Ethical Digital 25th September - 1st October
We had Digital. Now we have Ethical Digital. Whether it’s guarding against cyber risk, misuse of data and opaque AI-powered decisions, or building trust in automation and autonomous systems, ethics is – or should be – an explicit requirement of the digital leadership agenda.
Business leaders have always held responsibility for resolving complex ethical choices by setting an organization’s vision and making strategic decisions. As traditional organizations become technology driven, these challenges are exacerbated by increasing layers of abstraction and automation touching every part of a business from operations and delivery to product development and HR practices. Leaders are called upon to consider ever more complex conflicting interests, balancing the risks and rewards of designing Ethical Digital technology to not just improve organizational performance, but also contribute more broadly to society.
Business and policy decisions have become data-driven, meaning ethical know-how is as essential to assessing business impact as understanding organizational change or technology policy.
Ethics has moved from the realm of moral philosophers to computer programmers. It is now seemingly routine for Silicon Valley and other corporate executives to defend their record on ethical issues including privacy, data, tax, competition, diversity, inequality and employment. For technology-driven businesses, today’s reputational risks have become tomorrow’s market pressures in the battle for Defending Digital1. Quite simply, ethics is table stakes for organizations who want to win in the 21st century.
Focusing the ethical lens
Our Ethical Digital study tour will be centred in London and New York. The home of the digital revolution may be Silicon Valley, but for Ethical Digital the gravitational centres are different. Both these hubs share a unique mix of innovation capital; regional, national and international policy frameworks; and robust academic and privately funded research institutions all focused on ethical automated decision systems. These are the key factors which give London and New York the right conditions to incubate what will become common practice for Ethical Digital.
London, in particular, is leading the way on driving regulatory and policy frameworks, with the UK’s stated goal of crafting policies that have an outsized impact on global behaviour in the same way that GDPR has impacted privacy practices far beyond the EU’s borders.
New York, also taking legislative strides ahead of the rest of the nation in terms of algorithmic auditing, has also long been the home of a different ethos to capital investment than Silicon Valley which includes some of the earliest and most active firms focused on reaping the rewards of investing in underrepresented groups.
At the start of this tour, delegates will be facing questions such as:
- Where do you start? What’s your scope & how do you prioritize?
- How do you realize financial & cultural gains from ethical technology use?
- Who is governing ethical implications & what process is right for your organization?
- Risk vs reward: how do you balance conflicting ethical concerns?
- How do you keep up with emerging practices?
- How do you create a sustainable culture of Ethical Digital?
By the time we wrap up, delegates will be equipped with the tools to identify possible ethical strategies and match these to the maturity of technological components, choosing the right ethical approach at the right time.