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14 Apr

Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation – Applications invited

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The Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition and the World Forum for Ethics in Business, in association with the German Patent & Trade Mark Office, the Peter Löscher Chair of Business Ethics at the Technical University of Munich, and the European Patent Office, are organizing a series of conferences titled the ‘Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation.’ The conference is being organized from 23rd June 2017 to 27th June 2017 at Munich, Germany. The 1st Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation would comprise of two segments:

  1. The World Youth Forum for Ethics in Innovation from 23-25 June 2017 being hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition, Munich; and
  2. The multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder conference on Ethics in Innovation (EII Conference) from 26-27 June 2017 being hosted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, Munich.

The first Munich Conference on Ethics in Innovation would seek to answer several fundamental questions that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries and call for an open, multi-disciplinary, and multi-stakeholder discussion of these fundamental questions. Day 1 of the conference will outline the most fundamental questions of ethics and innovation from the perspective of disciplines and discourses that affects all segments of human life.

Day 2 will focus on issues of ethics and innovation in a specific field, namely, information and communication technologies, including means of promoting equitable and inclusive innovations in the ICT sector globally.

The objective of this conference would be to provide an in-depth and practical understanding of the importance of ethics in innovation. The WYF or World Youth Forum is also looking to create an open platform for university students (undergraduate, masters, Ph.D.) and young professionals from across the globe to voice their message to the world’s top decision makers in today’s global environment, and to the world community at large. This is certainly one of the best initiatives taken up in recent times.

In order to participate in the WYF 2017, applicants must apply beforehand by filling out an application form available on and send the same to the email address provided here – [email protected]. The application must be accompanied by the applicants updated CV and a written letter of motivation of no more than 700 words or a video recording of no more than 2.5 (two and a half) minutes that describes the applicants motivation behind applying for WYF 2017 and why the applicant believes that he /she is an appropriate candidate.

While the deadline for sending the applications for local resident applicants is on or before May 10, 2017, overseas applicants who require a visa to travel to Munich are advised to send all application materials by or before April 20, 2017.

The top 5 applicants are likely to receive a scholarship from the Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition, covering flight and accommodation expenses for the duration of the forum and conference.

The eligibility criteria to participate in the World Youth Forum is as listed below:

  • Applicants must either be registered students (at the bachelors, masters or PhD level) at any recognized/registered academic institution in any country (student ID and evidence of student status would be required for the confirmation of selection) OR
  • Applicants must be young scholars/professionals in the age group 18 – 33 years. All students/young professionals from any background, including students from the following disciplines/backgrounds, may apply for participation:
    • Law, including intellectual property law and patent law
    • Management, including business management, business ethics, IP management
    • Information and Communication technologies (including engineers, IT students, researchers & professionals)
    • Governance and Political Science
    • Media & communications, including journalism

It is important for all applicants to note that only completed applications submitted by or before May 10, 2017 will be evaluated. Overseas applicants who need a visa to visit Munich, Germany are advised to submit their applications by April 20, 2017. All selected overseas candidates will be notified via email or phone by May 10, 2017 (so as to permit them to apply for a visa). All selected European applicants will be notified via email or phone by May 25, 2017.

For any information or queries, applicant may write to [email protected] or Ms. Mrinalini Kochupillai on [email protected]

Concept note for the Munich Conference Series on Ethics in Innovation:

Here is the concept note Max Planck Institute shared with us:

“What is considered ‘ethical’ and ‘innovative’ varies from person to person, culture to culture, and even from industry to industry. This difference in perception may, at first glance, seem to be of interest only from a purely academic perspective. In reality, however,it  plays a crucial and practical role in ensuring a healthy and balanced public debate, which, in the end, can influence all segments of human life, including the approach to education, the focus of scientific research efforts, the framework of laws and policies, and even the flow of capital at the level of societies, communities, countries and regions. 

It is perhaps no wonder, therefore, that despite widespread globalization, even in the 21st century, it is not corporate profits alone that drive the direction and success of an innovation. Diverse ethical views, including socio-cultural norms, social or individual history and the historical evolution of world views predominant in various regions of the world, all play a significant role in determining the direction and goals of innovation in various societies or communities on the one hand, and the manner in which these innovations are viewed, disseminated and used around the globe, on the other.

Ethical issues and dominant world views emerging therefrom, broadly speaking, may often also guide the adoption of laws and regulations associated, inter alia, with testing, adopting, disseminating, using and even patenting of certain types of innovations, to the exclusion of others. Yet, in the 21st century global village, with the confluence of diverse cultures through immigration, job hunts and growing frequency of inter-cultural marriages, it is necessary to re-think the fundamental understanding that we as a human society have of the terms ‘innovation’ and ‘ethics’ as such, and of their relationship with one another in narratives employed at national and international debates linked with innovation”

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