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Stephen HIcks, Professor of Philosophy, Rockford University

Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University, Illinois, USA, Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, and Senior Scholar at The Atlas Society.

Entrepreneurship Ethics

Entrepreneurship is a value-intensive commitment. We love making money and want the freedom, power, and security it brings. Innovative products make us say—Cool! We want to play with our ideas and make dreams a reality. We don’t like being bossed around or being bored or passive—we want autonomy, challenge, and to get stuff done.
Do those value commitments come naturally or are they developed by choice and training? Are they healthy? Can they become too obsessive and interfere with work-life balance, win-win-relationships with others, and an overall meaningful life? Is an entrepreneurial life only a means to an end, or is it constitutive, i.e., both the journey and the destination?
Ethics sometimes has a reputation for being a nag: Don’t steal, renege, bribe, cut corners, be a jerk, etc. Yet ethics most fundamentally focuses on the positive: What is the good life? What is the role of productive work in finding or creating my purposes in life? Who must I become—that is, what beliefs, character, virtues, personality, habits do I need to acquire or emphasize—to be successful?
In this course we will develop our own philosophies of meaningful entrepreneurial life. Dreaming, envisioning, experimenting, judging, committing, persevering, producing, trading, and enjoying—all of them challenging and sometimes controversial intellectually, emotionally, and socially.



Each participant has the option to write an article with guidance and editorial comments from the instructor. Selected papers will be published, including opportunities to find coauthors and research partners from the Ideatrek community. 


Course fees are:             


Scholarships and partial fee waivers are available.  Other perks include participation in an innovation ethics workshop, skills development, mentorship, and full access to community events, projects, and resources. 


10 weeks, remote

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