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Themes, Gaps

Through our desk research, interviews with experts and reviews with our partner anthropologists, we identified the following themes to examine + existing gaps in the research thus far.


When things break down, ethics come out / values are obvious

Responsibility chain

  • Components chosen - what are the positive and negative effects?
  • Within a company - who is “responsible” / who has “control” / who has agency / who has power?

Roles and vocabularies

  • Who are you and what do you do?
  • Different roles → different ways of talking about ethics
  • (marketing + engineers, company + investors)

Little e to Big E

  • When and why do we talk about ethics vs. Ethics
  • The gap(?) between talking about ethics and then making a decision that has Ethical implications


  • What is the design-dev process like?
  • What are the start-up’s process / phases?
  • Slow thinking
  • When does reflection occur? (generally)
  • When does “ethics” occur?

Visions → materiality:

  • What happens when you have to translate your ethical vision or what you think would be good into actual material decisions (networks, boards)


  • No cards
  • Open
  • Reflective
  • “Can I just have a coffee with you and talk about ethics?”
  • End user of your product brought to the center


What has yet to be figured out?

  • Desk research:
    • How have other products / kits been integrated, if at all?
  • Field research (workshops) →
    • What defines their phases of work? Process?
  • In order to integrate into their design-dev process, we need to know what it looks like.
    • Are there different phases of work?
    • What are the elements of their work?
    • When do they switch from development to requirements, debugging to structuring?
    • When do you order components / decide software platform?
    • Are they ever in a holding pattern? Do they sprint or have an even pace of work?
    • What tools do they use on a day-to-day basis? Weekly? Monthly? Etc.
      • What tool for “fixing bugs”? Do they go on stack overflow etc?
    • Is there a shared vocabulary across team members? What about departments?
    • What do they have “control” over in their work?
      • How do they see their own agency within the company / work?


    Ethics, Again