Celebrating our first Trustworthy Tech Partners
Earlier this week we celebrated the end of our first Trustworthy Tech Partners cohort with drinks and gifts at Yoti’s offices in Central London.
Along with the team from Yoti, we were joined by Club Soda, famiio, Tickets for Good and Bethnal Green Ventures — four of the nine teams who took part in the first cohort. (Firesouls, Fluid IT, Kin&Co and Kinsu were the other participants.)
It was the first time we were all face-to-face since the programme’s launch, and also our first chance to talk about how our cohort felt coming out of the eight weeks’ worth of research. Since our participant companies varied in size, scope, and bandwidth — some were 150 strong, some still bootstrapping — we’d really tried to design an experience that worked for as many people as possible.
Because it’s so well established, Yoti was able to dive into the programme deeply. Julie Dawson, Yoti’s Director of Regulatory & Policy, worked across the whole business to answer our questions; since tech businesses move so quickly, she’s also put reminders in her diary to revisit her answers a few months down the line.
On the other hand, Club Soda — run by a team of two who are responsible for everything from community management to governance — needed Trustworthy Tech Partners to work in a lighter touch way. For co-director Jussi Tolvi, that meant learning more about how Club Soda might continue to build its responsible tech bona fides in new areas as it continues to develop and grow.
From Doteveryone’s perspective, one of our biggest takeaways from the first cohort is how there’s a real need for a community of practice around building trustworthy tech. Even amongst our small sample size, there was a strong sense of shared values and the appreciation of being part of a community that cares about designing and delivering responsible technology. Especially if you’re part of a small team, it’s easy to feel like you’re out in the cold when it comes to valuing people alongside profit.
And while we still have a mountain of research to digest, another immediate finding is that it’s a real challenge to find the right balance between supporting people and overwhelming them. There are a million and one things on companies’ plates, including figuring out how to survive. As programme designers and facilitators, we need to keep figuring out how to weave in trustworthiness into everything else businesses are trying to achieve — a strand, not a bolt-on.
We’ll have more from the Trustworthy Tech Partners programme, including further rounds and how we’re having an impact on our partners, in the coming weeks. But for now, we want to just thank everyone who participated in our first cohort. Together, we’re helping to show the benefits of responsible, trustworthy technology as a good investment, a good business decision, and a sustainable practise.