22NTC Session Proposal
Digital Inclusion

Do No Harm: Create Your Org’s Ethical Oath for Data/tech.

Submitted by: Emily Hicks-Rotella 🔵 🟠 | Make Tech Work For You


Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. Google the phrase “data technology hippocratic oath” and you’ll see that there is already a mainstream conversation about the ethical responsibilities inherent in data & technology work. Seth Godin speaks frequently on the responsibility of programmers and designers to consider the ethics of their work. What does this mean for mission-driven organizations and program evaluation? In this session we will cover a wide range of topics under the umbrella of ethics for data and technology work, and start to draft Ethical Oaths for our own organizations, teams, and/or individual work. We’ll grapple with questions such as, “How do we know if our work is causing harm?”, “How do we make decisions about data privacy and security that do no harm?”, “What data/tech accessibility issues do we have?”, and hold ourselves accountable (in writing) to the effort to do no harm with our data & technology.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify ways in which well-intentioned organizations and programs (including their own) can do harm in communities
  • Start and/or lead discussions with colleagues about the ethical underpinnings of their use of data and tech.
  • Draft an ethical oath for their organization, team, or themselves in regards to using data & technology for mission-driven work

Session Type

60 minute session

Target Audience

a) IT decision makers, b) Strategy, operations, and/or IT team leaders, c) HR professional, d) anyone interested in ethics