Aim & Objectives of WYF 2017: An Overview

Innovation is recognized 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 several instances, only innovations that emerge from capital intensive technical industries are considered ‘innovations’ in the commonly understood sense. In the 21st century global village, however, the world is increasingly observing the adoption and growing popularity of innovations arising not just from the global north, but also the global south. There is also 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, sustainability, affordability, and even larger goals such as democracy, peace, inclusiveness, fairness and competition. There is a need, therefore, to broaden the academic, socio-economic, cultural and political discourse pertaining to ‘innovation’ on the one hand. On the other hand, it is also necessary that in addition to the current emphasis on efficiency and profits, a complementary emphasis is placed on ‘ethics’ (as understood in diverse cultures of the globe) as a specific goal towards which societal & industrial innovation must aspire and adhere.

With the aim of expanding the dialogue pertaining to ‘ethics’, ‘innovations’ and ‘ethics in innovation’, the World Forum for Ethics in Business, in partnership with the Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition (MPI) and the Peter Löscher Chair for Business Ethics, Technical University of Munich are convening the World Youth Forum (WYF 2017) for Ethics in Innovation at the MPI, Munich from 23-25 June 2017. The aims and objectives of the WYF 2017 are as follows:

  • Foster among the attending youth/students an in-depth and practical understanding of the importance of ethics in innovation (from a multi-disciplinary perspective, with focus also on inter-cultural sensitivities and best practices);
  • Develop and strengthen skills and capacities of the youth that are key to nurturing ethical behavior and innovative outlook while dealing with practical challenges of everyday life;
  • Provide opportunities to learn through interactive sessions with top academic, business and political experts and leaders to understand the practical dynamics of ethics in business and innovation;
  • Identify and discuss urgent challenges in the global scenario, and define possible solutions together with young minds from diverse but inter-related educational and professional backgrounds;
  • Give the participating youth a chance to recommend changes in laws, policies and practices that would positively impact the cause of promoting ethics in innovation;
  • Allow the youth to share their views and insights in the main conference ‘Ethics in Innovation’ (26-27 June 2017) through the ‘Call of the Youth.’

More information about the 1st Munich Conference on Ethics in Innovation, which has a special focus on information and communication technologies, is available here: