On 10 January 2024, City, University of London, hosted the 5th National Symposium on Developing Socially Responsible Professionals. The symposium brought together experts and stakeholders from academia, industry, charities, and government organisations to debate various aspects of developing the next generation of socially responsible professionals (SRP). The goal was to develop the next generation of professionals who are aware of the impact of their decisions, understand the role of ethical behaviour and professional activities on society, the environment, resources, and people, and possess working knowledge to use tools that would help them optimise their impact on communities, society and the environment.
The symposium was hosted by Prof Anthony Finkelstein, the President of City, University of London, and Prof Raj Roy the Executive Dean of the School of Science and Technology, and the Social Responsibility Lead at City, University of London. Keynote speakers included Prof Raj Muttukrishnan (Raj), Prof Andre Spicer, and Michael Adamson, all from City. The Alan Turing Institute was represented by Professor David Leslie, its Director of Ethics and Responsible Innovation Research, while Dr Rhys Morgan spoke for the Royal Academy of Engineering.
The event started with a series of keynote addresses, two of which were followed by open debates on the issues, including audience participation. Informed discussions focused on identifying common ground across professions on social responsibility and letting them share best practices. Moreover, the symposium aimed to develop a skills base for SRP that future learners can use in their professional decision-making and one that accounts for evolving social needs.
Raj, who is Director of the Centre for Cyber Security for Society (MOBS) at City, University of London and Zhero Head of R&D, presented the first keynote on “FinTech and Social Value.” His presentation focused on the rapid evolution of the FinTech ecosystem, particularly on the social responsibility of both unicorn financial startups like Monzo and Revolut, and corporate banks. Raj also discussed the role of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the long-term strategy for socially responsible Fintech. His keynote was the precursor “Could the FinTech sector deliver Social Value in the UK?”
Zhero was honoured to attend this event and support Raj and the other keynotes and presenters. Besides Raj’s revelations on the impact of IoT on socially responsible FinTech, David Leslie’s delivery on Generative AI and the future of the professions was exceptionally insightful. Overall, the day, hosted by Accenture and UK Engineers Without Borders, was a valuable journey down the roads of diversity, equality, global sustainability, circular economies, privacy, identity and data protection, and corporate social responsibility.