Ethics, Technology + Public Policy for Practitioners

The leading edge of technological innovation is full of opportunities and risks. This course will engage professionals who are thinking through how best to use their power and influence responsibly as the technology industry navigates economic uncertainty, rolling layoffs, new breakthroughs in generative AI, continuing dilemmas around misinformation and digital media, heightened turbulence and polarization in public opinion, and a continued paralysis in national tech policy.

How can teams and business units face these challenges head-on? What pitfalls and choices do team leaders, executives, and technologists need to be aware of early in the technology development process - or in addressing, re-aligning, or correcting the downstream effects of their work once it’s launched? This course dives into how teams and leaders in technology can responsibly steward both responsibilities to their organizational missions and our shared responsibility as colleagues managing alignment, impact, and reputation with regulators and real impact on society. What solutions or standards can teams integrate to address the needs of each of these interests?

This course is the foundation for building shared language, key topic understanding, and a network of like-minded professionals grappling with complex issues directly in design and practice. Participants will have the chance to interact in candid sessions with distinguished guests and leaders. Course conveners have hosted Frances Haugen, Reid Hoffman, Congressman Ro Khanna, and Meredith Whittaker (President of Signal) in the past.

After completing this course, participants will be invited into an ongoing community of practice for technologists and leaders working together to shape a responsible future for society and the field.

Through this course, you will:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the ethical and social challenges that the technology sector faces throughout product and operational decision-making, from the perspectives of their implications for ethics, tech, and public policy
  • Connect with like-minded peers in the technology industry, and distinguished guests, who are grappling with similar questions and guiding their teams and the sector to create responsible and defensible norms
  • Tackle real-world and high-complexity dilemmas, learning to navigate and guide others through complex terrain with confidence amongst an ongoing, world-class community of learning

Course Page
Online, instructor-led
Oct 4 - Nov 15, 2023 Wed 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Stanford School of Engineering