ECS-66400 Stewardship for Responsible Innovation


Credits 1.50

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work1
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)M van den Berg
Lecturer(s)ir. ing. HJ Eppink
L Huijgen MSc
dr. VC Tassone
Examiner(s)dr. HJA Biemans

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

ECS-53506 Empowerment for Sustainability; ECS-51403 and/or ECS-65800 Intuitive Intelligence; ECS-67100 Supporting and Understanding Sustainability Transitions (SUST)


We live in turbulent times characterized by pressing social, environmental and economic challenges. Responsible Innovation is an emergent concept, increasingly considered crucial in order to tackle those challenges and to identify innovative solutions that are sustainable and ethical. Responsible innovation is a normative approach that allows us to reflect on the purpose of innovation, to care for the future and to be responsive to the challenges of our time in spite of their complexity. In this endeavor, nurturing stewardship capacities to shape innovatively sustainable social and environmental systems under conditions of uncertainty is needed. A stewardship perspective is about moral leadership oriented towards collective well-being rather than self-serving behaviors. This course aims to foster understanding about what responsible innovation entails and to support the cultivation of appropriate stewardship competencies. Especially, in this course students engage collaboratively in a 1 day responsible innovation project addressing a local social, economic or environmental challenge of their choice. They design and implement a responsible innovation plan to address the challenge while receiving peer and coaching support. Through this exercise students learn from each other and in action about stewardship for responsible innovation.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to:
- be able to understand stewardship & responsible innovation concepts and features;
- be able to understand and have practiced stewardship and responsible innovation competencies;
- have initiated, implemented and evaluated a process of responsible innovation of their own choosing.


Tutorials, dialogue, reflexivity exercises, feedback on peers, a 1 day action project.


Student performance will be assessed by a final presentation of the project.
In case the final presentation of the project is scored with less than grade 6, students are required to submit a final reflection paper on which they will be graded. The average mark for presentation and reflection (50%/50%) needs to be higher than 5.5.
Active participation is requisite. If you want to do the exam you need to participate in all classes.


A reader containing literature, websites and a study manual will be offered online.