Learning to get practical with data ethics

By NATHAN KINCH

Our latest course, A Primer to Operationalising Data Ethics, has just gone live. It’s something we’re excited about for a lot of reasons.

Firstly, it enables us to make much of what we’ve been learning and doing simpler and more accesible for a broader and more diverse audience (most of our work has been with large organisations that have pretty decent budgets).

Secondly, we’re led to believe that our approach – skills based, behaviourally driven and centred around our defintion of a Data Ethics Framework – can play a considerable role in helping move beyond feel good statements (something plaguing the market today).

And thirdly – and I really hope this isn’t something folks miss – this platform and the organisation backing it up actually uses these approaches. We are doing what we say and saying what we do. You can learn more about that in our Key Decision Log.

In short, we speculate that there’s some value here. We believe this is something worth building upon.

So why would you take the course?

Let’s keep the answer simple (for now).

Right now, organisations are largely seen to be failing at ethics. In fact, there doesn’t even seem to be a correlation between the values organisation publish and their actions (Lesson 2 covers that in more detail). They talk big and deliver small. This is eroding trust and negatively impacting a lot of stuff in society.

As far as we can tell, this frustrates practitioners and leaders. Pretty much everyone we speak to and work with wants to do more and do better.

So, if you fall into this category – you’re motivated to do better and are kinda unhappy with the current state – this course is for you.

The cool thing about the course is that it has the potential to be useful for seasoned practitioners or folks just getting started. We’ve designed it that way. The social components really help with this. So yes, you’ll be learning in a way and context that works for you. But you’ll also be learning with a broad and diverse group of folks from all around the world. By working together and learning from one another, we are far more likely to make meaningful, socially preferable progress.

And lastly, before I hit you with a CTA to start the course, we see some of this as a bit of a call to arms. For instance, we show how we’ve used The Ethics Centre’s Ethics Framework (Purpose, Values and Principles) within the design of our organisation (Lesson 2). We demonstrate how we’re using super well established tools from companies like Atlassian to help make ethical decision making and action easier and more consistent (Lesson 3). In fact, we REALLY would love to see Atlassian take what we’ve done and make it available to their entire ecosystem free of charge. Imagine if ethical decision making was augmented out of the box for thousands and thousands of teams around the world… HUGE potential for positive impact right there. So although we’re trying to design for new, we’re working with stuff that exists today, stuff that pretty much everyone working in modern product development organisations is family with. We’re doing this because one of the biggest barriers to moving beyond principles is difficulty. We’re increasing the likelihood we do target behaviours by making those very behaviours much easier to do.

Free for the next two weeks

Yes, we’re still technically in an early Beta. You can sign up (“Join Beta”) and get started with this and other courses for free.

We’re excited to work with you. Hit us up with any questions you have.

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