Fast growing tech startups often operate in fields that have the potential to significantly impact society and the environment. These companies work on the forefront of innovation and are developing new technologies that have the potential to revolutionize industries, disrupt traditional business models, and may significantly contribute to the solution of the most pressing issues of our time. At the same time, startups are often caught between conflicting demands of investors, ambitious growth targets and high external expectations to build a functioning company.
Given their enormous potential to shape our common future, it is crucial to understand how startup companies approach ethical decision-making and consider the potential consequences of their actions. Especially the development and deployment of new technologies might come with unintended consequences – both for the company as well as for society. By studying the ethical foresight and behavior of tech startups, this study aims to gain insights into how these companies are navigating the ethical challenges posed by their innovative technologies and identify best practices for promoting ethical behavior within this sector.
This study project covers the following topic clusters and exemplary questions.
This is an exploratory study project and there are several ways to participate:
Of course, all of your information will be collected and kept strictly confidential – unless we specifically discuss otherwise.
We are particularly interested in startups that
Of course, if you do not fall under any of the mentioned categories, but still would like to share your insights, feel free to approach us!
The results of the study will be scientifically evaluated and published. Beyond that the goal of the project is to derive best practices for ethical foresight and virtuous behaviour for startups. The results may be published in different ways (e.g., a book, blog posts, videos).
As a startup leader, you have the opportunity to not only build a successful business, but also to make a positive impact on the world. Participating in this study is a chance for you to contribute to the greater good and to be a leader in promoting responsible business practices.
Not only will your participation help to advance our understanding of how to create and maintain virtuous startups, it will also provide valuable insights that you can use to further improve your own business. By taking the time to share your experiences and perspective, you can help to shape the future of the startup industry and inspire others to do the same.
However, if this is not enough motivation, we have are some other ideas how to make your time worthwhile which we are happy to discuss with you.
This is a research project by the Bavarian Foresight-Institute and coordinated by Prof. Dr. Laura Bechthold.
Laura Bechthold is Professor of Technology Assessment & Cultural Management at the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt. Her academic background spans economics, political sciences, cultural management, and sustainability science from Zeppelin University, Maastricht University, LMU Munich and UC Berkeley in California. Between 2013 and 2018, she was part of the management team of the Munich Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) and completed a PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. In the past years, she has worked both as researcher as well as a strategy consultant. Her field-experimental research on the impact of female role models received multiple international awards.
Laura Bechthold ist Professorin für Technology Assessment & Cultural Management an der Technischen Hochschule Ingolstadt. Sie hat Wirtschafts-, Kultur- und Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften an der Zeppelin Universität, der Universität Maastricht, der LMU München und der UC Berkeley in Kalifornien studiert. Zwischen 2013 und 2018 war sie am Münchner Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) tätig und hat parallel am Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb promoviert.
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