Is the world going ethical?
In Robert College I thought that being ethical, transparent and accountable were the core values of being a modern person. However, as I grew up, I realized that those values were usually undermined in the real world.
When you browse the website of a global company, you will definitely see pages devoted to those three values. But then, how do you explain what happened in Enron or Volkswagen? Once a brand I loved, Volkswagen had deliberately lied to all of us in order not to lose the American market.
Their CEO went on TV and said their investors should be calm, as they had invested enough from their North American earnings to see any penalties. He said they knew this day would come. I was appalled. If Volkswagen could be so evil, then every company could be too.
The worst part of that scandal for me was the fact that Volkswagen did not suffer at all. The confidence of their CEO, admitting to their lie and only addressing the investors, instead of millions of people they had lied to, was the point I decided that capitalism is totally broken. Especially when it comes to industries linked with petroleum.
And I know that I am not alone. The overwhelming majority of U.K. consumers want to invest in companies that both offer a good return and don’t harm our future and would be unhappy if they discovered their money was invested in unethical businesses, according to a survey done by an English investment platform.
Therefore, it is good to see that people who think like me have begun to take action. According to the latest trends report by Deloitte, ethical technologies will begin to dominate markets.
This is what the report says: “In a growing trend, leading companies are realizing that every aspect of their organization that is disrupted by technology represents an opportunity to gain or lose trust.
They are approaching trust not as a compliance or public relations issue, but as a business-critical goal to be pursued. In this light, trust becomes a 360-degree undertaking to ensure that the many dimensions across an organization’s technology, processes, and people are working in concert to maintain the high level of trust expected by their services, and the decisions they make—around managing data, building a partner ecosystem, and training employees, among others—build trust.”
CIOs are emphasizing “ethical technology” and creating a set of tools to help people recognize ethical dilemmas when making decisions on how to use disruptive technologies.
Leaders who embed organizational values and tech ethics across their organization are demonstrating a commitment to “doing good” that can build a long-term foundation of trust with stakeholders.
This trend is being backed by investors and funds. For example, the European Investment Bank will stop funding fossil fuel projects at the end of 2021, it announced last year, in a landmark decision for the fight against climate change.
I wish that the same type of reactions could be seen in Turkey. I know that it is dream-like amid the current conditions, but I also know that I am not alone. Hopefully the virtues of accountability, transparency and being ethical will prevail.