Ethics, Equality, and Technology

It was a real thrill to be at Dreamforce 2018. Especially as a key set of conversations took place on big themes for our societies around ethical use of technology, equality, and climate change. These sessions followed from announcements around Salesforce opening an Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology.

In my work with customers on Design and Innovation it’s always struck me how easy it is to get distracted from the core values, such as trust and equality, that we increasingly need to maintain in the world described below. When we’re busy trying to deliver big transformational programs the latest deadline, the pressure on costs, the newest change request, all add up. As the world keeps moving faster and faster we need vision and values alignment more than ever. We also need our moral compass all the time!

Here are a few of my #DF18 highlights on these big themes:

Start with diving into Technology and Society and how we can think and act in more humane ways: How To Stop Technology From Destabilizing The World

With its increasingly smart algorithms and impersonal platforms for speaking out in ways that we never would in person, technology exploits the finite limits and vulnerabilities of the human mind and erodes our capacity to address our global challenges. Tristan Harris, Co-Founder of The Center for Humane Technology, illuminates the existential threat that technology poses and share a framework for addressing this critically important challenge.

During his talk Tristan uses a powerful vision of humane technology:

Re-align technology with a 21st century understanding of human nature, with an honest view of our limits and vulnerabilities – while strengthening the social fabric so we can meet our global challenges.

Then it’s time to debate our responsibilities as leaders: Ethical Responsibility In The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Emerging technologies are greatly improving humanity – but left unchecked can also erode key pillars of society. What ethical responsibility do leaders have to ensure a safe, sustainable, and inclusive future for all? Listen to some of the worlds top experts from business, civil society, and religion in a discussion about the important new ethical questions being raised by technology and how leaders can respond.

Take a look into equality and leadership with four amazing leaders: CEOs Leading With Inclusion And Authenticity

Trailblazing CEO’s, Geisha Williams of PG&E, Oscar Munoz of United Airlines, and Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway share how they are innovating in business by leading with their full, authentic selves. Hear how their diverse experiences, unique perspectives, and commitment to staying true to their personal values helped them gain the competitive advantage and go on to become some of the most influential leaders in business.

Hear from inspirational advocates of Equality: Equality Keynote With Tracee Ellis Ross And Adam Rippon

Be inspired by this uplifting session with iconic Equality Trailblazers. Tracee Ellis Ross, actress, artist and award-winning star of the ABC comedy series Black-ish will talk about how she uses her platform to advocate for change. Named on the TIME 100 List of Most Influential People, Adam Rippon is an Olympic Bronze Medalist and LGBTQ Advocates. These Trailblazers talk about how they have overcome obstacles and battled stereotypes to become advocates for Equality.

Some ideas for ethical investments: Salesforce Impact Fund At Dreamforce

The Salesforce Impact Fund is a new $50MM fund in the Salesforce Ventures portfolio. The fund invests in mission-driven enterprise technology companies in education, sustainability, diversity + inclusion, and social sector tech. In this Salesforce LIVE segment, meet three inspiring CEOs of Impact Fund portfolio companies solving critical challenges in these areas.

Trailblazer Moment: The Sustainability Revolution with Al Gore

And finally things are continuing to change and businesses need to transform: How AI Will Drive Business Transformation

With successful AI deployment, companies can build considerable competitive advantage by elevating customer experiences while cutting the cost of doing business, but the real opportunity is for companies to rethink their entire business models. Richard Socher, Salesforce’s Chief Scientist, and Kai-Fu Lee, the Chairman of VC fund Sinovation Ventures (formerly President of Google China), dive deep into how AI will fundamentally reshape customer experience, industry dynamics, competition, and your business model.

In these times of great change, transformation is hard, innovation takes grit and determination as much as imagination.

“In conditions of constant uncertainty and change, there is tremendous need for leaders who take the initiative to identify solutions to problems in their earliest stages, and have the execution skills to follow through, mobilize others, and complete tasks.” Rye Barcott

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