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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 delivery partner the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, the Behavioural Insights Team has designed Digital Compass, an intervention that will be piloted in 2019:

Digital Compass will help young people reflect on their relationship with technology and specific apps, and help them make practical changes to their online environment. It also 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

  • Behavioural Insights Team
    $880,300 towards the final phase of the Code for Online Decisions and Ethics (CODE) Program.
  • Central Queensland Life Education Centre
    $50,000 towards the Mobile Learning Centre, delivering Life Education’s health and drug program to schools and early learning centres throughout Central Queensland.
  • Our Community Project (Tender Funerals)
    $50,000 to develop the Tender Replication Strategy and provide ongoing support to communities adopting the Tender model.
  • Outward Bound Australia
    $35,000 towards the Inspired Muslim Girls program, providing outdoor adventure education that builds confidence, resilience, cultural understanding and cohesion.
  • Raise Foundation
    $46,209 towards high school mentoring programs in Narrabri, Young and Wee Waa.
  • Sandgate and Bracken Ridge Action Group (Sandbag)
    $49,311 towards the employment of a Compliance Officer, essential to Sandbag providing services to those most vulnerable within their community.
  • Thrive Refugee Enterprise
    $35,000 towards a feasibility study of how best to support refugees and asylum seekers in regional NSW to start and run small businesses.