Resource by All Tech Is Human: “How do you get involved in the growing Responsible Tech field? This guide is a comprehensive look at the vibrant Responsible Tech ecosystem. Aimed at college students, grad students, and young professionals, the “Responsible Tech Guide” is a mix of advice, career profiles, education journeys, and organizations in the space. Developed by All Tech Is Human, an organization committed to informing & inspiring the next generation of responsible technologists & changemakers….(More)”.
Book by IAPP: “The Guide to U.S. Government Practice on Global Sharing of Personal Information, Third Edition is a reference tool on U.S. government practice in G2G-sharing arrangements. The third edition contains new agreements, including the U.S.-U.K. Cloud Act Agreement, EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. This book examines those agreements as a way of establishing how practice has evolved. In addition to reviewing past agreements, international privacy principles of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation will be reviewed for their relevance to G2G sharing. The guide is intended for lawyers, privacy professionals and individuals who wish to understand U.S. practice for sharing personal information across borders….(More)”.
Essay by Ivan Amato: “For the past year, since the 50th anniversary of the original moon landing and amid the harsh entrance and unfolding of a pandemic that has affected the entire globe’s citizenry, I have been running a philanthropy-supported publishing experiment on Medium.com titled the Moonshot Catalog. The goal has been to inspire the nation’s more than 2,000 ultrawealthy households to mobilize a smidgeon more — even 1 percent more — of their collective wealth to help solve big problems that threaten our future.
A single percent may seem a small fraction to devote. But when you consider that the richest families have amassed a net worth of more than $4 trillion, that 1 percent tops $40 billion — enough to make a real difference in any number of ways. This truth only magnifies now as we approach a more honest reality-based acknowledgment of the systemic racial and social inequities and injustices that have shunted so much wealth, privilege, and security into such a rarefied micropercentage of the world’s 7.8 billion people.
Such was the simple conceit underlying the Moonshot Catalog, which just came to a close: The deepest pocketed among us would up their philanthropy game if they were more aware of hugely consequential projects they could help usher to the finish line by donating a tad more of the wealth they control….
The first moonshot articles had titles including “Feeding 2050’s Ten Billion People,” “Taming the Diseases of Aging,” and the now tragically premonitional “Ending Pandemic Disease.” Subsequent articles featured achievable solutions for our carbon-emission crisis, including ones replacing current cement and cooling technologies, underappreciated perpetrators of climate change that are responsible for some 16 percent of the world’s carbon emissions; next-generation battery technology, without which much of the potential benefit of renewable energy will remain untapped; advanced nuclear-power plants safe enough to help enable a carbon-neutral economy; and hastening the arrival of fusion energy….
Common to these projects, and others such as the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals, is the huge and difficult commitment each one demands. Many require a unique, creative, and sustained synthesis of science, engineering, entrepreneurship, policy and financial support, and international cooperation.
But there is no magical thinking in the Catalog. The projects are demonstrably doable. What’s more, humanity already has successfully taken on comparably ambitious challenges. Think of the eradication of polio, the development of birth-control technologies, the mitigation of acid rain and the ozone hole, and the great, albeit imperfect, public-health win of municipal water treatment. Oh, and the 1969 moonshot….(More)”.
Paper by Shobita Parthasarathy: “COVID-19 has shown the world that public policies tend to benefit the most privileged among us, and innovation policy is no exception. While the US government’s approach to innovation—research funding and patent policies and programs that value scientists’ and private sector freedoms—has been copied around the world due to its apparent success, I argue that it has hurt poor and marginalized communities. It has limited our understanding of health disparities and how to address them, and hampered access to essential technologies due to both lack of coordination and high cost. Fair and equal treatment of vulnerable citizens requires sensitive and dedicated policies that attend explicitly to the fact that the benefits of innovation do not simply trickle down….(More)”.
Bloomberg Cities: “Outdoor dining has been a summer savior in these COVID times, keeping restaurants and the people they employ afloat while bringing sidewalks and streets once hushed by stay-at-home orders back to life.
But with Labor Day now behind us, many city leaders and residents alike are asking, “What’s next?” “What becomes of the vibrant ‘streateries’ once winter comes rolling in?”
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Chicago, notorious for its frigid winters and whipping lakefront winds, is at the forefront of the hunt for an answer. The city recently launched the City of Chicago Winter Dining Challenge to get everyone from designers to dishwashers thinking up new ideas for how to do outdoor eating in the cold in a way that is both appealing and safe for customers and restaurant workers.
More intriguing is just how much interest the competition has generated, including nearly 650 entries from all over the world. There are dozens of takes on warming large patios and small dining pods, including approaches likened to greenhouses, igloos, and yurts; ideas for repurposing parking garages and city buses; furniture-based concepts with heated tables, seats and umbrellas, and even a Swiss-style fondue chalet.
The goal, said Samir Mayekar, Chicago’s Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development, is to surface ideas city leaders would never have thought of. Three winners will get $5,000 each and see their ideas piloted in neighborhoods across the city in October….(More)”.
Report by Paul M. Barrett: “Recently, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 has come under sharp attack from members of both political parties, including presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The foundational law of the commercial internet, Section 230 does two things: It protects platforms and websites from most lawsuits related to content posted by third parties. And it guarantees this shield from liability even if the platforms and sites actively police the content they host. This protection has encouraged internet companies to innovate and grow, even as it has raised serious questions about whether social media platforms adequately self-regulate harmful content. In addition to the assaults by Trump and Biden, members of Congress have introduced a number of bills designed to limit the reach of Section 230. Some critics have asserted unrealistically that repealing or curbing Section 230 would solve a wide range of problems relating to internet governance. These critics also have played down the potentialy dire consequences that repeal would have for smaller internet companies. Academics, think tank researchers, and others outside of government have made a variety of more nuanced proposals for revising the law. We assess these ideas with an eye toward recommending and integrating the most promising ones. Our conclusion is that Section 230 ought to be preserved—but that it can be improved…(More)”
Zeynep Tufekci in the Atlantic: “In Michigan, a small liberal-arts college is requiring students to install an app called Aura, which tracks their location in real time, before they come to campus. Oakland University, also in Michigan, announced a mandatory wearable that would track symptoms, but, facing a student-led petition, then said it would be optional. The University of Missouri, too, has an app that tracks when students enter and exit classrooms. This practice is spreading: In an attempt to open during the pandemic, many universities and colleges around the country are forcing students to download location-tracking apps, sometimes as a condition of enrollment. Many of these apps function via Bluetooth sensors or Wi-Fi networks. When students enter a classroom, their phone informs a sensor that’s been installed in the room, or the app checks the Wi-Fi networks nearby to determine the phone’s location.
As a university professor, I’ve seen surveillance like this before. Many of these apps replicate the tracking system sometimes installed on the phones of student athletes, for whom it is often mandatory. That system tells us a lot about what we can expect with these apps.
There is a widespread charade in the United States that university athletes, especially those who play high-profile sports such as football and basketball, are just students who happen to be playing sports as amateurs “in their free time.” The reality is that these college athletes in high-level sports, who are aggressively recruited by schools, bring prestige and financial resources to universities, under a regime that requires them to train like professional athletes despite their lack of salary. However, making the most of one’s college education and training at that level are virtually incompatible, simply because the day is 24 hours long and the body, even that of a young, healthy athlete, can only take so much when training so hard. Worse, many of these athletes are minority students, specifically Black men, who were underserved during their whole K–12 education and faced the same challenge then as they do now: Train hard in hopes of a scholarship and try to study with what little time is left, often despite being enrolled in schools with mediocre resources. Many of them arrive at college with an athletic scholarship but not enough academic preparation compared with their peers who went to better schools and could also concentrate on schooling….(More)”
Book by Mitchell Weiss: “During his years as a public official, Mitchell Weiss was told that government can’t do new things or solve tough challenges–it’s too big and slow and bureaucratic. Sadly, this is what so many of us have come to believe. But in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, he and his city hall colleagues raced to support survivors in new, innovative ways. This kind of entrepreneurial spirit and savvy in government is growing, transforming the public sector’s response to big problems at all levels.
In this inspiring and instructive book, Weiss, now a professor at Harvard Business School, argues that we must shift from a mindset of “Probability Government”–overly focused on performance management and on mimicking “best” practices–to “Possibility Government.” This means a leap to public leadership and management that embraces more imagination and riskier projects.
Weiss shares the basic tenets of this new way of governing in the book’s three sections:
- Government that can imagine. Seeing problems as opportunities, and designing solutions with citizens.
- Government that can try new things. Testing and experimentation as a regular part of solving public problems.
- Government that can scale. Harnessing platform techniques for innovation and growth; and how public entrepreneurship can reinvigorate democracy.
The lessons unfold in the timely episodes Weiss has seen and studied: a heroin hackathon in opioid-ravaged Cincinnati; a series of blockchain experiments in Tbilisi to protect Georgian property from the Russians; the U.S. Special Operations Command prototyping of a hoverboard for chasing pirates, among many others.
At a crucial moment in the evolution of government’s role in our society, We the Possibility provides both inspiration and a positive model to help shape progress for generations to come….(More)”.
Joseph D. Harrison at AMA Journal of Ethics: “Nudges are subtle changes to the design of the environment or the framing of information that can influence our behaviors. There is significant potential to use nudges in health care to improve patient outcomes and transform health care delivery. However, these interventions must be tested and implemented using a systematic approach. In this article, we describe several ways to design nudges for success by focusing on optimizing and fitting them into the clinical workflow, engaging the right stakeholders, and rapid experimentation….(More)”.
Robert H. Frank at the New York Times: “…Why, then, hasn’t the United States adopted a carbon tax? One hurdle is the fear that emissions would fall too slowly in response to a carbon tax, that more direct measures are needed. Another difficulty is that political leaders have reason to fear voter opposition to taxation of any kind. But there are persuasive rejoinders to both objections.
Regarding the first, critics are correct that a carbon tax alone won’t parry the climate threat. It is also true that as creatures of habit, humans tend to change their behavior only slowly, even in the face of significant financial incentives. But even small changes in behavior are greatly amplified by behavioral contagion — the social scientist’s term for how ideas and behaviors spread from person to person like infectious diseases. And if a carbon tax were to shift the behavior of some individuals now, those changes would quickly spread more widely.
Smoking rates, for example, changed little in the short run even as cigarette taxes rose sharply, but that wasn’t the end of the story. The most powerful predictor of whether someone will smoke is the percentage of her friends who smoke. Most smokers stick with their habit in the face of higher taxes, but a small minority quit, and still others refrain from starting.
Every peer group that includes those people thus contains a smaller proportion of smokers, which influences still others to quit or refrain, and so on. This contagion process explains why the percentage of American adults who smoke has fallen by two-thirds since the mid-1960s.
Behavioral contagion would similarly amplify the effects of a carbon tax. By making solar power cheaper in comparison with fossil fuels, for example, the tax would initially encourage a small number of families to install solar panels on their rooftops. But as with cigarette taxes, it’s the indirect effects that really matter….(More)”.