SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Responsible Innovation Labs, a non-profit consortium of leaders dedicated to building innovative, enduring companies for financial and societal returns, launched today with an advisory board representing many of the private sector’s most prominent and respected tech brands. The Labs’ mission is to create standards of innovation to serve the needs of a global society, and build enduring companies that re-center technology as a force for good. That mission can best be achieved through collaboration among industry, investors, executives, policymakers, academics, and other stakeholders.
Technology is one of the most powerful forces shaping our society, and continues to advance at an accelerated rate with the potential to impact lives profoundly, for better or worse. More than ever, the world needs — and increasingly demands — technology products and services that improve life on this planet while avoiding harmful unintended consequences. Responsible innovation provides a path to a better tech industry — one that builds successful, mission-driven companies that can deliver products and services that are beneficial to society.
The Responsible Innovation Labs was co-founded by General Catalyst’s Hemant Taneja, Stripe’s former General Counsel Jon Zieger, and Stripe’s former Head of International Diede van Lamoen, all of whom collaborated previously through General Catalyst’s early investments and work in the global payments platform Stripe. The Labs will work in partnership with leaders across industries and disciplines to develop new standards, tools and methods for ethically deploying technology and building enduring companies while promoting accountability through transparency.
“Technology has been a powerful lifeline during a time of intense uncertainty and isolation, but also has exposed the unintended consequences of innovation left unchecked — inequity of access, the marginalization of entire groups, and misinformation,” said Hemant Taneja, Chairman, Responsible Innovation Labs, and managing partner, General Catalyst. “As leaders who believe both in the promise of technology and the power of the private markets, we have a responsibility and opportunity to transform the innovation economy for the lasting benefit of the world.”
Society needs ambitious leaders to build companies with a mindset of responsibility. To support and guide its work, the Labs has convened an advisory board of leaders spanning tech, investing, academia, and non-profit, including: Toyin Ajayi, Co-Founder and President, Cityblock; Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker; Jim Breyer, Founder and CEO, Breyer Capital; Rachel Carlson, Co-Founder and CEO, Guild Education; Ken Chenault, Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst and former Chairman and CEO, American Express; Ken Frazier, Chairman, Health Assurance Initiatives, General Catalyst; Executive Chairman and former CEO, Merck; Jon Iwata, Executive Fellow, Yale School of Management; Maurice Jones, CEO, OneTen; Youngme Moon, Donald K. David Professor of Business, Harvard Business School
The Advisory Board will collaborate to develop the Labs’ charter, which will establish how the Labs will support founders and management teams as they build businesses for the long-term, using the five guiding principles of responsible innovation as a foundation:
- Economic opportunity and inclusion: Careful consideration and forethought about the individuals and communities that may win and lose as a result of innovation, with the goal of ensuring increased equity, broader access, and more evenly distributed prosperity.
- Environment and sustainability: An insistence on developing, from the outset and by design, operations, products and footprints that are sustainable and are in service of the wellbeing of the planet and its people.
- Workforce transformation: An unwavering commitment to build cultures and policies to ensure people are treated with dignity, are able to work in an environment that is diverse and free of discrimination, and all employees can benefit from and partake in business success.
- Privacy, safety and community: Respect for individual users’ rights, including the privacy and secure maintenance of personal data, and the avoidance of misinformation that disrupts community and undermines democracy.
- Intentionality & impact: Embracing the responsibility that comes with innovation—to generate returns beyond profits and to re-center technology as a force for good in the world — and the right constraints, transparency, and framework to engineer for growth and good.
“A tech industry that is conscious of its influence and works in the service of society can help mitigate and solve some of the world’s biggest problems,” said Jon Zieger, co-founder of Responsible Innovation Labs. “We are thrilled to convene a world-class advisory board to help lead the Responsible Innovation movement. Together, we have the collective power to redefine the standards for what makes a company successful, and reshape the promise and future of technology to serve the needs of a global society.”
About Responsible Innovation Labs
Responsible Innovation Labs is a non-profit consortium dedicated to helping founders, executive leaders, and investors build innovative, enduring companies for financial and societal returns. The Labs’s mission is to reset the standards of innovation through radical collaboration, and in doing so, reshape the promise and future of technology to serve the needs of a global society. The Labs is open to partner companies that share and embrace that vision. To join the movement and learn more, visit: www.rilabs.org.
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