Ethical Contract

Method Overview

Ethical Contract is part of the Ethics for Designers Toolkit consisting of a worksheet, designed for a team of designers and stakeholders to list their main ethical objectives, responsibilities, main design goal and sign to commit to these above listed items. This method continues based on the Ethical Disclaimer method.

Example of a completed worksheet. A template is available from the method website.

Getting Started

Materials: Completed Ethical Disclaimer Worksheet (links to another method), Ethical Contract Worksheet, pens

Participants: Team

Steps (from Gipsen, 2017):

Using the worksheet, follow the process:

  1. Explain your completed ethical disclaimer to all involved stakeholders.
  2. Go through the unethical situations and collect important ethical themes. Collectively define these themes for this project.
  3. Discuss who is responsible for each situation. Write everyone’s responsibilities down.
  4. Formulate three main ethical objectives everyone agrees on. Make sure everyone knows what they mean.
  5. Write down (an updated version of) the design goal as agreed upon by all stakeholders.
  6. Place your signatures to commit to the design goal and ethical objectives.

This methods microsite is based off of analysis which is available in a preprint manuscript. Feel free to review our methodology and other details! We welcome your comments and feedback ! Please also use this form if you would like to suggest a method as an addition to the collection!