SMART Talk Spring 2024: Ethics and Integrity

On Thursday the 30th of May, our yearly SMART Spring Talk emerged from the soil. A group of young professionals convened at the Ruigrok office to attend an insightful session on ethics and integrity in our field.

Who better to lead this discussion than Durk Bosma, Martijn Nap and Paloma Bunck, members of the ethics taskforce of the D&IN?

The talk began on a positive and interactive note, as Durk, Martijn and Paloma invited the audience to share stories about projects they worked on that had a positive impact on the world. It was inspiring to hear so many stories and to see how many data and insight professionals already made such significant contributions early on in their careers. However… not every project is a bed of roses. Attendees also spilled the beans on projects they wished they'd left buried in the soil.

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The audience nodded in agreement, as the trio of speakers highlighted the challenges young professionals face when their clients' goals conflict with their own moral principles. For example, conducting market research for a tobacco company can be difficult if you strongly oppose smoking.

However, situations are usually not so black and white (as it turns out, they can be red, yellow or green), and often it requires careful consideration to determine whether working for a (potential) client will have a positive or negative impact on the world. What better to use to determine whether you want to take on a project, than a traffic light? Green for projects that align well with your values, yellow for those that require careful evaluation and red for those that clearly conflict with your principles (and do not benefit people and the planet).

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The audience was presented with several short case studies and discussed in pairs whether they would take on each specific project, considering the industry, the client and the nature of the project. Each pair then shared their conclusions with the group, leading to a lively and insightful discussion. This allowed participants to learn from each other's perspectives and experiences and translate the freshly acquired theoretical knowledge into practical application.

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Next up, Durk, Martijn and Paloma elaborated on the taskforce they've established, called the "Taskforce Ethisch Kompas". The taskforce is focused on creating an ethical guide to handle ethical concerns in the data and insights industry. The aim is to craft guidelines that support D&IN members in shaping their sustainability policies.

The ethical compass is still in the making, and participants (divided into groups) were invited to contribute their ideas. The assignment was to imagine being part of an ethical company, called Buro Ethica, and to draft the ethical principles to share with new researchers, considering a couple of the United Nations' sustainable goals. The groups brainstormed enthusiastically and provided valuable input to the Taskforce!

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After the final group was ready presenting  their ideas, exactly at 6 o'clock, it was time to mingle and chat about what we'd learned and get to know each other better. All this while overlooking  the beautiful IJ river. A perfect ending to an insighftul day.

A big thanks to Ruigrok for arranging such a fantastic selection of snacks and drinks, and for letting us host this memorable spring talk!

You could be part of The Taskforce Ethisch Kompas

Are you passionate about making a difference in the ethical landscape of the data and insights industry? Join us in contributing to our guide for D&IN members, where your input will help shape sustainable policies and foster ethical practices. Reach out to us to get involved!

SMART is onderdeel van de MOA, Expertise Center voor Marketing-insights, Onderzoek & Analytics

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