Today, every single person living in the UK is affected by technology whether they like it or not. From an elderly person receiving medical care to a young child entering school for the first time, we all rely on modern technology to live our lives. This means that the world we live in is increasingly defined by the results of decisions that are made by people working in information and technology.
IT that delivers what it promises not only makes business more efficient and effective, but it enables much of what we care about - health and care, education, commerce, employment, entertainment. Decisions can affect whether a person without sight is emancipated or imprisoned by their technology. The impact of bad decisions can be fear, anxiety, material loss and other harms - as well as a loss of trust across society. Reliable and easy to use information and technology can help us to feel free, in control, and happier.
Technology is created and applied by people, to other people. The ultimate impact of a decision is often hard to anticipate, yet many decisions taken over information and technology have broadly predictable effects on people, and many more can be understood through testing and enhancement.
The fundamental premise of this challenge is that the way people tackle information and technology decisions can be mapped, understood, and driven by a broader awareness of social impact and intention. Our society will, over time, be defined by the extent to which we can align our information and technology to our individual, organisational and social goals. So, to make IT good for society, we need:
Good people, in the right role, as part of a good team, to do good things for society.