This booklet was produced by the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Values, Ethics and Innovation, and the design funded by the University of Sheffield.
It was written by Hilary Sutcliffe, SocietyInside (council co-chair) together with Angie Hobbs, University of Sheffield, Ibo van de Poel and Emad Yaghmaei from the Technical University of Delft and thanks also to Larry Stone, BT India for the initial work on the risk approach.
We have designed this advice for start up companies and SMEs, particularly in companies
developing or using new and emerging technologies, in all countries, across all sectors.
Its aim is to provide a quick overview of how ethics can be discussed and managed in
organisations without massive resources, but where the issues can provide great opportunities if handled well, or potentially devastating risks if handled badly.
The technologies, and sectors using these technologies, are extremely diverse - including
nanotechnology in advanced materials, gene editing in life sciences or agriculture, robotics in manufacturing, internet of things in consumer products and data and artificial intelligence almost everywhere. Because of this, and the need to keep it short and compact, we have resisted using tech specific case studies, or providing frameworks or models for handling these issues. Each organisation will have its own systems and processes and will need to find their own way of dealing with them in the context of their sector, country, culture.
So our focus is on providing a general understanding of good practice approaches and ideas for the internal and external processes which are most likely to be successful.
Here are 5 highlights from the booklet to spotlight:
Ethics could be your biggest hidden commercial risk - so put it on your Risk Register
Find out what ethical issues matter to you
Start with values and work from there
Make it normal to discuss ethics and think about problems in advance
Be collaborative in revolving issues
Values, ethics and ‘the great reset’
Who is this booklet for?
Lead with values & ethics now
Thinking about ethics right now...
Difference between values and ethics?
Defining your Values
What is business ethics?
What ethical issues should I care about?
Put ethics on your risk register
Practice ‘competitive listening’
Make ethics part of everyday business
Make it normal to discuss ethics internally
Be collaborative in resolving issues
Engagement & openness earns trust
Framework for putting eithics into practice
Things to look our for
Ethics is a catalyst for innovation
(*) For more info about the booklet - you can read this interesting interview with Hilary Sutcliffe, by Szilvia Szabó, Managing editor | Business Spirit Platform and Profit with Purpose magazine