CFP: Addressing Innovation Ethics

Submission deadline: March 15, 2024

Topic areas


Overview: We invite abstract submissions from graduate and undergraduate students studying topics including but not limited to philosophy, business, and economics, and interested in examining ethical issues arising from technological innovation and the startup ecosystem. This interdisciplinary virtual conference aims to foster dialogue on how we can align innovation and investment with justice, empowerment, and conscience.
Background: Rapid technological advances are transforming society, enabling both immense opportunities and unprecedented risks.
However, dominant incentive structures often direct innovation towards priorities like growth, efficiency and control rather than collective benefit. This raises pressing ethical questions regarding the values and assumptions driving innovation trajectories.
Conference Themes: We encourage submissions engaging with the conference's core themes:

  • What constitutes ethical innovation and progress? How can we expand definitions beyond productivity and financial returns to incorporate holistic human development?
  • Who should lead and govern innovation? What are the responsibilities of influential stakeholders like investors, founders, and corporations?
  • How can we assess and distribute value equitably? What reforms would spread risks, rewards, and agency more fairly across contributors?
  • What cultural narratives and economic incentives require transformation to align innovation with empowerment? How can mindsets move beyond self-interest?
  • What policy, regulatory, and social movement changes could help democratize access to resources and steer innovation towards justice?
  • How can moral philosophy, diverse ethical frameworks, and wisdom traditions positively guide technological creativity?

These represent suggested themes rather than exhaustive topics. We welcome novel perspectives on reimagining innovation guided by ethics and conscience.
Abstract Guidelines: Please submit abstracts of 250 words outlining your proposed paper's core thesis, arguments, and contribution to rethinking innovation ethics. The strongest submissions will put forth informed, thoughtful arguments rather than well-intentioned opinions.
Abstracts from all disciplines are encouraged, but submissions should engage with philosophical issues and frameworks. Please include your name, email, university affiliation, and program on your abstract. All submissions should also include 1-2 sentence answers to the following questions:

  1. what counts as innovation?
  2. who should be innovating?
  3. how should we value innovations?

Deadline and Submission: We will accept 10 papers which will be presented over 2 days. We will work with selected participants to choose a day/time period that fits their schedules. We aim to host this virtual conference sometime between July 15 and August 15, 2023. Papers not accepted for presentation will be invited to submit their work to our substack, or other appropriate venues.
$2,000 in honorarium is being provided by our sponsors and will be distributed on a needs basis through a deliberative process governed by selected participants.
Please submit abstracts and any questions to [email protected] by March 15, 2023. Final papers will be due July 1 for presenters. We will notify selected participants by April 1. Accepted papers should prepare at least 2500 words and slides, both of which will be distributed to other selected presenters 2 weeks before the conference
We aim to spur imaginative interdisciplinary dialogue. Please help spread the word to colleagues - we look forward to your submissions!
Conference Sponsor:  Idea Trek, an organization supporting research and education on innovation ethics, is sponsoring this conference. Idea Trek manages an early-stage investment portfolio, operates businesses assisting mission-driven founders, and funds initiatives cultivating ethical innovation ecosystems.Idea Trek was founded by Roger Hunt, author of the book Innovation Ethics: Reframing the Investor Thesis, which examines aligning technology progress with justice and conscience. Idea Trek aims to catalyze interdisciplinary discussions on how we can steer innovation to benefit humanity holistically.We believe grappling with ethics is imperative as rapid technological changes shape society's trajectory. Our sponsorship intends to foster dialogue, build community, and empower students to lead examinations into innovation guided by moral wisdom. We invite rigorous arguments exceeding opinions to collectively expand our understanding of possibilities for purpose-driven innovation.Please visit to learn more about our organization’s ethos, portfolio, and programs supporting next-generation innovators and leaders committed to developing technologies for shared prosperity and flourishing. We look forward to advancing this vital discourse on innovation ethics together.
Financial Support:  We aim to make the conference accessible to all interested scholars regardless of financial constraints. Students with demonstrated financial need will be eligible for stipends after paper acceptance to support their attendance.Our mission is to empower early-career researchers tackling issues of ethics, innovation, and technology. We hope needs-based assistance enables outstanding thinkers from diverse backgrounds to contribute their vital perspectives so we can collectively advance our understanding of these important topics. Please apply!

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)


Custom tags:

#Business Ethics