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PUBLPOL 134: Ethics On the Edge: Business, Non-Profit Organizations, Government, and Individuals (ETHICSOC 234R, PUBLPOL 234)

The objective of the course is to explore the increasing ethical challenges in a world in which technology, global risks, and societal developments are accelerating faster than our understanding can keep pace. We will unravel the factors contributing to the seemingly pervasive failure of ethics today among organizations and leaders across all sectors: business, government and non-profit. A framework for ethical decision-making underpins the course. The relationship between ethics and culture, global risks (poverty, cyber-terrorism, climate change, etc.) leadership, and the law and policy will inform discussion. Prominent guest speakers will attend certain sessions interactively. A broad range of international case studies might include: Ebola; Facebook's mood manipulation research and teen suicides from social media bullying; Google's European "right to be forgotten" and driverless cars; Space X (Elon Musk's voyages to Mars); ISIS' interaction with international NGOs; sexual assault on U.S. university campuses and in the U.S. military; the ethics of corporate social responsibility (through companies such as L'Oreal, Whole Foods and Walmart); corporate and financial sector scandals; and non-profit sector ethics challenges. Final project in lieu of exam on a topic of student's choice. Attendance required. Class participation important (with multiple opportunities beyond speaking in class). Final project in lieu of exam. Strong emphasis on critical thinking and testing ideas in real-world contexts. There will be a limited numbers of openings above the set enrollment limit of 40 students. If the enrollment limit is reached, students wishing to take the course should contact Dr. Susan Liautaud at susan11@stanford.edu. The course offers credit toward Ethics in Society, Public Policy core requirements (if taken in combination with Public Policy 103E), and Science, Technology and Society and satisfies the Ways of Thinking requirement. The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduates will not be at a disadvantage. *Public Policy majors taking the course to complete the core requirements must obtain a letter grade. Other students may take the course for a letter grade or C/NC.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER
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