Ethical & Responsible Tech

While the first generations of tech-for-good work took a solutionist approach to addressing existing problems with new technology, scholars and activists are driving growing awareness of the problems with technology itself.

By exposing the negative consequences, intended or otherwise, of tech, these communities draw attention to issues with tech-centric approaches. Not all of the projects here adopt an ethics lens in their work, but we use it here for simplicity’s sake.

Browse Responsible Tech Projects

Suggested reading:

  1. Platform coops – The cooperative organizational model has been around for centuries. Platform coops offer an alternative to extractive gig-economy labor platforms by providing workers with equity in the platform and/or decision-making power.

  2. Externalities of tech – Technologists’ and others applying tech to critical societal areas, from hospital data to policing to public engagement, risk introducing novel negative externalities in their attempts to ‘change the world’. More and more people are paying attention to the negative externalities that tech itself brings to our lives.

  3. Decentralization – The decentralization movement aims to limit the increasing centralization of the internet and digital resources into a small number of powerful platform companies. In doing so, they hope to promote free expression and resilience.

  4. Algorithmic transparency – These projects open “black box” algorithms up to expert and/or public audit by sharing inputs, rules, and other components of how the system makes its decisions.