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Plenary Panelist

Neil BALLANTYNE
Senior Lecturer in Social Work
Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Neil began his academic career at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland where he served as Head of Department and helped to set up and lead the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services. He migrated to New Zealand in 2009 where he worked as an independent educational consultant and researcher before joining the staff of the Open Polytechnic as a senior lecturer in social work in 2015.  Neil’s research activity has a focus on human service technology and he has been a member of the board of the Human Services Information Technology Association since 2008 acting as chair of the board between 2014 and 2018. Neil is also the current President of the Council for Social Work Education in New Zealand, a member of the Reimagining Social Work blogging collective and New Zealand regional editor for the international journal Critical and Radical Social Work.

Plenary II
@ June 28, 11:00 - 12:30

The Ethics and Politics of Technology for Human Service Workers

The global definition of social work states that social workers and their agencies “promote social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people.” And that “principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work.” How then does human service technology, and the rapidly accelerating diffusion of technology in everyday life impact upon that mission? How can we harness technology for social good and minimise the impact of the negative social outcomes that technology can visit upon us, our organisations and the people who use our services? This talk will reflect on the questions above, identify some hotly debated ethical issues and discuss the value of slow ethical reflection on emerging socio-technical issues.

The impact of technology on human services is a timely and important topic. The presentation addresses ethics and politics of technology and draw our attention to its implication to human services. 




Moderator: Prof. Petrus Yat-Nam NG
Professor and Head, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University