Ethics is a pain

by | Dec 13, 2020 | Change, ICT4D |


“Just because we can do that, should we?”

“What about the potential harm | bias it would cause?”

“Can we collect less…?”

“How does this align with our values?”

“Do we understand how the algorithm | technology works?”

When we consider digital ethics often our questions are viewed as being negative, slowing things down, being a pain. When ethics are seen to be an ‘add-on’ it is perceived negatively and often received with a sigh.

Shifting it to being part of the design, in built in the culture is extremely difficult work. Most days I’m uncertain it is even possible. The only approach I know is drip by drip by drip, showing up, asking questions, showing the possibilities, the options. Showing how risk can be lower and benefits grown.

Saying ‘no’ is one thing, often relatively easy. But, showing up with alternatives is necessary, no essential. And generous, kind creativity and perseverance are critical qualities.

What ideas do you have? I’d love to hear from you, so please share in the comments.

Photo by Charles Forerunner


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