We have created five paper tools to help guide discussions about ethics in connected technologies. These paper tools were developed to complement the Ethical Stack, but can be used on their own to achieve a similar mapping on paper. We recommend that you print these tools on A3 size paper for best results.
The tools were made through extensive research, co-creation and design process led by CIID Research in close collaboration with ITU, LSE and ORG as part of the VIRT-EU project.DOWNLOAD ALL TOOLS
The “State” tool is designed to support small groups across teams or within teams to identify their mutual set of ethical values for the product they are building together. This work of identification, articulation and negotiation of a shared set of ethical values can be especially meaningful at the beginning of the process of working on a product, in order to set an intention and a “guiding star” for subsequent decisions.
Gather your team to articulate your ethical values as individuals and as a group in relation to your product development process.
- Duration: 30 minutes
What If Everyone In the World (WIEITW)
“What If Everyone In The World” is an exercise that requires participants to imagine what might be the best possible outcome of their product or service according to many – wild success and popular use. This exercise reflects on the good, bad, and weird impacts that such success might have, creating a space for the fears or worries that are often brushed aside in the race for profit. After noting a few scenarios across these different branches, the exercise prompts participants to brainstorm ways to support/prevent/mitigate the most or least desirable impacts, respectively. This process is, in the end, a way to foresee future challenges and make brainstorm high-impact solutions in the present.
Work out the implications of your ethical challenges, assessing the roots of the challenge and ideating options to address the challenge.
- Duration: 60 minutes
The “Options” template is designed for creators to address the multiple facets that most decisions represent. Instead of treating decisions as flat, we encourage participants to map out the arguments that various individuals or stakeholders may hold and connect these arguments back to how they do or do not align with the ethical values identified in the “State” tool. This template does not generate an answer as to which option should be taken; it is meant to structure the discussion necessary for a group to assess and decide amongst themselves.
Facilitate a discussion and evaluation of different ideas you came up with when working through the ethical challenges and/or WIEITW.
- Duration: 30 minutes
The “Reflection” tool can be used successively throughout the product development process. After a group has identified what they believe to be their ethical values, they may set periodic internal check-ins on these values by using the “Reflection” wheel. The “Reflection” wheel can be used to mark how well they think they are actually doing to stand up for their values thus far in the product development choices, ideally leading them to notice which values they either cannot truly support because of value conflicts or because of unrealistic expectations within their group. This wheel is also recommended for the final step of the Ethical Stack – which will already have opened various ethical challenges and conflicts for the participants.
Check-in with your “North Stars” – the values that you had identified at the beginning of your ethical stack – and try to be realistic about how well you can align with them.
- Duration: 20 minutes
The “Map” tool is a paper-based version of the Ethical Stack’s digital steps of collecting the many elements of your product in one “stack” and mapping the connections between each element as well as the ethical values your group seeks to embed in the product. This tool is most useful once you are through the prototyping phase and have a clear idea of how you will develop your product technically. It is designed to support your overall team to get on the same page in terms of what you are building, for whom, where, and why.
Lay out the stack of the product that you are working on and cut across the silos of your company, getting on the same page about the what and the why.
- Duration: 30 minutes
Immerse participants in a group process to negotiate difficult decision-making when building connected devices.Learn more
Develop a shared language about ethics and help participants secure an appropriation of policy developments.Learn more