Associated Events

We are excited to have partnered with the organizations who are running the following “Associated Events” during the month leading up to ISTAS21. We encourage all ISTAS21 participants to attend, so that we can get the conversation about “Technological Stewardship and Responsible Innovation” going in advance of our October 28 meeting!

IEEE TechEthics Webinar: “Responsible Innovation via Technological Stewardship”

When? Tuesday, 5 October 2021, 11 am – noon, EDT
Where? Virtual event; register at
What? This virtual panel discussion — part of the IEEE TechEthics Conversations Series — will address how technology professionals can ensure that technology development and deployment have the best possible positive impact. Join us for this IEEE Day event as we engage in conversation and Q&A with leading experts.
Who? Seda Gürses (TU Delft and KU Leuven) and Melodena Stephens (Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, Dubai, UAE) in conversation with Mark A. Vasquez (Sr. Program Manager, IEEE TechEthics)

This event is FREE and open to the PUBLIC. Please share the invitation widely among your networks!

Waterloo Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute: Cybersecurity Month 2021 Programming

When? Thursdays in October
Where?/Who? Virtual event; full program details and registration at
What? The Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute (CPI) is hosting a series of weekly events to mark Cybersecurity month in October featuring two panels, launch of a new public outreach talk series (CPITalks), and a jointly sponsored keynote (Ron Deibert’s ISTAS21 keynote!).

CPI at University of Waterloo is part of the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC) which is a joint initiative of cybersecurity and privacy researchers across Canada.

These events are FREE and open to the PUBLIC. Please share the invitation widely among your networks!

Second International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Equity (AI4Eq): Against Modern Indentured Servitude

When? Wednesday, 27 October 2021 (the day before ISTAS21!), 9:00 am – 5:00 pm EDT
Where? Virtual event; hosted on the ISTAS21 conference platform – AI4Eq sessions are accessible to all ISTAS21 attendees
What?/Who? Full program are available at

Invited Speakers are Josiah Ober (Stanford University) and Katina Michael (Arizona State University)

This second edition of the AI4Eq Workshop proposes to build on the success of the first, but identifies three twists of perspective:

Firstly, the workshop proposes not to focus so much on the development of AI technology itself, but on the societal impact and implications of that technology. For that reason, we are delighted that the second edition of the workshop will be held in association with ISTAS2021, the Flagship Conference of IEEE SSIT, the Society for Social Implications of Technology.

The second twist of perspective is that rather than taking a sort of top-down, policy-oriented approach, we are proposing to take a sort of bottom-up, people-centric approach. The central question of system co-design (between the developers and the users) is then less about the ethics of the developers mandated by universal declaration than about the local empowerment of the users, and defining the opportunities, boundaries and guardrails that determine minimal and maximal rights to self-organisation and self-determination.

The third twist of perspective is within those minimal and maximal rights, is to focus on issues of social justice, in particular the empowerment of marginalised communities and addressing asymmetries of power within the Digital Society itself.

In particular, this asymmetry of power within socio-technical systems, especially those involving AI, raises the prospect of an insidious threat which needs urgent attention. The issue of modern slavery has been identified by the UN as “the first human rights issue to arouse wide international concern yet it still continues today and slavery-like practices also remain a grave and persistent problem“. In this workshop, we will particularly focus on what might be called “modern indentured servitude”.

The AI4Eq workshop will be organised around panel sessions addressing four inter-connected streams: well-being, youth, social care, and community. By raising awareness of the broad range of inter-disciplinary research and societal implications, we hope to help build towards not just sustainable development but also sustainable empowerment: a digital society which provides and protects the opportunity for and capability of all people to live and work together as free and equal citizens through the preservation of civic dignity.