There is growing interest and importance for responsible research and innovation (RRI) among academic scholars and policy makers, especially, in relation to emerging technologies such as nanotechnology. It is also to be noted that, although the design thinking approach has been around since 1960s, there is renewed interest in this approach to innovation with an increasing number of related publications over the last couple of decades. Furthermore, it is currently introduced in a number of schools and community projects. However, there is a gap in bridging design thinking approach to RRI and this chapter attempts to address this need.
This chapter aims to show that design thinking approach is potentially conducive to ethical (responsible) technological innovation especially within emerging and converging technologies, due to its emphasis on human-centered design and other core attributes such as empathy – although it poses many challenges to implement.