, Germany

Mr. Inge Andersen, Secretary General, Norwegian Olympic Committee

Dr. Christoph Ann, Chair, Business Law & Intellectual Property Law, Technical University of Munich

Mr. Ajay Bagga, Executive Chairman, OPC Asset Solutions

Mr. Kay Firth Butterfield, Vice Chair, IEEE Industry Connections “Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems

Dr. Rafael Capurro, Director, Steinbeis Transfer Institute – Information Ethics

Mr. Günter Conrad, Chairman, CON-First GmbH

Dr. Andreas de Bruin, University of Applied Sciences, Munich / Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich

Prof. Dr. Giovanna de Minico, University of Naples Federico II

Dr. Josef Drexl, Director, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition

Prof. Fahri Saatcioglu, Professor for Molecular and Cell Biology, Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Norway

Mrs. Yvonne Feri, National Councillor, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information, Oxford University

Dr. Christoph Geiger, Director, CEIPI Strasbourg

Mr. Christoph Glaser, Managing Director, World Forum for Ethics in Business

Dr. Heinz Goddar, Partner, Boehmert and Boehmert

Dr. Reto Hilty, Director, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition

Dr. Ashok  Jhunjhunwala, Advisor, Government of India, Faculty, IIT Chennai Indian Institute of Technology

Dr. Mrinalini Kochupillai, Senior Research Fellow; Program Director, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition

Mrs. Rajita Kulkarni, President, World Forum for Ethics in Business

Mr. Jo Leinen, Member of European Parliament

Dr. Christoph Lütge, Peter Löscher Chair for Business Ethics, Technical University of Munich

Mr. Peter Marti, CEO, Marti Communications

Dr. Andreas Rickert, CEO and Founder, PHINEO gAG

Bishop Dr. Marcelo Sanchez SorondoChancellor, Pontifical Academy of Sciences; Chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Holy See (Vatican)

Mrs. Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, President, German Patent and Trade Mark Office

Dr. Burkhard Schafer, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Emma Seppälä, Science Director, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University

Hon’ble Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, World Forum for Ethics in Business, International Association for Human Values, Art of Living Foundation

Mr. Jaan Tallinn, Co-founder, Skype

Dr. Axel Walz, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition

Mr. Klaus Wiedemann, Doctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition

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