Waterloo, May 31, 2018 – Communitech, in collaboration with Deloitte, the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), Ipsos Canada, and the University of Waterloo, is pleased to unveil the Tech for Good Declaration at the True North conference in Waterloo Region. The Right Honourable David Johnston, Chair of the RHF, addressed the outcomes of the declaration built by members of the Canadian tech community at the inaugural True North conference today, where attendees were encouraged to participate in a hands-on workshop to help craft a set of guiding principles companies can consider while creating, implementing and making use of technology intended for the greater good.
“In this digital age, innovating for good needs to be more firmly and deeply fixed among all Canadian industries, companies and organizations. Our challenge as Canadians, then, is to create a culture in which everyone assumes the obligation to innovate for good,” said Mr. Johnston.
The Declaration will be hosted at www.techforgood.ca and moderated by the Rideau Hall Foundation. It is intended to be a living document for anyone to provide feedback and commentary on—not just tech companies, but anyone using tech in some way.
“With new and advancing technologies today there’s an opportunity to take a step back and discuss how to use technology thoughtfully. As Canada makes a name for itself on the global tech stage, we believe we’re well positioned to hold these important conversations,” said Steve Currie, Chief Innovation Officer, Communitech.
In the lead up to True North, Ipsos surveyed 2,000 Canadians, gauging their feelings about everything from the future of AI, data security and the potential of technology as a force for good.
“We found that 61 per cent feel most Canadian companies will leverage technology to improve the way they run their businesses,” said Mike Colledge, President of Ipsos Public Affairs Canada. “At the same time, six out of 10 Canadians are worried about mass unemployment, and the implications the transition period of adapting to new technologies could create.”
Deloitte, with the help of researchers at the University of Waterloo, published a discussion paper ahead of the conference exploring “Ethics in the age of technological disruption,” highlighting technology’s role in helping to make Canada the best place to live and work.
“Canadian business leaders and their organizations are ideally positioned to ensure the technologies they develop and use function ethically, inclusively, and equitably in pursuit of ‘good’ outcomes for all,” said Peter Barr, Managing Partner, Waterloo and Western Ontario Region, Deloitte. “While we think about the future of technology and the need for strong principles, we should remember that the Declaration is mostly about the people and less about the technology.”
The Tech for Good Declaration caps off the first ever Canadian Innovation Week, a week of events across the country to connect, cultivate, and celebrate innovation and innovators in Canada.
For more information about the Tech for Good Declaration please visit www.techforgood.ca.
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Public Relations Manager, Communitech
Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was crazy talk, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players.
Communitech is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs and helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.
About the Rideau Hall Foundation
The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is a uniquely Canadian charitable organization established by the Right Honourable David Johnston during his mandate as Governor General of Canada. The RHF amplifies the values of the Office of the Governor General and mobilizes people + ideas for the benefit of Canada and the world. Signature programs fall within four priority areas of focus for the country: the culture of innovation; equity of learning opportunities; fostering of leadership; and the promotion of giving and volunteerism.