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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Launches The Institute for Technology, Ethics, and Culture (ITEC)

ITEC Logo Mock up Transparent

ITEC Logo Mock up Transparent

"Ethics in the Age of Disruptive Technologies: An Operational Roadmap" offers organizations a strategic plan to enhance ethical management practices, empowering them to navigate the complex landscape of disruptive technologies while upholding strong ethical standards

Santa Clara, CA., June 28, 2023 - Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics,  announced the formation of The Institute for Technology, Ethics, and Culture, or ITEC, with support from and collaboration with the Vatican. The inaugural product is a handbook, "Ethics in the Age of Disruptive Technologies: An Operational Roadmap,” or, more briefly, the “ITEC Handbook.”  This much-needed corporate primer offers a practical roadmap with specific recommendations to help organizations address the ethical complexities associated with disruptive technologies such as AI, machine learning, encryption, tracking, and others.

For 37 years, the Markkula Center has been known for its work helping corporations apply ethical thinking and create positive change, collaborating with companies like Salesforce, IBM and Microsoft on efforts related to ethical standards in design, development and deployment of technology. Drawing on this work, the Ethics Center conducted primary research, interviews and conferred with many corporations to produce the handbook.

“Forming this Initiative, and providing companies with a roadmap in the ITEC Handbook is the fruit of a trusted collaboration between the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, experienced professionals from Bay Area technology and management sectors, and the Centre for Digital Culture of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education,” said Bishop Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education. “Since I have begun meeting and talking with senior representatives of Silicon Valley, especially those working in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning, I have been impressed by their desire to maintain high ethical standards for themselves and for their industry.”

“It may come as a surprise to some to discover the Vatican’s engagement with this project but it is ultimately the result of meetings – “encounters” to use one of Pope Francis’ favorite words – between the Vatican and the world of technology. The handbook is a concrete result of a desire to promote an inclusive conversation between the technology sector and the broader human community whose future will be shaped in so many ways by decisions made by those who are managing innovation.”

A Deloitte study on trust and ethics in technology revealed that while business leaders are aggressively moving forward on implementing and using emerging technologies, nearly 90% of those surveyed lack a framework to support the implementation of ethical principles to guide its development and use. The ITEC Initiative was created to fill that void and assist organizations.

"We are delighted to offer this resource to organizations striving to align their technological advancements with ethical principles," said Brian Patrick Green, director of Technology Ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and a co-author of the handbook. "By integrating ethical considerations into their strategies, policies, and practices, organizations can build trust, foster innovation, and create a positive societal impact."

Green’s work focuses on the ethics of technology, including AI and ethics, and various aspects of the impact of technology and engineering on human life and society. Green researched and wrote the handbook with José Roger Flahaux, a former hands-on global technology executive in operations and supply chain at SanDisk and other corporations; and Ann Gregg Skeet, senior director of leadership ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. José is also an adjunct professor at San José State University, where he teaches Engineering Management Systems in a Global Society. Ann’s work focuses on the ethical dilemmas of leaders and followers, with a particular interest in healthy corporate culture, corporate governance, and ethical leadership practices. 

In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, organizations face unique ethical challenges around matters of privacy, equity, transparency, and accountability. 

“The cornerstone of good governance is ethical conduct. Ethical standards are necessary, more than ever, in this age of rapid technological development and disruption. This is particularly true as artificial intelligence and machine learning become embedded in the human experience,” said Larry Sonsini, Founding and Senior Partner, Wilson Sonsini. “This Handbook provides a thoughtful and pragmatic roadmap for the adoption and implementation of ethical behavior. Its focus on operational guidelines should prove to be invaluable to enterprises and institutions, private or public, small or large, for profit or not.”

“The contemporary situation demands a powerful response, and that is exactly what the ITEC Handbook presents: a comprehensive and detailed plan for improving the ethical management of organizations from top to bottom,” said Steve Milligan, former CEO, Western Digital Corporation. Certainly, many businesses already do so much to maintain their good reputations, but even the best businesses can learn from the ideas in this handbook.”

To learn more about "Ethics in the Age of Disruptive Technologies: An Operational Roadmap" or to obtain a copy, visit:

About the Institute for Technology, Ethics, and Culture (ITEC)  

The Institute for Technology, Ethics and Culture (ITEC), housed at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, is  an initiative of the Center which has been developed with support from the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education. The Institute convenes leaders from business, civil society, academia, government, and all faith and belief traditions, to promote deeper thought on technology’s impact on humanity. For more information on ITEC and to access its many resources, see

About the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University

Founded in 1986 with a seed grant and initial endowment from Linda and A.C. “Mike” Markkula Jr., the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics brings the traditions of ethical thinking to bear on real world problems. Beyond a full range of programs for the Santa Clara University community, the Center also serves professionals in fields from business to health care, from government to the social sector, providing innovative approaches to problems from fake news to privacy protection. Through its website and international collaborations, the Center brings ethical decision-making resources to the wider world. For more information see

About the Centre for Digital Culture of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education

The Dicastery for Culture and Education is one of the sixteen dicasteries of the Roman Curia at the Holy See whose mission is the development of people’s human values in the context of Christian anthropology, contributing to the full realization of Christian discipleship. The Dicastery comprises the Section for Culture, dedicated to the promotion of culture, pastoral activity and the enhancement of cultural heritage, and the Section for Education, which develops the fundamental principles of education regarding schools, Catholic and ecclesiastical institutes of higher education and research, and is competent for hierarchical resources  in these matters. For more information on each of the sections, see and



Joel Dibble

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Sarah Broome

Aircover Communications for ITEC

Jun 28, 2023