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Howtoensure responsibletechnology


THE PATH TO RESPONSIBLE TECH STARTS WITH ACKNOWLEDGING UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES


jobs and transforming industries. For proof, just look at San Francisco’s Bay Area, which along with Silicon Valley held the largest con- centration of tech jobs in the US, bringing opportunity and prosperity. Based on per cap- ita income, this small corner of California rivals some of the world’s richest countries. It is small wonder that Silicon Valley stands


T


as a shining model for emerging markets look- ing to diversify their economies and create jobs. But there is a flipside to this tech boom.


CHRISTINE TSAI


While enviable by any measure, it has created several unforeseen consequences, from eco- nomic inequality to privacy violations and environmental damage. In the rush that accompanies the birth of a new company and its limitless potential, founders rarely pause to think about the harmful ways in which their technology might impact their ecosystem or society at large. In countries where economic disparities are


acute, unintended consequences could be even more detrimental. For that reason, developing start-up ecosystems around the world have a chance to learn from Silicon Valley’s mistakes, and set the path straight for responsible and inclusive tech.


Unintended consequences For all its track record of job generation, there is the potential for tech to create inequities. Once again, the Bay Area is a case in point, where the gap between the haves and have- nots is particularly wide. Top earning house- holds made 11.5 times as much as those at the


STAKEHOLDERSCANSTARTLAYING THEGROUNDWORKFORRESPONSIBLE ANDINCLUSIVE TECH,ADAPTING ITTO THEIRECONOMYANDCULTURE


46 www.fDiIntelligence.com August/September 2021


here is little doubt that tech start-ups, fuelled by venture capital, can be a force for good, boosting economies, creating


Artwork by SamKerr


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