Our 2015 intern, Gabe, second from the right at an A2Ethics event
What is the internship?
Initiated in 2015 through the U of M LS&A internship program, A2Ethics offers an internship each year to local college undergraduate students interested in working on philosophical and ethics-based issues in a range of disciplines, from bioethics to city budgeting. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply, and no prior experience with philosophy is required — just an interest in nonprofit work and civic engagement. Interns can start during the summer or throughout the academic year.
Interns are an integral part of the A2Ethics team, working on projects ranging from policy research and data analysis to communications and graphic design. They often work independently, and have the opportunity to initiate projects to support A2Ethic’s mission. Internships are designed to align with the intern’s interest, as well as provide the opportunity to learn more about ethics research and implementation. Interns will work one on one with project leadership from A2Ethics’ board of directors throughout their internship. Internships are typically 10 hours a week and paid.
The internship offers valuable nonprofit work experience and aims to create a corps of individuals attracted to working for socially responsible, ethics-based enterprises. It contributes to the development of new societal roles and careers that make ethical claims and responsibilities, among them: social entrepreneurs, civic journalists, citizen scientists and public ethicists. At A2Ethics.org, we talk a lot about civic ethics and about learning to be civic ethicists. We are, in fact, preparing the groundwork for imagining and developing a new field: civic and public ethics. We hope this internship can be one of the first steps in teaching individuals to do that work.
Prior intern projects:
Interns have worked on a range of projects with groups from high school students to graduate students, professors and community leaders, depending on our focus that year.
Our 2015 intern was a part of our driverless car project, as well as setting up the U-M Ethics Bowl team and a video notebook on the A2Ethics Board, working on:
- Communication and coordination with the U-M Philosophy Department to set up bowl team
- Social media posts on ethical questions and driverless cars
- Extensive research on the multitude of issues surrounding driverless cars
- Documentation of A2Ethics policies and practices
Our 2015 intern, Gabe, speaking at a A2Ethics event Our 2016 intern, Shoham, at the High School Ethics Bowl
Our 2016 intern was a part of our participatory budgeting project and inaugural case competition for high school students, working on:
- An extensively researched database of 200+ community organization, media, nonprofit, educational and grantmaker contacts
- An in-depth communications strategy for raising awareness among youth, college student and millennial outreach
- Policy briefs on implementing participatory budgeting in Ann Arbor’s socioeconomic landscape and mechanisms of deliberative democracy
- Interviews with policy experts and other individuals engaged with participatory budgeting
- Researched and acquired judges for case competition, as well as sent out promotional material to encourage submissions for case competition
Tips for an ethics intern:
- Think about the whole. How might an initiative impact all the different groups in your community, especially minority individuals?
- Ask yourself how transparent and open to engagement every project is to the community or communities it’s affecting — do they have the tools to know what’s happening and contribute meaningfully?
- Consider the bigger picture. What impacts might an initiative have beyond what it’s intended to do, especially long-term?
Our 2016 intern, Shoham, with members of the A2Ethics board and volunteers after an event