KIE and Ethics Lab Selected to Present at SXSW EDU 2018

The KIE and Ethics Lab were selected to present at next year’s SXSW EDU conference. The conference, taking place in Austin, Texas March 5-8, aims to promote innovation in learning by hosting a community of forward-thinking stakeholders with a shared goal of impacting the future of teaching and learning.

The KIE’s workshop, titled Design Tools for Creative Ethics Education, seeks to use tools from design and ethical theory to introduce participants to a set of activities designed to develop students’ moral imagination and creative confidence. The session will use tools honed and implemented in Ethics Lab and make them accessible to all educators. Elizabeth EdenbergJonathan Healey, and Nico Staple will present on behalf of the KIE and Ethics Lab next spring.

This year’s conference includes four days of educational sessions, in-depth workshops, mentorship, film screenings, startup events, and policy discussions. SXSW EDU is a component of the South by Southwest (SXSW) group of conferences and festivals. SXSW is an internationally recognized series of events known for gathering creative professionals for various seminars, discussions, and workshops.

The selection process is competitive. After submitting a proposal for a workshop, SXSW EDU uses a two-step, digital crowd-sourced platform called PanelPicker to select the year’s panelists and speakers. More than 1,400 proposals were submitted this year, with only 220 sessions making the final cut, including the KIE. The SXSW EDU Advisory Board, staff, and the greater community review all submitted proposals and select the final set of speakers and workshops for the event.

This summer, Ethics Lab student Danielle Huang attended UC Berkeley’s summer course in landscape and urban design at their Center for Environmental Design (CED). This week, the program wrapped up with final crits, where Danielle exhibited her work: “Channeling Light,” a landscaping project designed to improve the pedestrian experience at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.

From the project description: “Lake Merritt’s Necklace of Lights provides beauty and safety for pedestrians and bikers. Utilizing natural light, the Channeling Light master plan transforms bleached, over-exposed lots into fields of warm, powerful color. The solar experience will demonstrate the vastness and awe of nature while also providing an artful display of lights.”

View photos from Danielle’s crit night above. Read more about the program here.

One of the student projects we’re most excited about comes from Caitlin Cleary, Andrew Green, Noah Martin, and Caitlin Tompkins. The team began their work in 2015’s Science & Society: Global Challenges course. Since last fall, the team has developed The Invasive Hitlist — a series of field guides designed to create a culture of eco-positive recreation that benefits the ecosystem, rather than harming it; the first entry in the series centered on designing an innovative response to combat the growing population of invasive Northern Snakehead in the rivers surrounding Washington D.C. The booklet addresses the global challenge of invasive species, with the goal of inspiring local action and raising awareness. Their second entry in the series The Invasive Hitlist: Origins, is forthcoming following beta testing.

The team’s hard work paid off this year, earning them a commendation in the Undergraduate Bioethics Showcase. The series has also been a hit in several external communities, with demonstrated interest in the product as an educational and informational tool from both the Bureau of Land Management and the Fisheries for Veteran’s Project. The student team has leveraged their talents to make early deals with both organizations–gaining access to contributing researchers, a critical mass of species information, and potential bulk product orders, all while maintaining creative control of the product design and development.

All of the books produced to date have been produced by hand entirely in Ethics Lab. We plan to continue mentorship and support of the Hitlist project while developing more concrete plans to guide the final stages of incubation for Lab-developed projects.

Learn more on the Invasive Hitlist website »

Empathy Mapping for #tbt

Adapted from the 2014 run of our Introduction to Bioethics MOOC, this guided exercise walks you through empathy mapping, a collaborative tool individuals and teams alike can use to gain a deeper insight into the wide variety of ways in which a person might interact with an experience. In this particular exercise, you’ll get into the head space of a patient whose consent is required for a particular medical treatment–and work through what that patient might be thinking, feeling, hearing, saying, and doing if they were in this medical situation.

Check out the link above for step-by-step instructions on trying this exercise yourself. Share reflections, pictures or audio of your session or your conclusions, and more with us by tweeting @EthicsLab, or sharing on our Facebook page–we want to know how it goes!

Ethics Lab to Host IBC Post Session on June 11

The lab team can’t wait to welcome a new cohort of participants from this summer’s Intensive Bioethics Course to the lab for a research ethics post-session.

Facilitated by lab designers and led by lab co-founder and Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Maggie Little, the session will be held from 9am–1pm. It is capped at nine participants (just three spots remaining for this year!) and last year’s cohort was a good mix of physicians, clinicians, and ethics board and IRB leaders.

We tweak the format a bit each year, but both the morning and early afternoon sessions involve some lecture material on the ethics of clinical research, and collaborative creative sessions led by our designers. There is no need to come prepared with a specific ethical quandary; we provide prompts for discussion, though those discussions are always enriched by learning more about the lived experiences of the professionals who participate in the session.

You can read a bit more about last year’s session here!

As a continuation of the partnership that kicked off in June 2015, Ethics Lab hosted students and teachers from Kent Place School and Trinity Hall for a two day Ethics in Action design jam to develop projects that tackle ethical issues related to food.

Over the course of two cupcake-fueled days, students presented personas, mapped persona ecosystems, prototyped products and services, and responded to critiques.

The design jam was a blast — check out more photos and coverage on Storify.

A snapshot from EthicsLab’s week in New Jersey, helping to lead Ethics in Action at Kent Place Schools. On day one, teams of participating high school students are introduced to design thinking, ethical decision-making frameworks, and some core issues in the ethics of food.


image credit: Lisa Yokana

Participants in this year’s Intensive Bioethics Course at Georgetown (41 years strong!) were invited to sign up for a post-session dedicated to issues in research ethics.

Designed for clinical researchers and others whose work brings them face-to-face with moral issues in gathering medical research, and facilitated by EthicsLab designers, the full-day workshop used design-based inquiry to explore problem contexts and scenarios drawn from real cases. Participants used empathy maps to articulate issues in informed consent, prototyped a tactile decision aids for enrollment in two different types of clinical trial, talked about exploitation and coercion in research in resource-poor settings over lunch, and finished the day with some famous local cupcakes.

Check out our Twitter feed for a record of live event coverage!