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How do we make data ethics real?


Systemic Data Ethics began in 2019 when we worked with a major international corporation to develop a set of data ethics principles. In this process we learned so much about the challenges facing anyone, especially larger organizations, seeking to develop and operationalise a data ethics strategy.
Over the next few years we explored the diverse opinions and approaches to Data Ethics, organizational agility and culture change. Gradually, combining work in various fields, we built a systemic map that could integrate all the different aspects of data ethics.
In 2021 with the help of a dedicated team, we dived into the concept full time, reading and absorbing many different frameworks and reports, slicing them up into little pieces, and then fitting them back into our framework. As we kept working at this, we became ever more convinced that the structure of the system worked, that it could actually do what we set out to do, and provide a stable, whole system view of data ethics.
Now, it’s time to find others who can help us keep evolving. We’re looking to find more collaborators who can help us learn, and organizations that are seeking to make data ethics real.

1. We’re seeking feedback on how to improve

Review this document and share your views on the way in which our framework is communicated

2. We’re looking for organizations to adopt the framework

If you’re responsible for data ethics in your organization, we’d like to know if this framework supports your work
Would it make sense for you to use this framework to improve data ethics in your context?
What would you need to give it a try?

The problem we’re trying to solve

Existing data ethics frameworks only address some aspects of data ethics.
This means that it can be difficult to make data ethics real
It can be hard for an organization to develop a bigger overall strategy without a stable framework


What are the key problems that you see facing organizations attempting to use data and AI in an ethical way?
Does your organization have a data ethics strategy? Is there a desire to develop one?
What kind of information and insight would be valuable if you were seeking to define or implement a data ethics strategy within your organization?
How do you assess the perceptions on data ethics within an organization?
What would you anticipate to be a problem with this type of approach?
Who should we speak to next?

Creating a network

We’re looking to find people who can help us take this forward. Get in touch.


Framework team

Peter Brownell -
Peter created, and continues to evolve, the framework. He is also developing the diagnostics tools.
Lisa Farron -
Lisa’s practical culture change work underpins current efforts to explore how ethics can be embedded in practice.

Strategy team

Eva Novillo
Seth Havens
Brian Rust

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