Responsible Digital Leadership for Charities

Louise Marston

Responsible Technology Leadership for Charities

One-day seminars for charity and social enterprise leaders who want to innovate with purpose

Throughout this year, Doteveryone is aiming to make Responsible Technology standard practice and looking for ways to support organisations adopting these ways of working.

For this to happen we need leaders across all sectors to feel confident with difficult digital choices. This doesn’t mean they need to learn how to code, or what the blockchain is for. But it does mean having the confidence to ask good questions about the technologies that they build, commission and buy.

We know from conversations with charities and funders, startups and accelerators that even when the best social intentions exist, it can be all too easy to make technology choices that inadvertently introduce bias, decrease access, or otherwise subvert your intended goals.

For charities and social enterprises, in particular, the technology choices they make must be aligned with their mission and social purpose. And that means Responsible Technology — technology that works in the best interests of the individual and of the public as a whole, safeguards against harm and is founded on fair and transparent value exchange between people and technology.

We need charity leaders to be responsible leaders in a digital world

We need to grow the resilience of the social sector and we need charity leaders to be responsible leaders in a digital world — making informed digital choices and understanding the impact of tech on their beneficiaries. But this is an area where the charity sector currently lags behind others when it could be in the lead.

Fortunately, in November last year, the DCMS announced their commitment to supporting this change with a one million pound Digital Leadership Fund.

“The Digital Leadership Fund aims to improve the digital capability of civil society leaders so they are able to confidently embed digital in their organisations. Civil society leaders can include civil society chief executives, trustees, or senior teams.” — DCMS

Introducing Responsible Technology Leadership for Charities by Doteveryone

With this funding, we have adapted a programme we’ve delivered at ACAS and the Greater London Authority to make it accessible to, and appropriate for, charity leaders throughout the country.

At Doteveryone, we’ve spent the past year understanding the issues organisations face when trying to embed Responsible Technology practices in practical and tangible ways. And from this, we’ve developed an approach that will help guide organisations to assess the level of responsibility of their technology products or services as they develop them.

These organisations include charities. The intention of this programme then, is to support charity leaders in understanding the consequences and contribution of a digital product or service.

It is ultimately about equipping them with the framework, tools and confidence to lead their charity in a rapidly changing world.

Innovate with purpose

Participants taking part in our series of one-day seminars will learn how innovate with purpose. They will learn how to ask better questions and to understand their values; how to communicate and inspire others around them, how they play out in their decisions and what they can mean when amplified through a digital lens.

The seminars are designed for leaders of organisations that are already delivering, or about to deliver, a digital product or service, and want support to consider how to make responsible technology part of the operations of a growing and thriving organisation.

Technology and data can only support better solutions if you are asking the right questions. And building the resilience to cope with the ways in which technologies are shaping and changing our lives is far more useful for charity leaders navigating a constantly changing landscape than learning to code.

Find out more about the training and sign up today for one of the seminars we’re running in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and London throughout March.

Responsible Digital Leadership for Charities was originally published in Doteveryone on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.