I shared a platform with Baroness Susan Greenfield, the scientist and broadcaster, in Belfast on October 17th, for Business in the Community Northern Ireland Responsible Business conference. Susan gave a fifteen minute master class on the brain, how it adapts and is adapting.
She challenged us all to reflect on whether we are content with the directions the brain appears to be evolving. specifically Susan questioned our over dependence on and over-use of screen-based devices and social media to keep in touch at the expense of human interaction. Important philosophical and practical questions. Her analysis also raises important issues of Corporate Responsibility, in particular for the ICT sector and for video-gaming and similar businesses. Do they have any responsibility for over-use of their products and services. For example, for Ringanxiety where sufferers worry when their mobiles don't ring for a few minutes? And for companies generally: are we condoning, encouraging or even forcing employees to over-use computers and mobile devices? Are we explicitly or implicitly expecting employees to be "on-call" for the business too much?
This article was first published at Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at the Cranfield School of Management.