Alltop

Alltop répertorie de nombreux articles sur l'entrepreneuriat social à travers le monde.

01.09.2014 The Next Black - A film about the Future of Clothing

From AEG:
'The Next Black' is a documentary film that explores the future of clothing. Watch as we meet with some of the most innovative companies on the planet to get their opinion on clothing and its future, including: heroes of sustainability, Patagonia; tech-clothing giants, Studio XO; sportswear icon, adidas; and Biocouture, a consultancy exploring living organisms to grow clothing and accessories.

01.09.2014 Help Yao Ming Save Africa's Elephants

project picture
$10 — promotes Yao's billboard through social media
$25 — gains 5,000 impressions through on online banner ad
$50 — pays for an ad to play on a screen in a Shanghai taxi.

give now

Summary
Donate to WildAid and help former NBA star Yao Ming save Africa's elephants. WildAid has teamed up with Yao Ming, one of Asia's biggest celebrities, for an ad blitz to raise awareness in the country with the largest market for legal and illegal ivory, China. Every dollar that you donate helps amplify our message and reduce consumer demand for elephant ivory, and "when the buying stops, the killing can too."

Project Needs and Beneficiaries
An estimated 33,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks, and growing demand in China is driving sharp increases in poaching. In China, ivory is prized as a status symbol by growing affluent and middle classes and many Chinese people don't understand where ivory comes from or how it is obtained. A 2012, survey showed that only 33% of respondents believe that elephants are poached for their tusks.

Activities
Yao Ming and WildAid are raising awareness through PSAs on TV, radio, print, online and billboards. When the Chinese public understand the nature of the ivory trade, they will stop buying it. We've already proven the effectiveness of demand reduction with our campaign against shark fin soup. 85% of Chinese consumers surveyed said they have given up shark fin soup and sales in China's main market for fin have declined by 82%. If Yao can do it for sharks, he can do it for Africa's elephants.

Potential Long Term Impact
WildAid's mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes by reducing demand through public awareness campaigns. The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth over $10 billion per year and has drastically reduced many wildlife populations around the world. By focusing on reducing the human threat to endangered species, we can secure their long-term survival. People are the problem - but people are also the solution.

Project Sponsor: WildAid Inc.
Theme: Animals | Location: China
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$85,000
Project #18241 on GlobalGiving.org

01.09.2014 Master Class on Creating Startup Tech Social Enterprises

I'm looking forward to teaching a Master Class at San Francisco's Presidio Graduate School on September 18th. Current Presidio MBA student and Benetech team member Julie Noblitt wrote a generous blog post about the master class last week.  Julie is not our only connection to Presidio: alum Kristina Pappas runs International Bookshare for Benetech.  Should be exciting to interact with more Presidio students!

My goal is to give attendees (in addition to Presidio students and alums, this class is also open to the public) an inside look at how Benetech analyzes new tech social enterprises.  Julie and Aaron Firestone, our Director of Business Development, will be helping take attendees through key questions about a new tech social enterprise.  We'll be using one of the projects in our current Benetech Labs pipeline, or perhaps a project proposed by one of the students (the deadline to suggest something is this Friday, September 5th).

I've been thinking about this class for months, and recently wrote up a blog post on how we unlock technology-for-good that covers our approach to new projects in our Labs. Hope to have a chance to dig deeper in just a couple of weeks!

01.09.2014 The Arrival of iFilms

Thembi Mutch writing in ThinkAfrica:
...there has also been a noticeable burst of directors shooting films on incredibly low budgets, often on their smart phones and in local transport (tro-tro in Ghana, dala dala in Tanzania, matatus in Uganda).

Early this year, for example, the South African director Errol Schwartz wrote, directed, and starred in The Magic Bullet, a thriller shot entirely on an iPhone, which deservedly took first prize in the iPhone Film Festival. Meanwhile, Nick Asgill from Sierra Leone scooped an award in the Best Trailer category for his subtle political homecoming film Routes To My Rootz, also shot on his iPhone.

Award-winning Kenyan director and producer Kwame Nyong’o specialises in iPhone and short animated films too. Nyong'o supports his filmmaking by making corporate adverts and keeping his budgets low. He says the major hurdle for small, independent producers, however, is finding a distributor.

“I tried distributing using DVDs but it was an uphill task. Printing DVDs is expensive and they can’t be sold at a high price," he says. His solution was to make his films available through the low bandwidth outlet, Buni Films, based in Nairobi, a move which also gives him the freedom to choose his own themes, formats and politics.
More here

01.09.2014 What I Learned From 7 Years of Failure - Victor Asemota

Odeshi in conversation with Victor Asemota founder of Swifta:
Victor starts his entrepreneurial journey by putting together computer systems in exchange for transportation fare. With little experience and the aide of a friend he launches an indigenous technology company to service the growing demands of the Nigerian market. However, cash flow problems, project scope creep and undisciplined operations leads him down the path for 7 years on a failed project. He eventually joins a new telecom company at the early stage of Nigeria's information technology boom and learns about the industry, finance, project management and other requisite skills. He eventually relaunches his prior failed business and today operates a successful pan African technology company from Ghana.

01.09.2014 What codes inform our work with digital data?

This is the second of a three-part series on the ethics of data in civil society, leading up the Stanford Conference on September 15-16.

Ethical codes abound - here's a list of just a few of them with relevance to how nonprofit organizations or private action for the public benefit.

Asilomar Convention: Ethical decision making in higher education research

A manifesto for the future of the 'right to be forgotten' debate

The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights (USA)

Compendium of Ethics and Standards for Nonprofits

The Data Bill of Rights


(A longer, but still not comprehensive, list of examples can be found here)

What, if anything, is different about digital data that requires us to rethink our work in civil society? Here are some characteristics of digital data that may require new ethical choices. 
  • Digital data can be collected passively, without knowledge or consent of those from whom the data are collected.
  • Digital data enable the application of predictive analytics the accuracy or validity of which are still unknown.  
  • Digital data can be stored remotely, and for unknown lengths of time, by third parties who have collected the data or purchased the information.
  • Digital data alter the time frame for our actions. For example, real-time satellite imagery lets us adjust our interventions with information never before available. Alternatively, stored data collected from a person today may be used to define actions on behalf of or against that person's children or grandchildren. It can both shorten and lengthen the relevant time frame.
Several scholars have written about ethical provocations of big data, the need for ethics related to big data, and the need for legal due process where big data, algorithmic predictions, or other software applications are concerned. Here are two resources by individuals participating in the Stanford conference.

Kate Crawford and Jason Schultz, Big Data and Due Process: Toward a Framework to Redress Predictive Privacy Harms.

Neil Richards and Jonathan King, Big Data Ethics 

31.08.2014 Building a Library for Young People

project picture
$10 — will afford to buy two books towards setting up library
$20 — To Support with administrative work towards addressing the issues influencing the well-being of Children, including materials, transport and stipend to tutors
$50 — Issues influencing the well-being of children, including hunger, orphanage, etc.

give now

Summary
The Project will help build a library in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya, that will provide a rich source of critical thinking and education and assist the poverty stricken community. We seek donor's support to help provide education to children through the setting up and establishing of this library. We know that through library resources we will empower the lives of these young people and the future of the community.

Project Needs and Beneficiaries
Kibera Slum has experienced poverty, illiteracy and sexual coercion as a result of unwanted commercial sex workers. This has resulted in a deprived community whose only hope is continuing an existence in poor living arrangements. Each household is vulnerable and much of this vulnerability is due to a lack of knowledge.

Activities
The transformation of thinking is the key to empowering a community to change. Through the establishment of this library, we not only offer resources and a place for study, but also a place to meet, discuss, and support the members of the community as they work to break the bonds of poverty, immorality and illiteracy.

Potential Long Term Impact
Education is the key to building a thriving, independent community of people who are empowered to make positive choices and changes. The impact of this library as a resource of education will lead this community in to the future for generations to come.

Project Sponsor: One Youth Ministry
Theme: Children | Location: Kenya
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$13,000
Project #17618 on GlobalGiving.org

31.08.2014 Fun for Destitute Children

project picture
$10 — Sends a child to an exciting trip
$20 — Contributes to car hire
$30 — Buys food for 30 kids for a day

give now

Summary
Towards our vision, goals and objectives the Education Program is tasked to source donations to cater for child recreation. Activities in this area includes: games and sports (physical, mental and spiritual exercise), scout/guided camping, and skills/talent development. Presently 30 children (abandoned and orphaned) benefit under the program. We offer computer games, football practice, arts and crafts workshops, hiking and camping.

Project Needs and Beneficiaries
Our vision is a model of excellence in poverty alleviation for the destitute. Our primary goal is to enhance social welfare and security for the destitute. Among our objectives is to provide food security, healthcare, shelter and education for orphans, abandoned children, and impoverished households. While we manage to provide these activities, we reckon we need help to do better and more. This event is a specific effort to raise funds for recreating a destitute child which they lack to grow.

Activities
Your donation goes beyond recreation; it will mould the life of a future teacher, prophet, lawyer, engineer, and leader of many who will benefit exponentially! On behalf of the child who benefits from your generous contribution, and the relieved management and staff of BRC, I thank you.

Potential Long Term Impact
The children will feel a sense of belonging. They will be more confident in themselves and therefore even the schools in which they go to they will feel as normal children. In so doing we shall have a better society and even the surrounding will appreciate.

Project Sponsor: Blessed Recreation Centre
Theme: Children | Location: Kenya
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$6,000
Project #17644 on GlobalGiving.org

31.08.2014 EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN THROUGH MICRO CREDITS

project picture
$25 — sensitisation of women on the project.This would include lodging and transportation of resource persons who would organise workshops for the identified target group.
$50 — Agents would be trained on loan granting process and recovery through Dialy collection Agents. Loans would be given for micro activities and recovery monitored
$70 — This would be used as revolving fund for loan granting. As repayment is done it is recycled to other women to meet a target of 1,000 women. It remain the fund of globalgiving.

give now

Summary
The project is on empowering women through micro credits. Women in our targeted area, do not have access to credit because they cannot provide the collateral security demanded by most financial houses. Our project solicit for a revolving fund to enable us grant loans to targeted women who are our members. This would enable them generate income and thus be able to solve their social needs rather than depend on the man or sell sex for money. This would also fight against HIV/AIDS.

Project Needs and Beneficiaries
The project is dealing with rural women who have little access to credit. All formal institutions demands collateral securities to back credit given to borrowers. This project involve women who only do not have access to collateral security but are bared from acquiring one following the traditional believe. The target group are women doing small businesses\agriculture and finding it difficult to expand because of no or little access to formal credit.

Activities
The project is soliciting for a revolving fund to be deposited in the credit union owned and managed by women. It would be used in granting loans to this targeted group to help expand on their business/agricultural activities. Repayment would be closely monitored and credit recycled to target about 1,020 of the women who fall within this social group.

Potential Long Term Impact
The long term effect would be the emancipation of the women economically. Here the women depends solely on the men for their livelihood thus subjecting them to all form of social degradations. With economic empowerment, the women would be able to provide some of their needs thus making them not to be too dependent to the man who subject them to all sort of social ridicule. This project targets 1,020 rural women.

Project Sponsor: BAMENDA WOMEN CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT UNION
Theme: Women and Girls | Location: Cameroon
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$100,000
Project #14997 on GlobalGiving.org

31.08.2014 Feed 250 African families: sow, grow, eat, repeat

project picture
$10 — will buy one hand hoe to increase the productivity of the garden and future farming activity
$20 — will provide enough locally produced organic pesticide made from chilis, garlic or ash to protect one garden for one month
$35 — will buy 50 pounds of organic fertilizer

give now

Summary
Our demonstration gardens reduce reliance on pesticides and GMO seeds while increasing agricultural productivity and providing better nutrition. This project will help children in six Cameroon schools design, plant and maintain a demonstration garden. Their new knowledge, tools and skills will help the whole community eat more nutritiously with less work for years to come. Surplus produce can be sold to generate extra income.

Project Needs and Beneficiaries
More than half of Cameroon school children are deficient in multiple nutrients, including those necessary for effective learning. Most help on the family farm, where the long hours and hard work diminish the quality of life for parents and children alike and keep some of the children from receiving a full education. Overuse or misuse of pesticides degrades both human health and the environment. Many youth abandon agriculture for a life of unemployment in crime-ridden city slums.

Activities
Indigenous crops with high nutritional value will be selected and modern, organic farming techniques taught. The children will be able to harvest and eat the vegetables at school, and take some home to their families. Surplus will be sold to help support the school. Because the garden project will be integrated with the school curriculum, it also provide skills such as accounting that will help in future enterprises.

Potential Long Term Impact
Because the children, working in cooperation with the community, will learn how to bank seeds, and maintain the gardens, this project will provide more nutritious, environmentally friendly crops for each of the six communities for years to come. Because the crops will be less labor-intensive, and more productive, the children will be less likely to be required to work on the family farm instead of going to school, and more likely to choose to stay and farm after graduation.

Project Sponsor: Cameroon Association of Active Youths
Theme: Children | Location: Cameroon
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$5,000
Project #17662 on GlobalGiving.org

31.08.2014 An Embrace of Farming as an Enterprise

In Kenya, multiple profiles of young farmers from the Agro-Environment Initiative incubator:
Everblazing farm

Geoffrey waits for tomato buyers Geoffrey a young farmer from Kiambu County in Kenya has defied the common thinking of most Kenyans about agriculture.The young man is the proud owner a tomato Farming business which he has named ever blazing farm, on 0.1ha or 1/4 acre of land.

Geoffrey practices agriculture with a difference employing youthful energy, enthusiasm and Knowledge attained from an Agricultural Training Institution and Business Studies, to develop his agribusiness. Geoffrey markets his tomatoes in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and its environs.

Geoffrey extensively uses his mobile phone to source for agriculture information, receive orders and SMS his customers information when produce is ready. The use of ICT gives him comparative advantage in the Farming business.He has branded His produce ''Red Carpet''. Geoffrey says he has no regrets and earns a decent living from his tomato and capsicum farming business. He attributes his success to determination, hard work, availability of his grandfather's shallow well , encouragement from youth Agro-Enviroment Initiative , his parents and siblings.He has big plans ahead to own additional land in order to expand his farming business, a mansion in a premium area of Nairobi City, the best car and the best family. His life goals are well written down in black and white and nothing will stop him from achieving them. Geoffrey faces the challenge of inadequate irrigation water as the water in the shallow well reduces greatly during the dry period.He is contemplating digging a borehole for permanent water supply but the cost is limiting. Therefore, there is no doubt youth can find rewarding employment in agribusiness activities as evidenced by Geoffrey’s case...[continue reading for others]

30.08.2014 Lorraine Smith Participates in Panel Discussion, "Under the Hood: Corporate Sustainability in 2014"

On September 3, Lorraine Smith, Senior Director at SustainAbility, is participating in a panel discussion entitled “Under the Hood: Corporate Sustainability in 2014” at Baruch College. The panel will be moderated by Max Driscoll, Director of Sustainability Practice Network, Croxton Collaborative Architects. Other panelists include:

  • Michael Deane, Vice President, Chief of Sustainability, Turner Construction Company;
  • Su Gao, Senior ESG Analyst, Bloomberg LLP;
  • Davida Heller, Ass’t VP, Corporate Sustainability, Citi;
  • Adam Kanzer, General Counsel, Domini Social Investments

About the panel
In the last decade, the market conditions driving corporate and global sustainability – climate change, stakeholder pressure for transparency and accountability, resource constraints, security, world health and globalization – have become increasingly more apparent and identifiable. At the same time, there is a corresponding corporate awareness that developing a strategic response to these conditions will result in greater brand equity and stock price, better quality of life, healthier ecosystems and more resilient infrastructure for all company stakeholders – including investors and customers, employees and business partners, and the communities it serves.

According to KPMG 95% of the top 250 companies globally are reporting their sustainability performance. Does this mean we can collectively breathe a sigh of relief? Are corporations finally getting it? Maybe, maybe not. McKinsey and Company’s most recent Global Survey Results showed that while many companies view sustainability as a priority, most are failing to incorporate it into their core business practices, services, and products.

This panel will explore the workplace culture, technology and processes essential to optimize strategy execution to enhance environmental, social and economic performance. What impact are (ESG) metrics having on Wall Street’s demand to deliver immediate financial results at the expense of longer term prosperity? How are leaders in corporate sustainability addressing internal realities and the pressure from Wall Street? What are the specific lessons they’ve learned and how can that learning be shared? The Sustainability Practice Network and Baruch College’s Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity convene this panel to address these questions and more.

To attend, please RSVP to events@sustainabilitypractice.net.

Venue: Baruch College’s Library Building, 151 E 25th Street (between Lex and 3rd),
Room 750.

30.08.2014 Can New Legal Structures Help Social Entrepreneurs Succeed?

At the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation we work with social entrepreneurs from around the world to help them identify their legal issues and access pro bono legal services. We see that social entrepreneurs often face the same legal issues and challenges that confront any entrepreneur. One of the first questions that nascent social entrepreneurs […]

30.08.2014 Quick Hits

Practical Action’s Promoting Smallholder Market Engagement Project
TBL Mirror Fund a provider of Venture Capital for East African Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.
Cassava processing villages clusters in Kenya

29.08.2014 Twitter Chat: We Want to Hear From You

Twitter Chat: We Want to Hear From You

By Caitlin Kerton Friday, 29 August 2014 - 3:12pm

Are you using mobile apps for social change? Do you have a Twitter account?

 

Join us for a Twitter chat series on mobile for social impact in September!

 

Every Friday from September 12th, we will be exploring topics related to using mobile apps for community organizing and social change. Check in with us at the following hashtags on Twitter on Fridays from 1 to 2 p.m. PDT, no RSVPs are necessary!

 

Friday, September 12th: Mobile App Development for the Social Sector - #apps4impact

 

Friday, September 19th: Launching SMS Programs for Social Impact - #sms4impact

 

Friday, September 26th: Using Mobile Geolocation for Nonprofit Data Gathering - #geo4impact

 

These Tweet chats are part of ZeroDivide’s forthcoming Mobile for Impact series, which has been generously supported by the Vodafone Foundation. The Mobile for Impact series explores key issues in the design, funding, deployment and evaluation of nonprofit and public sector projects that use mobile technology to achieve social impact.

 

This series builds upon ZeroDivide’s prior Vodafone Foundation-supported research, “Funding Mobile Strategies for Social Impact," which found a dearth of awareness and financial support for mobile-based interventions among U.S.-based philanthropies, compared to a more innovative international sector. This new work provides U.S. philanthropy and nonprofits with more comprehensive information about the field of mobile for social impact to increase support for new projects in this area.

 

 

We’ll post Storify summaries of each chat on our social media accounts and blog so you won’t miss a thing if you can’t participate.

 

If you’ve never been to a Tweet chat before, reach out to us with your questions on Twitter: @zerodivideorg and with the hashtag #mobileimpact.

 

 

Tags: 
mobile devices, mobile tech, mobile impact

SHARE:

 

29.08.2014 Buh Bye Google Authorship, It Was Nice Knowing You

The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services

In an unexpected development, Google’s John Mueller announced on Thursday August 28, 2014 via Google+ that the much discussed Google Authorship program was coming to an abrupt ending. This was a huge announcement for the SEO community. Over the past few years, we have been beating the Authorship drum. After all, it’s vision was to help minimize spam in the SERPs… read more →

The post Buh Bye Google Authorship, It Was Nice Knowing You appeared first on Return On Now.

27.08.2014 See Change: How Transparency Drives Performance Survey

Sustainability reporting is stalled. That is, reporting is simply not driving as much impact as it could.

This is not to say that reporting has not evolved since its early days or led to important and useful information and action. It certainly has. Companies that have been monitoring and reporting on an array of social and environmental issues spanning many years have created numerous baselines, data sets, subject-matter expertise and collaborative relationships upon which to build.

Impact-wise, reporting has enabled efficiency gains, informed stakeholders about key issues, enhanced corporate reputations, and started to inform some investor decisions.

However, at this stage in the global sustainability reporting journey, when we have access to a plethora of data, technology, and story-telling expertise, it is time for reporting to drive even more impact. Our latest GlobeScan/SustainAbility survey^ explores how transparency can be better leveraged to drive such changes.

One notable finding from the survey is the importance of valuing externalities. Survey respondents indicated that valuing and reporting on externalities, above many other possible transparency efforts, guides decision-making that leads to sustainable change within companies. This supports growing interest among many companies to better understand their material impacts, including relevant externalities, to mange their impacts on society and the environment.

The survey further highlights that sustainability experts believe transparency and sustainability reporting can bring more value to companies than it currently does: 79% of survey respondents indicate that corporate transparency positively impacts a company’s sustainability performance. Respondents also suggest two top barriers to transparency driving more change—poor data accuracy and lack of focus on material issues. These experts pointed to mandatory non-financial reporting requirements and increased investor demand for integrated reporting as potential solutions to drive greater value from reporting.

These survey results will inform our research on the role that transparency plays in driving performance. We look forward to releasing the full report, including greater context about the value of transparency and practical guidance, later in 2014.

^ 491 qualified sustainability experts completed the online questionnaire from June 24 to July 18, 2014. Respondents were drawn from: corporate, government, non-governmental, academic/research, service/media, and other organizations. Experts surveyed span 69 countries in Asia, Africa / Middle East, Europe, North America, Latin America / Caribbean, Australia / New Zealand, and comprise a highly-experienced respondent pool, with 73% having more than ten years of experience working on sustainability issues.

27.08.2014 Inspired. Active. Independent: The Power of Storytelling in Healthy Living

 

While statistics show that participation in sport and physical activities is important to a person’s overall health, but how do we ensure all Canadians have access to these opportunities?

read more

27.08.2014 Causes Count: The Economic Power of California's Nonprofit Sector

Causes Count: The Economic Power of California's Nonprofit Sector

The California Association of Nonprofits is a statewide alliance of nonprofits across all sub-sectors advocating on issues that affect them, including such things as tax exemption, nonprofit regulation, legislation and charitable rating systems. CalNonprofits works to increase the understanding and awareness of the work that nonprofits do and the important role they play in our society.

 

Their recent report, Causes Count: The Economic Power of California’s Nonprofit Sector, provides a detailed analysis of the power of nonprofits as businesses and drivers of economic and social impact.  It should be on the reading list of nonprofit funders, Executive Directors, board members and policy makers in California.

 

 

 Click here to download a copy. 

SHARE:

 

27.08.2014 Feedback is Insistent: Essential and Useable Metrics

Social impact measurement distills to two questions. What are your metrics? How do you (and others) use them? The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs asked 30 organizations from the field of social investing to answer these questions and published the findings in a report called “The State of Measurement Practice in the Small and Growing […]

27.08.2014 Decision Data: Metrics Must Lead to Action

Conversations on impact measurement and metric collection often lead to questions about proving impact. Funders want information on social performance, and rightly so: we can’t be accountable to stakeholders – from investors to customers – without information on whether we achieved our goals (Metrics 1.0). Ideally we’d also like to compare that performance to highlight […]

27.08.2014 Six Tips on Using Metrics to Align Mission with Financial Performance

“In my organization, it feels like we have a financial performance discussion, and an impact discussion, but those two discussions are separate and we don’t know how to connect them.” – ANDE Metrics Conference participant Social enterprises and impact investors, along with non-profits and foundations, have invested significant effort in designing metrics to monitor and […]

27.08.2014 How Collaborating on Impact Evaluation Helps Ecosystems

Thanks to the authors of Metrics 3.0 for putting together a clear and compelling framework to help guide social businesses in creating value through impact measurement. Each of the four strategies they articulate speaks to trends we see and principles we strive for at d.light in our own impact measurement strategy. d.light is one of […]

25.08.2014 THE MASTERCARD FOUNDATION WANTS TO CHANGE THE FINANCIAL GAME FOR WORLD’S POOR

Video: How the poor save money
https://www.globalenvision.org/2014/08/19/mastercard-foundation-wants-change-financial-game-world’s-poor

25.08.2014 The African Youth Movement for Social and Economic Prosperity

Editor's Note: This Article was written by George W.Bakka. Bakka is Ugandan entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Angel's Hub and a Segal Family Foundation partner. He is also an Acumen, Anzisha and Educate! Fellow. This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post Blog on August 8, 2014.

read more

25.08.2014 Why "ethics" of digital data?

This is the first of three posts leading up to the Ethics of Data Conference at Stanford. I've posted some earlier thoughts here.

In early August, the New York Times ran a "Room for Debate" series about big data. Over the course of a week columns noting the dangers of digital data use ran next to columns extolling the utility of digital data for community improvement. Other columns in the series, which was titled "Is Big Data Spreading Inequality," looked at how data may be used to extend credit to underserved communites, while others noted that data may be limiting job opportunities. One columnist called for due process related to digital data - an idea that has been studied and proposed by other legal scholars.

Clearly, there's a lot of good and bad that can be done with digital data. How we use it, what bounds we put on its use, what rights we protect regarding its use - these are classic ethical questions now being brought to the forefront where large sets of digital data are concerned.

On September 15 the Federal Trade Commission is hosting a conference in DC on "Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?" which will focus on how consumers are affected by the uses of big data.

On September 15 and 16, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society's Digital Civil Society Lab is hosting a conference on the Ethics of Data in Civil Society. We're focused on what the rise of digital data as a resource and digital infrastructure means for private actions with a public benefit.

The questions addressed in the New York Times series and those that the FTC is asking about discrimination certainly matter for civil society. Two key conceptual resources for the Stanford conference can be found here:
We'll be looking at:
  • How data are being used to frame the issues on which nonprofits and voluntary associations work and what civil society can do about it;
  • The realities of association and expression in a digital age and what these changes mean for civil society
  • How scholarship is changing in a digital environment; 
  • The rights of those being served by nonprofits and civil society;
  • Ethical dilemmas for civil society organizations using digital data and how to work through them; 
  • Ethical ways civil society and industry sources of digital data can work together 
Participants include activists, data companies, nonprofits, scholars, and funders. Conference resources are available here and we'll put post-conference materials there as well.