It’s hard to underestimate the impact of technology in our lives. Thanks to the technological breakthroughs of the past couple of decades, we’re connecting and collaborating seamlessly across the globe, there’s a revolution underway in healthcare, and we can access materials, products, and services from anywhere at the click of a button.
The trouble with tech
With digital technologies evolving at warp speed, we are increasingly dependent on tech companies being able and willing to design ethical solutions. Many technologies run on a highway of free data, we as users have more or less consciously handed over. However, ethics still seem to be the blinking “road work ahead”-sign that companies overlook, as they speed along. The spread of misinformation, political manipulation, state surveillance, and a growing addiction to digital gadgets and services are just some of the examples of technology taking the wrong turns.
A digital design challenge
The shape and function of digital solutions are ultimately a design challenge. Artificial intelligence is designed by human intelligence – including human bias and other limitations. Used the right way, design is a creative process centering around human needs and perspectives. As such, it presents a number of ways to develop more responsible digital products and services. At DDC, we work to find new ways of aligning ethics with design, and human needs with financial goals. One example is our Digital Ethics Compass, a toolkit to help companies explore and discuss ethical dilemmas at the earliest stages of the innovation process.
Ethics shouldn’t be a roadblock along the route to financial success. It should be a competitive advantage to the benefit of both businesses, users, and society.
Should we do it, just because we can?
Almost daily, we’re presented with stories or analyzes that point to digital downsides – bias, inequality, manipulation, and polarization.
As a society and as companies, we have the responsibility of ensuring that it is us, the humans, who control the technology – and not the other way around. And we can do just that.
With great partners, we’ve developed the tool the Digital Ethics Compass. Because ethics is not a legal requirement. Ethics begins where the law ends. Ethics is about asking yourself the question: Just because we can, should we? And that is why ethics is a competitive parameter.
This is where you as a private or a public company can differentiate yourself – positively. Our hope is that the tool will help you do just that.
Explore some of our previous and current projects:
The Digital Future Innovation Challenge
Drawing inspiration from the values and business models of seven companies, design students have four days to develop prototypes of what products can look like in the future — a future where digital technologies and solutions are characterized by their liberation for both people and the planet
Can’t get enough of design and innovation? We hear you. And we have you covered.
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