Responsible Technology

We believe digital technology can and should have a positive impact on society.

We aspire to build a global technological ecosystem that reaches and works for everyone: One that balances innovation with responsibility, regardless of whether technology is deployed by individuals, companies, or governments. 

That’s why Omidyar Network makes strategic investments and promotes ideas, technologies, and policies that help ensure a digital world that is safe, fair, and compassionate. We support organizations committed to making positive changes— and apply pressure to those that may be more resistant. In doing so, we can ensure that future technological innovation promotes well-being and individual liberty, while building in safeguards to manage its risks and unintended consequences.

What We're Working On

Our work focuses on ensuring inclusive and meaningful participation by different stakeholders, actively working together to craft what what this technology is used for so it can best serve society, as well as, how to guard against detrimental and harmful uses.

We believe regulation and innovation can and must co-exist, and when done well, proper governance and accountability measures can incentivize collaboration and mechanisms that lead to world-class advancement. Given the nature of this technology and its constant evolution, we know urgency must be matched with flexibility and adaptability across both regulation and development.

Omidyar Network will reckon with generative AI’s effects not only on technology, but also on jobs and the future of the workplace to ensure productivity gains are widely share, as well as on broader societal effects such as those that might affect belonging in our communities.

Learn more on our point of view on Bending Generative AI’s Trajectory Toward a More Responsible Technology Future.

Omidyar Network works to create a fair and competitive technology ecosystem. We must rein in big tech’s power that can hurt individual well-being, liberty, and innovation.

We support efforts to introduce and enforce checks and balances, contribute new evidence, act as a watchdog, and include historically marginalized voices as we collectively develop policy solutions.

Learn more about our point of view on concentrated power in the tech ecosystem.

Omidyar Network works at the intersection of big data, automated decisions and artificial intelligence. Our objective is to question the existing lopsided paradigm (where we surrender our data to the whims of powerful entities to collect, surveil, and profit from) and to reimagine a possible future where data control, privacy and security, utility and value are channeled in the public interest.

We support leaders and organizations working to embed values such as fairness, inclusion, empowerment and public benefit into a more equitable data ecosystem.

Three years ago, Omidyar Network began work under the banner of securing Private and Trustworthy Messaging with the conviction that the use of private messaging platforms and protected, un-surveilled communication is essential for individual agency, civic participation, social connection, and personal safety. Today, this work spans far beyond just private messaging platforms and is implicated in everything from from multiverses to video-gaming to social media and consumer AI.

We continue to support individuals and organizations that conduct research, develop technical solutions, and educate tech companies and governments on how to create safer, more secure, online spaces through the necessary product design, policy, and incentive changes. As applications of this technology expand and proliferate we are focused at creating the necessary infrastructure and ecosystem to sustain and incentivize this work globally.

Read more about the foundations of this work and the importance of addressing one of the thorniest challenges in tech: solving for safety and security online while upholding privacy.

Omidyar Network is lifting up a new wave of leaders, companies, and prosocial technologies in pursuit of a thriving ecosystem fueled by responsible innovation.

Through the incubation of The Tech We Want, we’re investing in community, building critical infrastructure, and seeding new narratives that we believe can foster an equitable, inclusive future for tech workers, consumers, investors, and society.

Ideas We're Exploring

At Omidyar Network, we believe young people are both partners and stakeholders in the fight to create more responsible technology.

To support their efforts, we undertook research and learning to understand which tech and tech-adjacent issues animate Gen Z-led decentralized organizing. In doing so, we identified a series of barriers and resource gaps impacting young people’s ability to create positive change in relation to tech accountability and equity. We support various youth-led and intergenerationally-led organizations in the responsible technology movement through micro-grants, capacity-building and direct partnership and we are working with other funders to ensure youth leaders in tech are supported.

To read more about our collaborative work in this area, check out the Responsible Tech Youth Power Fund.

Emerging technologies are first tested on video gaming and adjacent platforms. With over three billions users everyday, these platforms are shaping politics, social and cultural norms, media, pop culture trends, revenue models, and worker organizing, to name a few.

To ensure the future is equitable, inclusive, and intersectional — we are learning how and who can reinforce current systems and structures that work and how to future-proof and create the conditions for change where needed.

The two initial themes focus on collective power and culture and the new global economies — including, generative AI, gaming platforms, user-generated content platforms (e.g., TikTok, Discord, Twitch, YouTube, dating apps, etc), related IP, cloud computing, and neurotechnologies.