Responsibility-Driven Design

Through our work we would like to actively engage all actors to shape the self-driving society of tomorrow in a responsible way. In order to do so, we think it is crucial to exploit the power of design: a discipline able to extract meaningful insights from complex scenarios, translating innovation from conceptual values to practical solutions.

For our workshop in collaboration with the Design School at Politecnico di Milano, we conceived two tools in order to help students embed Responsible Innovation’s principles into the design of the self-driving society of the future. The encouraging results of the workshop (which are described in the white paper), convinced us of the richness of this approach that we called Responsibility-Driven Design and prompted us to share these tools with any professional, organization or university interested in using them.

The Responsibility Matrix for the Self-Driving Society

The Responsibility Matrix for the Self-Driving Society is a tool that helps embed responsibility into the process of innovation of autonomous transportation systems. By selecting different combinations of variables, innovators can use the matrix as a map to navigate new possible scenarios and ideas.

Pushing Responsible Innovation’s principles into the definition of new products and services can be beneficial both to society – by fostering more desirable outcomes – and to entrepreneurs – by highlighting a richer scenario of opportunities.

Self-Driving Society Responsibility Matrix

The Collingridge Positioning

The Collingridge Positioning help innovators, designers and policymakers reflect on how to calibrate their intervention, according to the degree of diffusion of a certain technology (in this case autonomous mobility systems). It is based on the famous Collingdridge Dilemma, theorized by David Collingridge in 1980. Its defining principle can be effectively summarized with the words of Collingridge himself: 

“When change is easy, the need for it cannot be foreseen; when the need for change is apparent, change has become expensive, difficult and time consuming.” – David Collingridge
Self-Driving Society - Collingridge Positioning


These tools must not be seen as definitive solutions but rather as first attempts to unify investigation and analysis with practice and experimentation. They can serve perfectly as an example of the ultimate goal set by the Bassetti Foundation in this field: to open the discussion and engage with multiple stakeholders and encourage them to work together towards a responsible future for a society immersed in autonomous mobility

We look forward to sharing these tools with any professional, organization or university interested in using them. 

DOWNLOAD the tools

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Creative Commons License
Responsibility Matrix for the Self-Driving Society & Collingridge Positioning by Fabio Besti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Self-Driving Society is a project by Giannino Bassetti Foundation in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano


Via Michele Barozzi, 4 20122 Milano, Italia

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Copyright ©Fondazione Giannino Bassetti, 2019. Designed with love by Fabio Besti Interdisciplinary Design

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