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Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making

  • Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making

    Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making

    Today's leaders are burdened with ever-growing expectations and dilemmas. The Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making provides them with tools at the intersection of ethics and technology so they can make wise decisions for their organizations while feeling confident about the future. In so doing, we aim to help solve what we believe to be the most difficult, but most important, challenge of our time: how to align emerging technologies with ethical, human-centered values.


Founded thanks to a generous endowment provided by USC Trustee Jerry Neely and his wife Nancy, the Neely Center’s mission is to guide leaders in making responsible decisions surrounding the development, implementation, and management of emerging technologies. By fostering and promoting cutting-edge research, comprehensive education, and cross-disciplinary dialogue, we strive to ensure that technological advancements contribute to both immediate and enduring societal benefits.

Focus Areas

Our current work focuses on three technology-powered innovations poised to revolutionize business and society: 1) Social media platforms and their effects on individuals and communities around the world; 2) Artificial intelligence and its implications for human coordination and decision making; and 3) Immersive and mixed reality (AR/VR/XR) environments with the potential to enhance or detract from physical reality. In each case, we seek to steer these powerful tools toward their benefits and away from harms.

The Neely Ethics & Technology Indices

We are home to the USC Marshall’s Neely Ethics & Technology Indices, which include three nationally representative metrics aimed at capturing people’s usage and experiences of harm and benefit across three critical technologies: social media, artificial intelligence (AI), and mixed reality (AR/VR). The Neely Social Media Index, Neely-UAS Artificial Intelligence (AI) Index, and Neely Mixed Reality Index, now publicly available, represent America's first longitudinal, nationally representative analysis of social media, AI, and mixed reality user interactions.


  • We work to advance the science of the design of social media systems to provide an avenue for policy makers, technologists, and citizens to improve the impact of social media platforms on society. We do continual work with the press, policy makers, academics, and technologists on advancing this argument.


The Neely MBA Ethics & Technology Fellows program aims to support visionary MBA students poised to become the next generation of technology leaders. Each cohort explores and guides the development of a new area of transformative technology. The 2023-24 cohort is focusing on mixed reality (AR/VR), with implications for entertainment, gaming, collaboration, education, and healthcare.


  • Held at the University of Southern California on Friday, March 24, 2023, this workshop brought together leading experts in AR and VR to discuss the latest developments in the field of mixed reality as well as discuss the exciting opportunities and ethical challenges these technologies present. 

    The USC Marshall Neely Center for Ethics, the Psychology of Technology Institute, and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies partnered to organize a gathering of influential leaders and scholars to share personal insights and develop practices and principles that will be included in a white paper on the opportunities and ethics surrounding mixed reality.