This is how we solve the social dilemma


We’re been pretty critical of a lot of stuff going on in tech. We’ve called responsible innovation ethics washing. We’ve published extensively about the limitations of principles based approaches. We have tried a bunch of times to confront and constructively work through these issues with a broad and diverse group of influential stakeholders.

We’re honestly not doing this for shits and gigs (hopefully you get that phrase…). We’re doing this in an attempt to make progress towards an empowering and prosperous digital society, where people’s rights and freedoms are respected by design and where these very same rights and freedoms are enablers of innovation (not surveillance based business model constraints).

Whether this is working is a different story. But, let’s keep pushing the boundaries and see what sticks.

Recently I was asked to present a keynote at Microsoft Portugal’s Building the Future. It was a super event. There were 21,000 attendees and well over 150,000 presentation views in just three days. In my talk alone there was over 500 comments in the space of 19 minutes.

We received great feedback. We tackled some very challenging issues. We attempted to guide some follow on action. We even called out (politely of course) Microsoft’s CEO for issues of incentives misalignment that result from questionably valuable (for the ‘user’) usage metrics.

In short, it was a great experience. We trust it will further the conversation and better clarify how we can move beyond the status quo of today.

Full disclosure: The audio and visual is a little out of sync. Also, I make a bit of a boo boo at the start by saying something like, “… evening for those of you in the southern hemisphere like me.” Obviously that’s not how time zones work. Here’s to owning our mistakes and learning from them!