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- Ethical OS Toolkit - a guide to anticipating the future impact of today’s technology
Ethical OS Toolkit - a guide to anticipating the future impact of today’s technology✎
Last modified on August 29, 2018
The Ethical OS is a joint creation of the Institute for the Future and Omidyar Network’s Tech and Society Solutions Lab.
No one can predict exactly what tomorrow will bring (although somewhere in the tech world, someone is no doubt working on it). So until we get that crystal ball app, the best we can hope to do is anticipate the long-term social impact and unexpected uses of the tech we create today.
It’s not necessary that we predict the future. Only that we get better at envisioning what’s possible in the future. The last thing you want is to get blindsided by a future YOU helped create. Seriously, that’s the worst.
So, ask yourself:
- If the technology you’re building right now will someday be used in unexpected ways, how can you hope to be prepared?
- What new categories of risk should you pay special attention to now?
- And which design, team, or business model choices can actively safeguard users, communities, society, and your company from future risk?
Why risk it?
It is only natural that as technologists, we spend most of our time focusing on how our tech will change the world for the better. Which is great. Everyone loves a sunny disposition.
But perhaps it’s more useful, in some ways, to consider our glass half empty. What if, in addition to fantasizing about how our tech will save the world, we spent some time dreading all the ways it might, possibly, perhaps, just maybe, screw everything up?
The last thing you want is for your optimism to create blind spots around the possible downsides of your tech. The Ethical OS is here to help you see more clearly.
The Ethical Operating System
The Ethical Operating System can help makers of tech, product managers, engineers, and others get out in front of problems before they happen. It’s been designed to facilitate better product development, faster deployment, and more impactful innovation. All while striving to minimize technical and reputational risks.
This Ethical OS toolkit can help inform your design process today and manage risks around existing technologies in the future.
What’s in the Ethical OS Toolkit:
- A checklist of 8 risk zones to help you identify the emerging areas of risk and social harm most critical for your team to start considering now.
- 14 scenarios to spark conversation and stretch your imagination about the long-term impacts of tech you’re building today.
- 7 future-proofing strategies to help you take ethical action today.
Table of Contents
> The Ethical OS: How It Works
- Tool 1 - Tomorrow’s Risk—Today
- Tool 2 - Check Your Tech
- Tool 3 – Future-Proofing
> Custom Use Cases
> About the Ethical Operating System