Red Cross calls on tech sector to put humanity first

Australian Red Cross

Australia’s leaders, thinkers and innovators across not-for-profit, corporate, government and academia will discuss issues around the intersection of technology and humanity, and agree on the top issues facing humanity that the tech sector can help solve at the first Humanitech Summit on 19 May.

Amanda Robinson, Head of Social Innovation & Humanitech at Australian Red Cross, says frontier technology advances have enormous power but must always prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable.

“Technology has unprecedented influence in our lives, positively connecting us in ways we couldn’t even imagine a decade ago. However, the use of tech to automate, predict and monitor can equally expose communities to harm,” she said.

“Humanitech is ultimately about building a movement with a mandate to put ‘humanity first’ in the use of frontier technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics” said Ms Robinson.

“The Summit is our first meeting of minds in Australia, to foster dialogue, to prioritise how emerging technology can help in disasters, the movement of refugees and even climate change, for example.”

“We want to start conversations with leaders, influencers, technologists, humanitarians, thinkers and innovators, so the social implications of frontier tech is deeply considered in both design and development,” she said.

The two-day Summit will culminate in a list of problem statements in the areas of: Emergencies & Disasters; Climate; and Equity & Justice that will form the basis of projects that will be funded through the Humanitech Lab, thanks to the generous support of Founding Partner Telstra Foundation.

“We’re aspirational. This is the first civil society-led movement advocating for humanity in the design and development of technology, and we want to see people from across sectors join up to drive this issue forward in the years to come”, she said.


Held online on 19-20 May, registrations for the Humanitech Summit are free and now open.

Speakers include: Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow, Angie Abdilla, Old Ways, New, Bill Simpson-Young, Gradient Institute, Lizzie O’Shea, Digital Rights Watch & Kristin Alford, Museum of Discovery.

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