The world's most pressing business and human rights challenges are too big for any single actor to address alone. Housed at a globally recognized academic institution, we have the unique ability to bring together stakeholders from business, civil society, government, and academia to work together to address business and human rights challenges. We believe multi-stakeholder collaboration is essential to addressing the systemic challenges that are at the root of many human rights abuses involving business. We use our convening power to foster meaningful dialogue and collaboration through conferences, speaker series, webinars, and working groups.
Microsoft Conference on Business, Technology, and Human Rights
The Human Rights and Business Initiative was pleased to partner with the Microsoft Technology and Human Rights Center to convene its Annual Conference on Business, Technology, and Human Rights. In line with its 2020 Vision for Human Rights, Microsoft seeks to demonstrate leadership in business and human rights, frame the debate about technology and human rights, and catalyze action by other companies in the technology sector and beyond.
2020 Conference: The Future of Work(ers) — Using Technology to Empower Workers in the Age of AI and Automation
Whether discussed among U.S. presidential candidates or the world’s business leaders, the “Future of Work” has become a mainstream topic centered on the premise that artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and other advanced technologies will replace human activities, eliminate jobs, reshape entire occupations and fields, and change the nature of work itself. As technology-driven changes generate skepticism, if not fear, especially among workers, many are also wondering how technology innovation can be used to shape a more positive future for workers. The 2020 Annual Conference on Business, Technology, and Human Rights, rescheduled from March 2020 due to COVID-19, brought together students, practitioners, academics, and leaders from business, labor, technology, and policy to explore the role that companies and technology innovation can play in empowering workers in the digital age.
You can read our post-event executive summary here.
2019 Conference: Artificial Intelligence for Social Impact
The 2019 conference was held on March 7, 2019, at the Haas School of Business and focused on the role and responsibility of business to scale artificial intelligence (AI) for social impact. From tackling large-scale global challenges, such as poverty, education, and disease, to addressing local issues that disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, the 2019 conference explored questions, such as: How will business develop, use, and scale AI to address local and global challenges? How will business scale AI in a responsible way that does not infringe on human rights? How will business, in collaboration with key stakeholders, adequately measure the positive impact of AI?
2018 Conference: The Future of Work
The 2018 conference was held on March 21, 2018, at the Haas School of Business and focused on the Future of Work, an emerging area in the field of business and human rights that is relevant to virtually all industries and highlights the role of technology as both a source of risk and opportunity as the labor market evolves. Human rights and technology experts from business, academia, civil society, and government explored questions on the Future of Work, such as: How will automation impact the creation and nature of jobs and change demand for certain skills? How will technology mitigate risks and maximize opportunities related to the expected disruptions of labor markets? How can private and public sector interventions begin to address the adverse impacts of these expected disruptions of labor markets?
2017 Conference: Big Data and AI: The Human Rights Dimension for Business
The 2017 conference was a full-day event of engaging dialogue held on February 23, 2017, at the UC Berkeley Campus. Through panel discussions and breakout sessions, corporate practitioners and human rights and AI experts from academia, civil society, and government explored questions, such as: What are the human rights implications of big data, algorithmic decision-making, and AI? How can big data and AI help create practical solutions to human rights challenges? How should companies develop and use big data and AI responsibly?
You can see the full conference schedule here.
Microsoft's Technology and Human Rights Center works to ensure that Microsoft meets its commitment to respect human rights and works to advance public understanding of the human rights impact of information and communications technology.