More than just risk management: Growing Digital Ethics in Practice
On this podcast, we’re joined by Paul Miller, Managing Partner and CEO of Bethnal Green Ventures, a London-based early-stage venture capital firm focusing on tech for good. Before co-founding Bethnal Green Ventures, Paul worked as a senior researcher for think tanks Demos and Forum for the future and founded an ed-tech company.
Paul Miller agrees that digital ethics is more than just risk management: we need to move beyond thinking about ethics as a risk management strategy and start considering how it can play into impact evaluation and strategic investment decision making on a broader scale. There are some important distinctions in terminology evolving in this space as it matures. Paul distinguishes between ‘tech for good’ which he believes is more about values, mission, & impact evaluation, and terms like ‘responsible technology’ or ‘ethical technology’ which he thinks are more about mechanisms and governance for how to carry out the strategic vision. Ideally, a corporation is doing both.
For organizations which care about digital ethics and tech for good more broadly, it’s important to be able to assess impact in a systematic way: Bethnal Green Ventures uses an impact evaluation framework called the Impact Measurement Project which was developed by Bridges Fund Management as well as Nesta’s Standards of Evidence for impact assessment. Rather than developing their own unique framework, Paul says that these industry-standard accepted tools show that the space for impact evaluation is maturing, allowing investors to take a holistic industry-wide look at how tech for good is evolving. Paul also highlighted that the B-Corp framework is being increasingly recognized not only for small businesses but also for larger corporations as a means for standardizing a common understanding of how ethical (and more broadly, beneficial) businesses are.
Find out more about Bethnal Green Ventures at www.bethnalgreenventures.com