Responsible Computing Challenge

Responsible Computing Challenge

Industry Support

Amid growing concerns about technology’s impacts on society, there are many important efforts underway to maximize tech’s positive contributions to humanity while preventing and mitigating unintended consequences – including diversity and inclusion efforts, programs that embed responsible practice in product development, algorithmic accountability initiatives, and more. Reinventing undergraduate curriculum is only one of many solutions that are needed. But it is much-needed. Accordingly, the Responsible Computing Challenge has the support of leaders in the tech industry as articulated in this open letter:

Putting Humanity at the Heart of Technical Education

Technology has the power to engage citizens in democratic process, connect people across vast distances, and distribute financial and economic opportunity — it delivers world-changing innovation at a pace never before seen in human history. Yet, at the same time, we have become increasingly aware of technology’s unintended consequences, its potential to harm the very people it aims to serve. To ensure technology fulfills its potential as a positive force in the world, we must fundamentally reimagine the way we train the future leaders of our industry during their undergraduate years.

Undergraduates who study Computer Science, Information Science, Data Science, and related fields must learn not only what technology can do but also how to reason clearly about what technology should or should not do. The only way to achieve this goal is to fully integrate and embed societal considerations into the core, technical undergraduate Computer Science curriculum. Ethics should not be a nice-to-have or optional, ancillary exploration. An understanding of code’s human impact must permeate the decisions students make from Day 1 of their journey through CS — and deeply root itself in their identities as computer scientists, product managers, entrepreneurs or engineers.

It is not enough for us to think about the ethical consequences of technology designs after their negative impacts. We must train the next generation to foresee the ways their technologies may affect humanity. Today, as the Responsible CS Challenge launches to fund the integration of ethics into the CS curriculum, we wholeheartedly support placing people at the heart of technical education.

We—founders, CEOs, technologists, investors and others who care deeply about the future of technology—add our names to those championing the many efforts to reinvent CS education. It is a critically important step in advancing the industry we care about so deeply, ensuring a healthy, thriving internet and securing a bright human future.


Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla

Scott Belsky, Founder, Behance / Chief Product Officer, Adobe

Ben Blumenfeld, Co-founder & General Partner, Designer Fund

John Borthwick, Founder & CEO, Betaworks

Damian Bradfield, President, WeTransfer / Co-founder, Present Plus

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, President, StubHub / Founder, theBoardlist

James Cham, Partner, Bloomberg Beta

Esther Dyson, Author, Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age / Executive Founder, Wellville

Tony Fadell, Inventor, iPod / Co-inventor, iPhone / Founder and former CEO, Nest / Principal, Future Shape

Caterina Fake, Co-founder, Flickr / Partner, Yes VC

Joe Gebbia, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Airbnb

Logan Green, Lyft Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director, Web Science Institute / Regius Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton

Chris Hughes, Co-founder, Facebook / Co-chair, Economic Security Project

Mike Krieger, Co-founder, Instagram

Sarah Kunst, Managing Director, Cleo Capital

Martha Lane Fox, Founder, DotEveryone / Member, Twitter Board of Directors

Jeff Lawson, Co-founder & CEO, Twilio

Brian Leonard, CTO and Technical Co-founder, TaskRabbit

Shripriya Mahesh, Founding Partner, Spero Ventures

Kanyi Maqubela, Angel Investor / Co-founder, Heartbeat Health

Nilofer Merchant, Former Executive, Apple & Autodesk / Author, Power of Onlyness

Dave Morin, Co-founder & CEO, Sunrise Bio

Matt Mullenweg, Co-founder, WordPress / Founder, Automattic

Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media

DJ Patil, Former U.S. Chief Data Scientist / Head of Technology, Devoted Health

Tony Prophet, Chief Equality Officer, Salesforce

Renata Quintini, Partner, Lux Capital

Justin Rosenstein, Co-founder, Asana

Roberto Sanabria, Managing Partner & Chief Operating Officer, Expa

Kevin Scott, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft

Bo Shao, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Matrix Partners China / Chairman,

Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, Venture Philanthropist / Computer Science Pioneer

Nicole Wong, Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group / Former Deputy US Chief Technology Officer

John Zimmer, Lyft Co-founder and President

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