Transparency in business – so what?

This coming Thursday, 25 March, many folks will be attending the Social Business Summit in Sydney.

I will be on a panel discussing Transparency in Business – Risky or Essential?.

The debate will be moderated by Headshift’s Anne Bartlett-Bragg and Robin Hamman and the panel members are Nicholas Gruen (Gov2.0 TaskForce Chair); Sherre Delys (ABC Radio National), and me.

This topic has really got me thinking about transparency in business. It’s very much in vogue these days, with many people arguing for radical transparency. And I’ve been re-engaging with Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies at the same time.

An open society seems to me to be a necessary precursor to transparency; but there are so many barriers to openness and transparency. But then there is the question of who benefits from transparency – how do the different stakeholder groups benefit or suffer from transparency? These are all questions about power relationships and the nature of hierarchical relations.

So much to think about. But the question that keeps coming back to me is “transparency – so what?”

Author: Kate Carruthers

Kate Carruthers is Chief Data & Insights Officer for UNSW Sydney, and is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Engineering. She is certified in information security and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies terrorism and security. Kate has extensive experience in senior roles in ICT, marketing, data and digital; and is a member of the NSW Government’s Data Analytics Centre Advisory Board. Kate is currently working at the intersection of data analytics, AI, ML, privacy, cyber security, and data protection.