• Length:
    6 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–4 hours per week
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  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time

About this course

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Responsible business practices are widely recognized as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In this course we aim to extend these practices to the Research and Development (R&D) and innovation processes of companies. This is called Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

RRI enables companies to anticipate social and ethical issues and integrate them into the innovation and design processes and business strategy right from the start.

This course demonstrates how RRI, as a key element of CSR, can help firms to be innovative, more profitable and at the same time have positive societal and environmental impact.

In this course we analyze the relevance of RRI, including drivers and barriers, for firms of different sizes and in different sectors, and the implications for corporate governance. We show the results and lessons learned from eight pilot studies in innovative businesses across Europe working in different areas (such as nanotechnology, data and automotive) when they integrated RRI in their innovation process and business strategy.

You will learn how organizations can evaluate their current position within RRI, rethink their strategies and develop a plan to embed RRI within their CSR and corporate citizenship strategic policies.

We will provide you with a toolkit and explain how to make the RRI approach feasible within your own organization taking into consideration stakeholder engagement, value sensitive design, sustainability, safety as well as current international standards.

After the course you will be able to design a roadmap to embed RRI in the strategic policies of companies and assess which key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you measure the success of your CSR/RRI policies.

Let’s work together to create the responsibly innovative and successful enterprises of tomorrow!

This MOOC is financially supported by the EU (grant agreement No 710059) and is a joint effort of TU Delft, Warwick University (UK), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and Environment and the Italian Association for Industrial Research.

What you'll learn

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  • Explore successful strategies for RRI and implications for corporate citizenship at business level
  • Review Key Performance Indicators for CSR and RRI
  • Utilize the toolkit we provide to install the processes required for RRI
  • Analyze best practices from different companies across Europe
  • Design a roadmap for RRI to embed in CSR policies

Module 0: Getting Started
Introduction to the concept of RRI and its key elements. The importance of RRI for addressing societal problems. Overview of the EU-PRISMA-project with its 8 pilots in industry and review of the main results.

Module 1: Roadmap for CSR-RRI
The roadmap for embedding RRI in CSR-polices. How to realize a win-win situation from a commercial and societal point of view. Practical examples. Ethical leadership. General introduction to the toolkit developed by the project.

Module 2: Standards and Key Performance Indicators
Defining standards for social and societal responsibility of companies Including an explanation of ISO 26000. Key performance indicators (KPIs) for CSR and RRI. Ethical leadership.

Module 3: Successful Stakeholder Engagement
Recognize how to identify stakeholders and how to make stakeholder dialogue a success for implementing and diffusing new and emerging technologies. Understand how to deal with public reactions that are hard to anticipate. Recognize the importance of the gender and inclusiveness dimension. Discover the tools you can use to achieve this.

Module 4: Safe-by-Design
Introduction to the safe-by-design approach during the whole lifecycle of the product dealing with risks and to prevent unintended and unforeseen negative impacts. The application of this approach including the tools available.

Module 5: Design for Values
Introduction to the Design for Values approach and its relevance. Practical examples of how to apply it. Dealing with conflicting values with the tools available.

Module 6: Wrap -up
Conclusion and reflection on lessons learned and suggestions for further learning.

Meet your instructors

Ibo van de Poel
Anthoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor in Ethics and Technology
Delft University of Technology
Tom Sorell
University of Warwick
Andrea Porcari
Project Manager
Italian Association for Industrial Research
Maria Maia
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

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Learner testimonials

‘We now understood the relevance of societal values to improve the R &D process, and the need to cooperate with authorities, certification bodies, distributors, end-user and consumers’.

Nanomed -project


The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International License.