Inside the digital society

David Souter writes a weekly column for APC, looking at different aspects of the information society, development and rights. David’s pieces take a fresh look at many of the issues that concern APC and its members, with the aim of provoking discussion and debate. Issues covered include internet governance and sustainable development, human rights and the environment, policy, practice and the use of ICTs by individuals and communities.

Inside the digital society: Digital divide or digital continuum?
Inside the digital society: Digital divide or digital continuum? 15 June 2021 David Souter

I’ve never really liked the term ‘the digital divide’. Alliteration’s easy. It gains attention to an issue, which is good, but it also oversimplifies.

Inside the Digital Society: How do we measure the impact of the internet?
Inside the Digital Society: How do we measure the impact of the internet? 01 June 2021 David Souter

Rather than talking about what the internet ‘can’ do, we can reflect on what it has done and use evidence to anticipate the future and adapt our policies. But doing so requires more sophisticated and holistic ways of measuring its impact.

Inside the Digital Society: The trajectory of the internet - past, present, future
Inside the Digital Society: The trajectory of the internet - past, present, future 25 May 2021 David Souter

Last week I wrote about how we define the internet. This week, some thoughts about its history and its trajectory. The internet has been around now long enough for its history to be written.

Inside the Digital Society: How do we think about the internet?
Inside the Digital Society: How do we think about the internet? 17 May 2021 David Souter

How do we assess the internet environment in different countries? 

Inside the Digital Society: "Consuming" creative culture in the digital society
Inside the Digital Society: "Consuming" creative culture in the digital society 04 May 2021 David Souter

Last week I wrote about what digitalisation may be doing to creativity.  This week, a look at what it may already have done to the way that we ‘consume’ creative culture.

Inside the Digital Society: Human and digital creativity
Inside the Digital Society: Human and digital creativity 26 April 2021 David Souter

Can artificial intelligence be "creative"? Can it be original? Can it make art, or music, or literature that is as meaningful as art of music or literature that’s made by humans? Can it understand emotion as well as we do?

Inside the Digital Society: What to do about homeworking
Inside the Digital Society: What to do about homeworking 12 April 2021 David Souter

The pandemic’s changed a lot of ways in which societies are working. How far are these changes temporary and how far permanent? Should governments and businesses leverage these changes or seek to rebuild what’s been lost?

Inside the Digital Society: Children’s rights in the digital society
Inside the Digital Society: Children’s rights in the digital society 05 April 2021 David Souter

Debate on children’s rights online has focused most on child protection, to some extent on education, not enough on the general digital experience of children.

Inside the Digital Society: The Sustainable Development Goals, the environment and the digital society
Inside the Digital Society: The Sustainable Development Goals, the environment and the digital society 29 March 2021 David Souter

This week’s blog’s a ‘sneak peek’ of the chapter I’ve written for this year’s Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) report by APC. It’s an overview of the main issues around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the environment and the digital society. 

Inside the Digital Society: COVID-19 and e-commerce
Inside the Digital Society: COVID-19 and e-commerce 22 March 2021 David Souter and Anri van der Spuy

The accelerated growth of e-commerce, especially e-shopping, has been one of the themes of COVID-19’s relationship with digital. What’s been happening, what’s the likely impact and, as always, who are likely to be winners and losers in this part of the digital ecosystem?

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