Code of Conduct

As of: May 1, 2020

The Collective Incubator sees its mission in initiating, professionalizing and rewarding student commitment and entrepreneurship at RWTH Aachen University and in the wider environment. It encourages and supports engagement in social, technical, scientific and educational areas. Its main goal is to increase the social impact that is achieved at the RWTH Aachen University and FH Aachen.

For this purpose, the Collective Incubator provides the platform on which the community members — student initiatives, start-ups and other groups — live and grow. Its main task is to connect the different entities among each other, to establish contact to scientists and corporates and to serve the needs and interests of its community in the best possible way. The present Code of Conduct has been given to itself by this community. It represents the basis on which the members want to interact among each other and with others.

Code of Conduct

At Collective Incubator, we aim to generate social and technological innovations, to offer personal learning perspectives, and most notably gain a social impact. In achieving this goal we support each other, as entities and as people.

This Code of Conduct provides guidelines for all members of Collective Incubator’s community, including companies and people. These guidelines address both the things we do and the things we don’t do—as good actors in the world and as productive members of our community.

Community members of the Collective Incubator must hold themselves to the highest standards. We recognize that each of us is an ambassador for our universities, the Collective Incubator and for the landscape of student initiatives and start-ups as such. Integrity in each of our entities is central to protecting our reputation for each other and for future projects. As part of the Collective Incubator community, we realize that we are living in public and need to act appropriately at all times. Therefore, those who do not abide by this Code of Conduct will be excluded from the Collective Incubator community and will no longer have access to the associated benefits.

The Collective Incubator Code of Conduct revolves around three key principles:

  1. We build, maintain and foster a strong community based on collective intelligence.
  2. We act with integrity.
  3. We treat others with respect.

We build, maintain and foster a strong community.

  • We help others whenever possible. We are all busy, but when the ask is sincere and realistic, we respond and help. We are respectful of each other’s time and are clear and focused in our requests.
  • We respond quickly. We make every attempt to prioritize and respond to requests from fellow community members, ideally within two business days.
  • We deliberately create a virtuous cycle. We proactively work to give back to the ecosystem by giving first to others in our community with no specific expectations of return.
  • We appreciate the help of others. No one goes it alone – student initiatives and start-ups are team activities. We express our appreciation for the help of our customers, mentors, and others that makes our success possible.
  • We respect “no” as an answer. If another member says no to a request, we respect their decision.
  • We share talent and business opportunity. When we become aware of good opportunities that we choose not to pursue directly, we share them with others in the community.

We act with integrity.

  • We are honest and transparent. If we say something either publicly or privately, then we believe that it is true. We do not intentionally omit important and relevant factual information in an effort to deceive others. We strive to be clear and transparent in our communications.
  • We protect sensitive information. When we are entrusted with sensitive, confidential, or personal information we use appropriate measures to secure it. We respect requests for privacy and confidentiality.
  • We communicate with our fellow members. We will keep our profiles up to date, inform the community about our key activities and invite it to our public events.
  • We disclose known conflicts of interest early. We err on the side of too much disclosure.
  • We do not steal assets or content. We encourage and respect independent, innovating thinking. We do not plagiarize content from anyone.
  • We are responsible with controlled substances. If consuming alcohol, we do so responsibly and in moderation. Alcohol is never provided to minors. We do not drive under the influence of any legal or illegal drug. We do not distribute, use, or operate under the influence of illegal drugs (defined by local or federal law) while participating or engaging in any Collective Incubator program or event.
  • We abide by all local and federal laws and ethical standards. We do not do business with bad actors. This includes in particular contracting with or accepting donations from actors in the fields of armaments, gambling, tobacco or pornography as well as any form of illegal activity. We are careful to do business only with lawful parties and avoid actors known for human rights violations.
  • We do not pay or accept bribes or kickbacks. We do not engage in any form of corruption. We act with integrity in our dealings with others and strictly prohibit corrupt activities.

We treat others with respect.

  • We commit to non-hostile, open, and welcoming workplaces. We intentionally create workplace environments where members, employees, partners, customers, and visitors feel accepted and free to express their opinions, concerns, and needs with an expectation that they will be heard and respected. We communicate professionally and appropriately at all times.
  • We don’t tolerate illegal discrimination or harassment in any form. We will quickly exclude community members who do this and train our members to recognize and address bad behavior.
  • We are committed to diversity and inclusion. We are committed to building inclusive work environments that reflect and value the diversity of people and cultures found in the world, which we believe leads to better entities.
  • We stand up for others. We report violations and we appropriately intervene in situations when we witness violations of this Code.
  • We are reachable and responsive. We enable standard forms of communication so that anyone doing business with us can have a reasonable expectation of receiving a response in a timely fashion.
  • We participate in both offline and online forums with respect. We don’t cause or participate in flame wars online. We participate in respectful discourse in all forums. We do not comment anonymously or with false identities.
  • We respect our legal agreements. We follow the spirit and intent of our legal agreements.
  • We keep our promises. If we commit to do something, we do our best to do it. If we can’t keep our promises for some reason, then we strive to make it right in any way possible.
  • We avoid gossip. We don’t share disparaging comments and rumors about others. We are constructive in our feedback and always provide it directly to the individual or company to which it pertains.

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