Responsible Digital Futures: Pre-Conference Event

Join us as we start a discussion on the positive and negative implications of our shared digital future.

When, Where & How

The workshop will take place virtually over zoom on August 4, 2022, from 1-4 pm ET.

As we return to in-person instruction, what is the emerging new normal we are currently facing? Some things have changed permanently as we all had to deliver online courses and adopt new technologies throughout the pandemic. Even as we make sense of the implications for our institutions, and higher education in general, we also have a role to play as thought leaders in society to help think through the implications of these developments for organizations in different sectors and for citizens in general as well. Now, as we emerge from the fire-fighting mode of dealing with pandemic uncertainties, we can make some strategic choices about how we engage with digital technologies that will impact our future in educational settings and beyond including the public, private, and social sectors. We invite you to participate in an online workshop on the theme of “Responsible Digital Futures”, organized by the International Humanistic Management Association (IHMA). With the tremendous growth and dependence on digital technologies in the last two years we have all encountered a variety of concerns about data as currency, privacy, digital divide within and across countries, role and responsibility of the few major corporations that control digital technologies, addictive technologies, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, intellectual property rights of faculty and other creatives, and other ethical and human impacts. Industry insiders like Tristan Harris and Sean Parker have raised the alarm that some of these changes have the potential to cause irreversible societal harm. In wake of these developments, the UN Secretary General has warned of a ‘great fracture’ which emphasizes the need to consider Responsible Digital Futures, together as thought leaders. . It is important for us academics to critically examine these developments and assess both their positive and negative implications for our industry, business and society.

The demand for people with appropriate skills and talents for digital work has grown. Universities and Business Schools have seen this as an opportunity to grow enrollments in very challenging times with a proliferation of programs to serve the industry. A more intentional, innovative, and responsible approach is needed to robustly embrace the opportunities and challenges associated with the emerging developments in the digital world. For instance, a vibrant conversation has emerged under the umbrella of Public Interest Technologies. It invites players from all sectors to participate in efforts aimed at ensuring just and equitable use of new technologies including the education sector.

Our workshop is designed to have a panel of us share our work to get the dialog started, and then for each participant to actively participate to jointly explore the issues, define the challenges, potential solutions, and areas for necessary action. A digital future is a certainty. By collectively sharing our own experiences and perspectives, we can better define the research agenda and prioritize the development of the appropriate guardrails needed to ensure that the potential for societal and individual harm is eliminated. The topics and short biographies of the panel members are listed below.

Topics & Panelists

Building Blocks of Public Interest Technologies and their Implications for different Sectors

Dr. Aqeel Tirmizi is Professor of Leadership, Management, and Service in Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership & Change. He has over twenty years of international experience in teaching, research, and consulting. His areas of focus include responsible leadership, cross-cultural leadership, well-being, and social innovation.

Educating Digital Natives and the changing roles of Institutions of Higher Education in Society

Dr. Jyoti Bachani is an Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s College of California and co-founder of the US and India chapters of the International Humanistic Management Association. She has been a strategy consultant to Fortune 200 companies and a computer programmer in earlier careers and now studies ways to humanize management, using experiential methods.

Responsible Digital Futures–hope or pipe dream?

Gerard Farias is Associate Professor of Management at the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University. His teaching and research focus primarily on the area of sustainability, the role of business in society and the associated areas of environmental and social justice.