At the opening celebrations of SHIFT Business Festival on Monday, May 21st, SHIFT published a manifesto elaborating on the purpose and goals of the organization. During 2018, SHIFT will begin to expand its operations to support the ethical development of technology.
”From the beginning, we have seen SHIFT as a movement, not just an event”, says the author of the manifesto, Elia Elenius. ”SHIFT Business Festival will continue to be the culmination of our operations, of course, but the event is not the goal itself, but rather a platform for dialogue, learning and encounters.” To expand that platform, SHIFT will begin to organize smaller events on a monthly basis for everyone with an interest in technology and the future.
SHIFT will also begin to give out an award for Ethical Technology Company of the Year. The recipient of the award will be announced each year at the SHIFT Business Festival. Encouraging businesses to act responsibly and making information available to private individuals are key goals for SHIFT.
“Technology at the moment is developing at such a pace that governments are unable to produce new regulations on time. This does not mean that we should do anything we want just because we can. There are wider-reaching social implications to consider”, Elenius states, referring to the scandal around how big data company Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are believed to have influenced the U.S. presidential election as an example.
As a third action point, SHIFT will begin preparations for the foundation of a think tank and is looking for new partners for the endeavour. The think tank will conduct research and educate decision makers of businesses on the possibilities and ethical pitfalls of new technologies, as well as educate and inform private individuals. “We emphasize the responsibility of the individual to influence companies and the society through their own actions and consuming habits”, Elenius concludes.
SHIFT Business Festival is being held for the third time this year, now at the former prison of Kakolan Lääni in Turku, from May 22nd to May 23rd. Speakers include the world leading AI researcher Nick Bostrom from Oxford University and Weapons of Math Destruction author Cathy O’Neil.
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SHIFT Business Festival connects groundbreaking technology with leaders of traditional industries for a discussion about the ethics of future development. The festival, attracting 4000 great minds and visionaries, is held May 22nd - 23rd 2018 in the abandoned prison of Kakolan Lääni, Turku, Finland.
SHIFT is organised by a non-profit organization with the purpose of shaping breakthrough technology to be responsible and sustainable.
SHIFT is not an event. It is a beginning.
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