In Tech, talent, whether freelance or salaried, is popular and in high demand by companies. The opportunity for these strategic resources to open a new path for the management of digital assets.
While the company is transforming at high speed, and digital is exploding all over the world, the negative impacts of this acceleration on global warming are indeed increasing exponentially. Because they play a central role in this ecosystem, digital talents have a duty to engage in more ecological, but also ethical approaches, and to impose them to develop a low-tech culture in their company.
Focus on what is actually useful to the user
Today, there are more than 4.1 billion digital users in the world. In total, the latest studies estimate that digital technology generates 4% of greenhouse gases in the world, or as much as civil aviation. This excess emission has a direct impact on global warming and will continue to increase, to reach 8% of GHGs by 2030. To reduce the note, developers, data scientists and other software designers must favor a “user centric” approach. i.e. focus on creating useful digital. Thinking about UX design and eco-design from the start of projects, with the aim of limiting unnecessary and energy-consuming functionalities as much as possible.
It’s about designing fast user journeys. Indeed, the less time the user spends on an application or a website, the more his environmental impact is reduced. Another good practice, if Google decided tomorrow to put its home page on a black background, this would have a considerable impact on its energy bill. Indeed, black pixels are actually dark pixels, which consume up to 60% less energy than white ones. In the same way, in the context of a website or an application, we will think about limiting or compressing images and videos as much as possible, which consume a lot of energy!
Work towards a more social and ethical digital
Digital is also a social impact. In 2019, in France, illiteracy affected 17% of the population according to lNSEE and 38% of the population over the age of 12 lack basic digital skills: writing an email, answering an online form, navigating. on the Internet. Tech talent should keep these numbers in mind when developing a tool, so it’s intuitive and accessible to people who are digitally-averse. This inclusiveness must extend to people with disabilities. The visually impaired, but also dyslexic, epileptic, hard of hearing or motor disabled often find themselves excluded from digital offers. Here again, you have to think about UX design during development.
Finally, we must not forget the ethical dimension. Digital tools and in particular algorithms often have cognitive processing biases linked to a lack of diversity of the data used for their training, but also of the teams that model them. To process the thousands of CVs received daily, L’Oréal sought to automate their processing using an algorithm trained on the basis of its historical HR data. As a result, after a few weeks, the CVs of the women were simply excluded from the selection.
A subject that Tech talents must seize
Tech For Good is still in its infancy and this subject is far from being, for the moment, the priority of companies. However, we feel that mentalities are awakening in the face of the climate emergency. Thus, on November 15, the Reen law was adopted in parliament. This aims to reduce the environmental footprint of digital technology in France, by encouraging us to limit the renewal of our connected devices, to promote the development of more virtuous uses and to move towards less energy-consuming services.
If we are only at the beginning, more and more actors are positioning themselves on the subject and the future will prove them right. In 10 years, it is obvious that we will no longer consume digital as today, without restriction. What is also certain is that this Tech For Good revolution will not happen without the first concerned, namely the digital talents who, from today, must be trained in these questions to drive change at scale of their business!
By Melchior du Boullay, CEO of Mindquest
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