Inaugural Report on Responsible Innovation in Tech

Who's accountable for technology's impact on society?

New data findings strengthen the case for shared, actionable frameworks on Responsible Innovation.

We are at a critical juncture in society where technology plays an outsized role in our lives.

The decisions companies, founders, and investors make today will have vast, long-lasting implications on society – for better or for worse.

Responsible Innovation Labs was set up to help companies tackle this challenge. Our hypothesis is that a clear set of standards for responsible company building is required to ensure the consequences and outcomes of innovation are intentional, impactful, inclusive, and enduring.

To that end, we listened carefully to a broad set of people and commissioned research to better understand stakeholder opinions and inform our work moving forward.

We’re excited to share our findings more broadly and welcome feedback on the information we’ve captured, the people we’ve spoken with, and any other ideas that might strengthen our process going forward.

80% of respondents think practices like Responsible Innovation should represent the future of the tech industry

83% of tech executives believe businesses should take accountability for the impact of their technology

4 out of 5 employees think practices like RI are the future of the technology industry

64% of respondents think we need RI frameworks to meet the promise of RI

Our ambition is that this research engages key stakeholders in a conversation about how to build technology companies with intention, impact, and inclusivity.

The findings from the study cover three critical areas:
Part One
Urgency, Accountability, and the Role of Investors

Many respondents believe that investors should be held accountable for the negative, unintended consequences of their investments  

Part Two
A Call to Action for Tech Executives

There's a widespread belief that founders can focus equally on financial and societal returns and will be evaluated based on their company's societal impact 

Part Three
The Power of Tech Employees to Influence Change

Employees are becoming a critical force in shaping corporate decision-making and influencing companies to prioritize societal impact

We surveyed nearly 1500 people to get their thoughts.

To begin, we understood that we needed to listen carefully to a broad set of people, that is why RI Labs commissioned research to better understand stakeholder opinions. This research is intended to measure the tech industry’s progress toward creating widely accepted standards of Responsible Innovation and a framework for stakeholders’ respective roles in creating a more responsible world.

These audiences included:
Tech executives

This group includes leaders at tech companies, including Director, VP, and C-suite level and board members.

Tech employees

This group includes employees working at tech companies.

Informed public

This group includes highly engaged members of the general public.