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Initiate

Ethical Development Program

VFFF has a long standing interest in ethics and in 2016 a VFFF working group set an ambitious goal: Young teenagers use communications technology ethically. In 2017, VFFF launched the Code for Online Decision & Ethics (CODE) program in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), to find a way to meet this goal and help answer one of the pressing questions facing society: how can we spur the ethical development of young people and do so in a world of rapid technological change?

The backdrop to this work is an international debate about technology and ethics that has taken on new intensity. The effects of technology on mental health and educational outcomes are gathering sustained attention from policymakers.

Capturing the voices of young people was a centrepiece of this work in 2018. The #NoFilterForum that took place in April 2018 gave 60 young people aged 12-16 years a unique opportunity to have their views heard. This forum considered the question: how can we make good choices in an online world? As captured in this video, young people grapple with and care about these choices:

The Forum underlined that there is currently a gap for solutions which foreground young people’s ethical development, rather than narrowly focusing on reducing cyber-risks. Working with potential delivery partners, the Top Blokes Foundation and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, the Behavioural Insights Team have now designed three interventions that will be piloted in 2018/19:

Formative Conversations – aims to spark conversations between parents and their children about a range of challenging ethical issues.

Controlling the Online Environment – will help young people reflect on their relationship with technology and specific apps, and help them make practical changes to their online environment.

Social Compass – addresses a question that young people ask a lot but rarely get a good answer to: how can they handle complex online conflicts without things getting out of hand?

VFFF is excited by this work and its potential to transform the way young people interact in their online environments.

 

Latest Grants

  • The Australian Centre for Social Innovation
    $375,950 for the final delivery phase of developing a regional capability building model with the key people and initiatives VFFF works with in Lachlan Shire and Dubbo.
  • Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal
    $708,925 for phase one of the Rural Community Futures Program, to strengthen grassroots non-profit organisations in rural, regional and remote NSW.
  • Indigenous Marathon Foundation
    $50,000 to establish the IMF Deadly Running Footprints, a series of running events to create positive local role models and facilitate community engagement in the Northern Rivers, NSW.
  • Musicians Making a Difference
    To pilot the Breakfree Street Support and Internship Program, a pre-employment training program for 18-25 year olds in the NSW Central Coast area.
  • Paint the Town REaD
    $48,000 to provide ongoing support and training for communities in rural and regional NSW to effectively implement the Paint the Town REaD program.
  • Sugarvalley Neighbourhood Advancement Group
    $23,650 to continue the employment of a Grant Writer for an additional 12 months.