The digital ethics compass: How do we develop ethical technology?

As part of my work as Director of Digital & Future Thinking at Danish Design Centre, I have the pleasure of contributing to a highly important effort to try to tackle one of the biggest digital challenges of our time:

The global spread of digital technology that in many ways enrich people's lives with more efficiency, better service and easier distribution has shown to have problematic side effects. Some companies are started to understand that behaving properly and ethically is a business critical necessity. It seems to increasingly become a demand from consumers that products and services works transparently and creates a sense of safety in its use.

With the Digital Ethics Compass we intend to create a key to future ethical digitization. In collaboration with a range of Danish companies within fintech, health tech and mobility tech we strive to develop a simple and concrete learning program - supplemented by a toolkit - that empowers companies to use ethics as a foundation for value creation (including economic growth) instead of an add-on.

The concrete and hands-on based learning program will equip the companies with a language to talk about ethics, the tools and practice to work ethically and to develop ethical products and services. The compass will prompt the companies to work with practical problems, excercises and challenges, that train them to navigate the dilemma's of the digital world increasingly driven by data, algorithms and behavioral design.

The hope is that companies who use the program and implement the principles can be frontrunners in developing digital solutions that put people first and creates trust in the digital domain. This, we believe, is the key competitive edge of the future.

For the creation of the compass we have teamet up with companies from each of the sectors mentioned above: Corti (health tech), Danske Bank (fin tech) og Holo (mobility tech). In addition we have engaged a powerful advisory board of leading voices within relevant areas such as data ethics as well as a range of design partners (1508, Charlie Tango and Flip Studio) and Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).

The project runs until the fall of 2021.

To learn more about the project, go here: Det Digitale Etikkompas (Danish only).

Moreover, in December, we are hosting a series of webinars to expand the conversation around the theme of how to develop ethical digital technology - as well as to take input from practitioners. Join us (also in Danish only) through this link:

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