Kay Firth-Butterfield

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Salesforce: A Surprising Collaboration: Competitors Work Together to Solve Ethical Tech Challenges

In 2018, as the world put a heightened focus on the ethical use of emerging technology, Salesforce partnered with the World Economic Forum to start the Responsible Use of Technology Project, which brings together stakeholders from industry, non-profit organizations, governments, and academia to solve today’s most pressing ethical and responsible innovation challenges — and act as a powerful force for good.

Full Article available here: https://www.salesforce.com/news/stories/a-surprising-collaboration-competitors-work-together-to-solve-ethical-tech-challenges/

On a cloudy Friday morning in November 2018, Brian Green, Director of Technology Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University sat outside ‘The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ a cream-colored building in San Francisco’s Presidio. He didn’t know what to expect.

To the left stood the Golden Gate bridge. To the right stood a meeting of 40+ leaders across industry, non-profit, governments, and academia, grappling with their role in ethical tech. 

At the time, tech ethics dominated the news cycle. Yet, while many — including Green — acknowledged there was a problem, no one knew where to start. 

Salesforce was among the organizations contemplating what role it should play. Looking to drive its internal conversations forward, Salesforce went to long-time partner, the World Economic Forum, to collaborate on hosting an inaugural convening for technology and ethics. They came to the right place, says Kay Firth-Butterfield, now Head of Artificial Intelligence and a member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

“This is what we do,” said Firth-Butterfield. “WEF is a global organization for public-private cooperation that convenes people to have conversations and think about the world, to solve problems that impact everyone.”

The article continues and describes the conversations of the day.