Responsibility for an Innovative Future
Marcus Specht (Technical University Delft) & Karl Ledermüller (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
August 26, 2019 at 8:00:00 AM
HEIs provide education, original research outputs
and interact as an institution with society. Thus, HEIs for centuries have played
a crucial role in setting up environments where innovations can prosper.
However, this influential position comes with great responsibility. Schumpeter’s
idea of creative destruction describes how innovation necessitates continuous
reconfiguration. The debate as to whether HEIs should take up greater
responsibility concerning their impact on people, ideas and technology is still ongoing. Therefore, this Forum Track addresses the following aspects relating to ‘Responsibility for an
innovative future’ in the institutional context:
HEIs as providers of education have an impact on students.
• What does it mean to help students to become responsible and critical people with integrity?
• Why should HEIs also focus on responsibility/integrity of their students/graduates?
• How can students be taught to become responsible members of society in order to succeed in the future?
• How can HEIs create resilient systems of innovations in which students play an important role?
HEIs as providers of research have an impact on theories, methods, technology and the way knowledge is
• What does it imply that HEIs are responsible and innovative?
• Is there a need for a debate of responsibility and vs. innovation?
• How can responsibility and innovation dimensions be addressed in research (e.g. in research ethics, usage
HEIs as a provider of applied research outcome have an impact on industrial developments (Third Mission)
• What role do HEIs play in causing prosperity in a particular economic area?
• Why should HEIs focus on the responsibility and innovation dimension when transforming industries and
• How can universities take responsibility for industrial and technological developments?
• How can HEIs keep their unique quality by balancing industrial needs and societal impact and scientific
HEIs have an impact on political systems (e.g. through their alumni, professors, university-city cooperations…)
• What role do HEIs have when it comes to the question of responsibility and future developments?
• Why should HEIs contribute to creating a responsible and innovative future?
• How can universities help to transform political systems into more responsible and innovative system?
HEIs as providers of career opportunities have an impact on creating societies characterized by equal
opportunities (social [in]equality)
• What is the role of HEIs with regard to the social dimension?
• Why should HEIs focus on that dimension?
• How can universities strengthen their impact on social equality?
HEIs as organizations (Infrastructure, Organizational Development)
• What HEI strategies focus on aspects of responsibility and/or innovation?
• Why should HEIs as organizations focus on responsibility and innovation for future generations?
• How can an HEI Infrastructure be responsible and innovative at once?
• How can staff and faculty take part in the creation of responsible future innovations?