Reflective Consensus Building

Michael Hoffmann

Supported by a grant from NSF’s Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies Program, the project “Fostering self-correcting reasoning with reflection systems” develops the Reflect! platform which is designed to organize reflective consensus building on wicked problems in small teams ( The platform is used in engineering ethics education in team projects that focus on problems connected to emerging technologies. Reflect! provides guidance for projects of various lengths, ranging from a few team meetings to an entire semester. Reflect! addresses the following ethical challenges:

  • How to formulate a problem? How to cope with the fact that it can make a substantial difference how problems are framed?
  • How to identify and take into account all those who might be negatively affected by a decision about the problem?
  • How to develop a proposal that can satisfy all interests, values, and needs of the stakeholders involved?
  • How to justify such a proposal so that the essential points of the deliberations on which it is based are clearly communicated?