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Value-based Engineering (VBE) is standardized in ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-7000 Model Process for Addressing Ethical Concerns During System Design. It is a highly practical, tested and certifiable approach to human-centered engineering. It makes organizations aware of the human and social challenges but also supreme innovation opportunities inherent in their IT systems. It is a successor of Value Sensitive Design and provides tangible substance to those who commit to Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR). VBE provides a structured and transparent way to translate value principles into IT system requirements ensuring that product management and technical units collaborate towards stakeholder value, minimal risk and legal compliance. Read the snapshot article from the IEEE Technology & Society Magazine or, in German, our overview in Informatik Spektrum



Value-based Engineering (VBE) is a system development and life-cycle approach to IT innovation, but embedded in this are 10 principles:

1. Ecosystem Responsibility

Value-based Engineering organizations embrace responsibility for their technical ecosystem. They abstain from partnerships or external services over which they have no control and which they cannot access.

2. Stakeholder Inclusiveness

Value-based Engineering organizations envision and plan their systems in honest and open cooperation with an extended group of direct and indirect stakeholder representatives, including critical ones.

3. Context-Sensitivity

Innovation teams in Value-based Engineering organizations deeply understand the context of their systems’ deployment and anticipate its effects. In doing so they imagine what happened if one day they were a monopoly.

4. Value Identification with Moral Philosophy and/or Spiritual Tradition

Value-based Engineering organizations use moral philosophies for value elicitation, covering utilitarianism, virtue ethics and duty ethics; complemented by a culture-specific philosophical or spiritual framework from the region of the world in which a system is deployed.

5. Understanding values at depth

Value-based Engineering does not only elicit values from stakeholder concerns and context analysis, but delves deeply into them conceptually to gain a complete understanding of how they may play out in system deployment.

6. Leadership Engagement

Corporate leaders engage in introspection and support only those core values as future system principles that they would want to become universal and are therefore willing to publicly endorse.

7. Respect for Regional Laws and International Agreements

Value-based Engineering organizations respect that the ethical principles embedded in laws and signed agreements of target markets provide the outer boundary condition for their own action and therefore do not prioritize their own system values over and above these.

8. Willingness to renounce Investment

Value-based Engineering organizations actively consider not investing in a system if there are ethical grounds for such renunciation.

9. Transparency of the Value Mission

Value-based Engineering organizations publish an Ethical Policy Statement. This value-mission statement summarizes the value-priorities committed to in a system and is openly endorsed by organizational leaders. They also build up an Ethical Value Register that allows project management and auditors to recap over time what the value effects were that the system sought to cater to, and what levels of control were chosen by engineers to address likely value threats.

10. Risk-based System Design

Value-based Engineering organizations derive Ethical Value Quality Requirements (EVRs) for all core values they pursue, which then co-determine the long-term engineering roadmap. They seek to generally accommodate a “risk-thinking” in their established design and development processes.

Read more about the 10 principles in the preview chapter of the book on Value-based Engineering (DeGruyter, 2023).