Tech for Good Declaration revisited

Tech for Good Declaration, Communitech, Rideau Hall Foundation

The Tech for Good Declaration should have been the headline of the True North conference, as it tackled the problematic question of ethics in innovation. 

The Tech of Good declaration formulated by the Canadian Tech Community at the 2018 True North conference affirms tech as a force for good in the world. A year on a special Declaration workshop revisited the original work and continued the conversation. 

Tech for Good Declaration

Communitech CEO, Iain Klugman and organizers of True North describes why a Tech for Good Declaration was timely and worthwhile.

The Right Honourable David Johnston had presented the Tech for Good Declaration to more than 2,000 at the True North 2018 stage. It was the result of the two hands-on workshops as a set of clear directives from True North attendees about the guiding principles that all aspiring organizations should follow. The six principles are;

  1. Build trust and respect your data.
  2. Be transparent and give a choice.
  3. Reskill the future of work.
  4. Leave no one behind.
  5. Think inclusivity at every stage.
  6. Actively participate in collaborate governance.

These principles are echoed in the Towards Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy Interim Document.

“Our work tells us that the Declaration has the potential to become a significant movement- informing business culture both from the top-down approach to ethical culture and from grassroots activism within to enterprise to sustain the shift in culture,” describes Deloitte’s, Peter Barr.


Declaration workshop at #truenorth19

The 2019 True North conference workshop guided the participants on a journey that encompassed;

  • A speculative design exercise about avoiding unintended consequences;
  • A review and contextualization of the Declaration;
  • After learning about the Declaration, applying the principles to your organization.
Jason Lajoie describes the value of the Tech for Good Declaration for humanity and business. It follows the workshop at the True North 19 conference.

Peter Barr from Deloitte and Jason Lajoie from the University of Waterloo led a workshop at the True North 19 conference. Lajoie conducted extensive interviews with the tech communit. His report concluded that;

“The Tech for Good Declaration has an extended lineage of prior declarations, some of which have yet to be realized beyond the page. If the Tech for Good Declaration is to avoid a similar fate, it must be visibly embedded within an organization’s structure and governance. For the Declaration to grow, it must be rooted within a sustainable framework.”

Spread the Declaration

We considered the Declaration as the headline from the 2018 True North conference. This post was drafted more than 12-months ago yet never published. The copyright was not evident. To help amplify the message and enable broad dissemination of the Declaration, you are now welcome to copy and post.

This document is meant for companies and individuals to use to implement the principles of the Tech for Good Declaration. Please feel free to share with colleagues or on social.


The Tech for Good Declaration is made possible through a collaboration between Rideau Hall Foundation, Communitech, Canadian Innovation Space, Deloitte, Ipsos and the University of Waterloo.

Individuals or companies are invited to show their support for the Declaration here. We have done so and encourage others to do so too.


Featured image courtesy of Creative Commons licence from Rideau hall Foundation and Communitech.