The Ethics Project

GISME provides financial support and supervision for Georgetown professors and students to engage in the Ethics Project, a semester-long group project for students. The assignment is to “think of something good to do, and do it.” As a graded assignment in their ethics courses, Georgetown students must explain what they decided to do with their funding (if they chose to take it at all), why they thought it was worth doing, and demonstrate that they actually added value to the world. They must describe the problems they ran into along the way, how they resolved those problems, and what they learned from the project. The Ethics Project requires students to think and act like entrepreneurs and to bear the responsibility for their decisions. It presents students with real-world challenges and real-world consequences of their own making.

Students have produced a diverse range of projects. One group raised over $15,000 to help victims of the Mocoa landslides. Another started a philanthropic organization— Unsung Heroes—that has since opened chapters in multiple other universities. Another launched a highly profitable iPhone/iPad screen business. Still another helped teenage girls in the Gambia start their own successful business.