Ethics by Design: Mastering Ethical Principles for Businesses in Transformation

Ethics by Design started as a workshop but became much more: a meeting point between digital innovation and ethics. This Master Class, created in collaboration with Trine Falbe, allowed participants to explore methods and practical tools for integrating ethics into the core of their innovative projects.

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Written by
Claudio Guerra
Ethics by Design, a Master Class by Tangible and Trine Falbe.

In a rapidly evolving world where technology and design play an increasingly central role, it's crucial to stop and think about their ethical impacts.

Ethics by Design, a master class that exceeded all expectations, embodied this spirit and brought together brilliant minds from around the world. Together, they explored how to transform ethics from a theoretical concept into a practical and fundamental element of digital innovation, actively influencing decision-making processes.

This full-day workshop, born out of deep insights and collaboration between us at Tangible and Trine Falbe, was designed to fill a crucial gap in the world of design: the integration of ethics into everyday professional practice.
We decided to combine our common experiences and visions to make Ethics by Design a unique event, dedicated to creating fairer, more ethical and ultimately better digital products for everyone, including entrepreneurs.

The Master Class developed around common themes related to Trine's Ethical Design Handbook and our Ethical Compass, but what made it truly unique was that the whole day was tailor-made for the participants.
Every aspect of the event was carefully designed to ensure that participants could not only learn the concepts of ethical design, but also apply them to their work. Through this unique approach, Ethics by Design laid the foundation for changing the way professionals think about innovation, providing tangible tools and effective strategies for tackling complex challenges in a responsible way.

In a context where ethics and values have become key factors for consumers, innovating with an ethical approach offers a significant competitive advantage. Working with an ethical perspective leads to sustainable long-term profit, enhancing brand trust, customer loyalty, cost efficiency, and employee retention.

The Master Class: a practical and strategic approach

Screenshot della board finale di FigJam del workshop
Screenshot of the final FigJam board from the Ethics by Design workshop, featuring participant Polaroids.

Originally conceived as an in-person event, due to unforeseen circumstances Ethics by Design was transformed into a full-remote experience. This change allowed us to welcome participants from all over the world, demonstrating that ethical innovation knows no boundaries. The first edition attracted over thirty professionals from different parts of the world.

The Master Class combined lectures, group work, and interactive sessions to create a rich environment for learning and sharing. From inspiring keynotes to practical sessions, participants explored topics such as digital health and the ethical challenges of AI, providing concrete tools and insights for responsible design.
Throughout the intensive day, Ethics by Design proposed a "learning by doing" approach, engaging attendees in practical exercises based on real projects. The event offered strategies for managing complexity and guiding innovation, always with an ethical focus.

The aim was clear: to provide tools and skills to promote a culture of fairness, sustainability, and transparency and to demonstrate that integrating ethics into business not only strengthens moral values, but can also increase profits and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Tools and Methods

Using Figma's FigJam, an interactive digital whiteboard, participants worked in groups and shared ideas in real time. The event focused on a Digital Health project, tackling the ethical challenges of artificial intelligence through brainstorming and activities on custom-designed canvases.

Workshop Leaders

Trine Falbe and Nicolò Volpato from Tangible led the event, offering their experience and vision in Ethical Design. Their contributions gave participants a unique perspective on the applications of ethics in the present and future world.

Who attended?

The workshop was ideal for a wide range of professionals, including executives, designers, developers, data scientists, product managers, startup CEOs, and sustainability experts, all united by the goal of integrating ethics into their fields of work.

What did participants learn?

Participants gained:

  • The ability to manage complexity in innovation projects;
  • Techniques for integrating ethical thinking into projects from the outset;
  • Skills in using innovative tools to guide decisions aligned with ethical principles.

Carbon Neutral Event

We are proud to announce that the event has been certified as carbon-neutral. With the support of Up2You, we offset the CO₂ emissions of our event, ensuring that every aspect of Ethics by Design reflects our commitment to sustainability.
You can read more about this initiative in the "Event Impact Report".

Ethics by Design Master Class

The Future of Ethics by Design

Ethics by Design's journey doesn't end here. We look to the future and intend to continue to explore, discuss, and promote the integration of ethics into digital innovation. Whether there are new editions of the workshop or the movement evolves in other forms, our commitment remains to lead and inspire change towards more responsible and sustainable design practices.

Trine's reflection, "Ethical design is not more work, it's different work", resonated deeply during the event and perfectly captures the essence of Ethics by Design: it's not just about adding tasks to our daily work, but about changing our approach and priorities to positively impact design and technology.
In the weeks before the event, we also delved into the challenges and opportunities of Ethical Design in the business context in an open dialogue with Trine, which provided further food for thought.

We firmly believe that the time has come to integrate ethics into innovation in a concrete and tangible way. Although the need for an ethical approach to innovation is felt globally, it is often remains limited to theoretical discussions.

Ethics by Design is our pioneering step to turn these conversations into real and meaningful action. It's part of our DNA at Tangible, and we are honoured to have worked with Trine Falbe to bring this project to life.

We were the first to take this step in Italy, and we hope to inspire others to follow our example.

If you want to be part of this adventure and stay up to date with Ethics by Design, we invite you to stay in touch. Follow us on our LinkedIn and Instagram channels to stay updated on our future initiatives and join us in shaping a future where ethics and innovation merge to create a positive impact.