For Developers & Technologists

13th July 2018


Tech Ethics For EveryOne


Coed:Ethics is the 1st summit & conference
about Practical tech ethics
from a practitioner's perspective.

13th July 2018, London

After the Facebook, Uber and Volkswagen scandals, where are we as an industry? How did we get here and will things get better or worse? 80% of developers don’t feel it’s their responsibility if unethical products go live. Are they right?

In this pragmatic, action-focussed conference and summit we'll be questioning who is ultimately responsible for the impact of tech products, for good and bad, and what they can do about it.

Code doesn't kill people, product managers do? Or maybe shareholders? CEOs? Developers? Or do we all need to be informed and responsible?

This is a radically new event championing bottom-up, developer-driven ethics. How can we make technologists the last bastion of defence against unethical products? After all, we design, write and deploy them.

What's On?

With talks, open mic and panels, we'll be examining ethical decision-making at scale, building ethical products vs unethical ones, the psychology of making and standing by decisions and the pragmatic application of ethics within the Agile or CD process.

Should techies be amoral guns for hire? Can we be more and what resources can help us? This is the first in a series of events designed to change the conversation.

We have a code of conduct for  the conference.

Why Attend?

The event is focused at leaders, community activists and interested folk at all levels of tech. We love intelligent, challenging discussion in a welcoming environment - with actionable results!

Supporting Coed:Ethics is a great way for sponsors and attendees to demonstrate they care about where tech is going and how we get there safely, scaleably, and inclusively.

Who Are We?

Coed:Ethics is brought to you by Anne Currie and the team at Container Solutions working together with Coed:Code, the London tech meetup with over 700 members of all ages, genders, races, levels of experience in tech and (dis)abilities. Ethics in tech is a debate for everyone. Follow us @coedethics.


Coed:Code Meetups





We have some amazing talks.

After a hard-hitting keynote on the harrowing impact

of poor data science, we'll hear about practical steps,

processes & ways of thinking that might stop our products

from causing harm. Finally we'll end on the story of Mitsuku -

currently the world's leading simulated human and designed to be a force for good.


Note we have several visually and hearing-impaired attendees, so all speakers will be captioned and everything important will be said out loud not just on a slide.  


Cori Crider

A US drone incinerates a carload of shoppers heading to market, including a mother and her ten-year-old daughter. A wedding is ruined when a drone hits the bridal party. A local imam denounces al-Qaeda in a sermon; he dies in a drone attack the very next week.

The debate over autonomous weapons can obscure a hard truth: ‘big data' has been used to kill people for years. Sharing insights from her investigations of US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, human rights lawyer Cori Crider will explore how misuse of mass surveillance data has claimed innocent lives.


Cori Crider, a US lawyer, directed Reprieve’s Counter-Terrorism team from 2009-16. For more than a decade she has investigated and litigated abuses in the “war on terror”: Guantánamo, CIA rendition and torture, and drone attacks in undeclared war zones. She writes and speaks about the national security state and the ethics of technology in intelligence.


I’m not a data scientist, yet I still care about ethics in data science. I care about it for the same reason I care about civics: I’m not a lawyer or a legislator, but laws impact my life in a way that I want to understand well enough that I know how to navigate the civic landscape effectively. By analogy, data citizens are impacted by the models, methods, and algorithms created by data scientists, but they have limited agency to affect it.  Data citizens must work with data scientists to develop methods that ensure data will be treated ethically, and that people will be treated ethically with data.

Dr Caitlin McDonald is an award-winning scholar and writer about digital communities, data science, and dance. With experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods, she specialises in the intersection
between human imagination and digital systems. Caitlin obtained
her PhD from the University of Exeter in 2011.

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Services should empower people to exercise their digital rights. But how do we make this change? We think the answer to this question starts with design. We need to design services that are simple and effective, and make it clear to people how data about them will be used. Services also need help people understand how automated decisions are made. And finally, we have to give product teams the training and tools to design services that respect people’s rights.

Harry Trimble, designer, IF

Harry has designed products for the likes of Microsoft, NHS, the Design Museum and the Government Digital Service. Harry helped establish the award winning design Studio PSK and is an advisor on Design Ventura, a design competition for UK schools. 


Why do people behave unethically and what can we do about it? Andrea will do a deep dive into social psychology research on behaviour, ethics and company culture. What are the anti-patterns we should all avoid?

Andrea Dobson is registered psychologist and a cognitive behavioural therapist. As a practicing psychologist, Andrea specialised in depression and anxiety disorders, complex grief and forensic psychology.

Andrea works at Container Solutions developing their learning culture for developers and their leadership development programme. Recently she has been working to link patterns of user behaviour with product development efforts.

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Yanqing will be talking about ethical decision-making with a focus on how intuitions don’t scale, emotion and instincts lead us to do the wrong thing, and we are all individually full of blind spots.  She’ll attempt to show us all what doing it right might look like - at the end of the day, we may need to do things that are hard, or unappealing, or controversial in order to develop ethical new technology ethically (and yes “ethic” is in that sentence twice for a reason!).

Yanqing Cheng is a high-scale networking systems engineer with MetaSwitch Networks - a job mixing forward-looking ideas with decades-old protocols, which provides constant insights into the balancing act between innovation and stability.  She is fascinated by machine learning and future tech, and is also an avid singer and dancer.

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How might ethical decision-making fit into the everyday lives of developers and product managers? Adam from Container Solutions and Sam from Doteveryone will be talking about ethical checklists and ethical readmes.

Ádám Sándor moved from application development to a consultancy career in cloud native computing. He is a senior consultant at Container Solutions. He is helping companies succeed in improving their delivery of business critical software by combining his application development experience with knowledge of container-based infrastructure.


How might ethical decision-making fit into the everyday lives of developers and product managers? Adam from Container Solutions and Sam from Doteveryone will be talking about ethical checklists and ethical readmes.

Sam Brown is currently a Programme Manager at tech think tank Doteveryone focused on Responsible Technology and the Tech Industry.

She was a National Business and Human Rights Coordinator for Amnesty International Canada for almost a decade, working on many campaigns related to business accountability frameworks and policy advocacy.



How can data scientists avoid the potentially dangerous mistakes of big data and machine learning?

Emma Prest is the Executive Director of DataKind UK. She leads a community of 1000+ pro bono data scientists, designing and delivering data science projects that turbo charge their non-profit partners' work. She works to build understanding about what data science can do in the social change sector.

Emma sits on the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and on the board of Sum of Us. She was previously a programme coordinator at Tactical Tech, providing hands-on help for activists using data in campaigning. 

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Practical, pragmatic and ethical data science. Emma and Clare will be talking about real world experience from the work of DataKind UK.

Clare Kitching is an experienced data scientist. During the day she is a Principal at QuantumBlack leading teams of data scientists, data engineers, designers and analysts to improve businesses’ performance using advanced analytics & data science. During the evening she volunteers for DataKind UK, helping charities to make the most of their data. Most recently she worked on a project to build a predictive model for a foodbank. Clare holds a BSc (Hons) in Maths & Statistics and a BEng (Hons) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Melbourne, plus a Master of Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.


Mitsuku, currently the world's leading conversational chatbot, is a friend to thousands of real people every day from school children to AI researchers. Mitsuku and her creator Steve Worswick will talk to us about the design decisions underlying Mitsuku that allow her to stay good despite the constant efforts of the ethics hackers that took out Microsoft's Tay. 

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UK IT veteran Steve Worswick is the three-time winner of the Loebner Prize Turing Test - the global competition to determine whether a computer can still be distinguished from a real human. As the 2017 award holder, Steve is currently the world's best chatbot creator.

location, News & agenda


Location: Microsoft Reactor, Shoreditch. 70 Wilson Street, EC2A 2DB



Talks, panel, open mic and a vigorous hallway track.



8:30 - Doors open, coffee, fruit & pastries

9:45 - Introduction by Anne Currie

10:00 - Cori Crider "When Data Kills"

10:30 - Caitlin McDonald "What is a Data Citizen?"

11:00 - Coffee

11:30 - Emma Prest & Clare Kitching "Warts and All - Data Science in Action"

12:00 - Andrea Dobson "Psychology of Ethics 101"

12:30 - Lunch!

2:00 - Yanqing Cheng "Thinking Ethically at Scale"

2:30 - Harry Trimble "Ethical Design"

3:00 - Coffee & cakes

3:30 - Sam Brown & Adam Sandor "A Responsible Dev Process?"

4:00 - Steve Worswick & Mitsuku "How to Build a Good Product"

4:30 - More coffee!

5:00 - Panel & Open Discussion

5:45 - Invitation to decamp to the Pivotal Offices by Old Street tube for the after party/continued discussion & networking (food and drink provided, inc non-alcoholic)


Many thanks to our great sponsors
who are leading the discussion of ethics in tech.


Diamond Sponsor



Platinum Sponsors

Cloud Native Computing Foundation


Gold Sponsors

Pivotal, Weaveworks

Silver Sponsor

The Perl programming language community

Media Sponsor





Accessibility Fund

We intend for this conference to be accessible to folk who would not normally attend conferences. Talks will all be recorded and available free on the InfoQ website, however, there are advantages to attending any conference in person. If you have something that normally blocks you from conference attendance please let us know by contacting We have an accessibility fund and we'll see if we can help. You know what you need better than we do (for example a taxi to and from the venue). It might be that we can't help but we'll at least try our best.

Note we have several visually and hearing-impaired attendees, so all speakers will be captioned and everything important will be said out loud not just on a slide.


One of our Coed:Ethics goals is to build resources for developers around ethics in technology. We've set up a github project of useful links, thoughts and information for devs and non-devs alike. Please read and contribute your favourite resources.

We are also looking into resources about and trials of ethical Agile processes. Can we automate ethics? If not, how close can we get?


Anne and Container Solutions are collaborating with the OpenSecuritySummit in June to run a workshop to build ethical security checklists, which will be available as a community resource under CC.

We are collaborating with the tech Think Tank Doteveryone on ethical checklists (or Responsible Tech as their project is called).

We will be collaborating with Digi2al and others to trial and generate some feedback loops on the checklists we develop, which will be CC. Contact us to get involved in building and trialling, or just keep an eye on the GitHub account for resources being published.

We are good friends with the team behind the GoodTechConf in Brighton in November. A great conference to go to  after this one!

Get Involved

There are lot's of ways to show support or get involved!

  • Follow @coedethics
  • You can demonstrate your support for dev ethics by tweeting about your views on ethical issues under #ethics.
  • You can read the resources above and even contribute!
  • You can watch the conference talks, which will all be freely available afterwards on the InfoQ website.
  • You can get involved in our development and trial of Ethical Agile or Responsible Tech processes.
  • You can sponsor the conference (any extra money will go to supporting more events and the development and dissemination of our resources).
  • You can contact the organiser, Anne Currie on Twitter @anne_e_currie or by email at

For ongoing news of the conference, we'll be keeping this site updated or you can follow Anne who tweets everything that happens as it happens!