Conscious Technology: Going beyond
We share our new initiative: Conscious Technology, an opportunity to go beyond our software development services and make the difference in our environment and humanity.
There is something that has always characterized our identity and culture; a sense of humanity and a strong and present component of ‘ethics’. For us, this translates into the concept of Conscious Technology: a vision, questioning, and perspective of responsibility towards everything we do.
Its connection with nowadays background
Conscious Technology is inherently related to our context and surroundings. In the past two years we experienced a worldwide crisis as a consequence of the coronavirus disease that has evidenced many aspects of humanity. It has shown us we are vulnerable, which is not necessarily something negative. It makes us conscious that we are vulnerable to diseases, to the consequences of big changes in our socio-economic system and in our daily routines. Being conscious of our vulnerability makes us be more alert and therefore, it makes us be more conscious of what is happening around us. This is why this can be positive, it means we become less individualistic and more empathic. It has also evidenced how we, the human kind, damage our environment and other living beings. An example of this is that when we were in lockdown for a long time, there were species of dolphins that reappeared. Gangetic dolphins became more visible in Bihar, India, as a result of the lack of human activity on the Ganga during covid’s lockdown, according to dolphin experts (Khan, 2020). Similar situations occurred with many other aspects of our environment such as the reduction of air pollution. A study carried out by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that “after accounting for meteorological variations, lockdown events have reduced the population-weighted concentration of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter levels by about 60% and 31% in 34 countries, with mixed effects on ozone” (Venter et al., 2020).
Its connection with Onetree’s purpose
Conscious Technology is related to our purpose beyond our services. It is related to us questioning ourselves: What position do we take as a company towards nowadays’ reality? Towards environmental problems, people in need, education issues, the quest for gender equality, the need for accessibility, among others. What can we do to revert this climate crisis and the negative consequences of the pandemic?
Making the difference
This concept has the objective of adding consciousness to what we do and generate “waves of change”: adding our grain of sand to change some problems of nowadays’ reality for the better, making daily decisions in our projects that can influence bigger changes. For example: If we work in a healthcare project with a clear intention, if we know and delve into the benefits that digital product brings to users, we will be conscious that that impact can be expanded on a larger scale. At the end of the day, this is fulfilling, because it makes us conscious of our work and its potential impact. In this case, “waves of change” would translate into: Users → Sanitary system → Society. That is to say, we are conscious that if we generate that positive impact on people, we are adding our grain of sand to make a change (as small as it may be) in society as well. In short, leaning towards a purpose and establishing links along the same lines. We aim to go beyond, to do more than just design and develop neither more nor less than what our clients need and finish our contract. Instead, we want to create a shared value among our clients, go further than an exchange of money for services, to think and carry out our projects with a wider mind, taking the environment, people with different capabilities and in different areas of society into consideration, among other factors; which will improve our client’s projects. Because, although our number 1 reason to do this is empathy and responsibility towards everything that is impacted by what we do, the world and its people have changed, which means consumers and users have changed, so ignoring these factors is becoming less and less an option. In the past, thinking about environmental and social aspects when carrying out your business or your projects was less common, so the ones that did it made the difference. Nowadays, it is becoming a must, the environment and humanity is demanding it increasingly. These aspects (the environment, people in need, accessibility, gender equality, etc.) are more present in people’s and media’s agendas, consumers and users are more informed and care about them, so they value digital products that consider them. Conscious users demand conscious digital products. This is why when we wish to approach our client’s projects with a wider mind thinking about our surroundings and our society, we want to help them and their users as well.
This may translate into making an application accessible to all people, so that people with visual impairments, for example, can access it through audio, which will mean that more people will be included and therefore an impact on another scale will be generated. Or it may translate into putting a website in dark mode or making it black, which consumes much less carbon emissions and requires less energy from servers to function than a fully white website that shines more and needs more energy from screens. This is what we mean by going beyond and not only doing the required service, this is what we mean by “waves of change”.
For us, this project is a commitment we wish to maintain internally and externally, as an organization that is active and cooperative with its environment. Coherence is key. Consciousness should be replicated in how we treat our workspace and how it impacts the outside world (for example: classifying garbage), in how we treat each other at work and the Human Resources good practices we apply. Last but not least, in sending messages like this to our collaborators, about responsibility and consciousness towards our surroundings, so that it is expanded and replicated in the world as a whole. Or at least, start with our humble wave of change to achieve that change in the world.
K, M. (2020, 15 april). COVID-19 lockdown a blessing for the endangered Gangetic dolphin in Bihar: Experts. Down to Earth. Recovered on 29 july 2022, from https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/covid-19-lockdown-a-blessing-for-the-endangered-gangetic-dolphin-in-bihar-experts-70470
Venter, Z. S., Aunan, K., Chowdhury, S., & Lelieveld, J. (2020). COVID-19 lockdowns cause global air pollution declines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(32), 18984–18990. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2006853117