1912 WU RI ConferenceThe WU Vienna Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR) organized the 1st Research Conference on Responsible Innovation (22-23 November 2019, Vienna). The two-day conference brought together internationally recognized scholars from various fields and disciplines to reflect on the nature, drivers, and outcomes of Responsible Innovation.

Written by Günter K. Stahl, Christof Miska, Milda Žilinskaitė

The world is facing economic, social, and environmental challenges of huge proportions. It is clear that tackling the Grand Challenges of our time, such as the ones reflected in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), requires concerted efforts by national governments, policy makers, research institutions, business organizations and civil society. Achieving the ambitious targets set out in the 2030 sustainable development agenda will not be possible without innovations in science, technology, law, and other fields on a scale commensurate with that of the challenges we face, as well as transformation of economic systems, business processes and, perhaps most importantly, individual mindsets.

The theme of the 1st STaR research conference held at WU Vienna was Responsible Innovation (RI). The term “responsible innovation” was initially used in a rather narrow way to explore the responsibility of science with respect to issues such as research on human subjects, intellectual property, research integrity, etc. However, more recent conceptualizations have taken a broader perspective by considering the variety of actors inside and outside the scientific system that might be involved in innovation processes that contribute to doing good and avoiding harm in the environmental, social and economic domains.

The breadth of the issues concerning RI was reflected in the conference program, in which different aspects of the institutional, economic, legal, and organizational environments were addressed by scholars from disciplines as diverse as international business and management, ecological economics, finance, legal studies, information technology, psychology, and philosophy.

For more photos from the event, visit this website.

As a final note, we are delighted to have received numerous inquiries about the conference from experts in industry and the public sector institutions other than academia. If you are interested in co-hosting a public lecture or debate on the topic of Responsible Innovation, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..