“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”
-Margaret J. Wheatley
The question of building an ethical digital product never contains just a simple yes or no answer, it’s a conversation. By incorporating steps within the delivery process to do deeper thinking around potential outcomes, teams can come to not only understand their impact on an individual user but on a neighborhood, a community, a country, or the world.
I’ve created these exercises as a follow on to the Hippocratic Oath for Technologists, which was released in April of 2018. The short list of exercises to the left, work together or alone and help cross-functional teams gain comprehension of how both the collective group and the individuals involved feel about the impact they will make in releasing a new product into the world. The exercises may be used at any point during the delivery lifecycle and can be repeated over the course of time as features are released and user behavior changes.
“When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck; when you invent the plane you also invent the plane crash; and when you invent electricity, you invent electrocution… Every technology carries its own negativity, which is invented at the same time as technical progress.”
-Paul Virilio, Politics of the Very Worst
These frameworks are open sourced and a work in progress. They assume an equal power dynamic between members of a digital product team and that they would be completed as a group, not by a single individual. If you have feedback to share (positive and constructive is greatly appreciated) you can fill out this form or make a pull request.