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: Going viral
Inside the Digital Society: Going viral 16 March 2020 David Souter

The priority at present isn’t digital, but like anything today the coronavirus crisis has implications that are so: how does the digital world impinge on the coronavirus?; how might the coronavirus affect the digital world?

Inside the Digital Society: The press, the internet and politics
Inside the Digital Society: The press, the internet and politics 02 March 2020 David Souter

Political information and communication ecosystems have been changing lately. In many countries, social media and other online sources have been displacing newspapers and broadcasting, especially among the young. David Souter shares some thoughts on the implications of this for press freedom and why it matters.

Inside the Digital Society: Digital inclusion and social inclusion
Inside the Digital Society: Digital inclusion and social inclusion 23 February 2020 David Souter

In this week's column, David Souter explores how in the digital world we often assume that digital access improves access to services. And so it does – for most people in most cases, but not for all in all. Those designing policies and plans for digital access to public (and private) services should remember always that the real aim is access to services not digitalisation, he states.

Inside the Digital Society: Measuring the impact of ICTs on development
Inside the Digital Society: Measuring the impact of ICTs on development 17 February 2020 David Souter

The world thirty years from now will be as different from today, in terms of its technology, as today’s world is from that of the early twentieth century. Digitalisation’s changes will interact with others, especially with climate change and with the shifting sands of geopolitics.

Inside the Digital Society: Responsible innovation
Inside the Digital Society: Responsible innovation 10 February 2020 David Souter

What do we mean, at a time of growing environmental crisis, by responsible innovation?

Inside the Digital Society: The climate for digital development
Inside the Digital Society: The climate for digital development 04 February 2020 David Souter

Predicting the future’s hard but there are two global trends that seem fairly certain. Digitalisation and climate change are likely to shape our future more than anything else that we can see at present. How are they linked? Or, to put it another way, why aren’t they linked more?

Inside the Digital Society: A world without work?
Inside the Digital Society: A world without work? 27 January 2020 David Souter

This week, I’ll comment on a new view of long-term employment and unemployment in the digital age, from Oxford economist Daniel Susskind. A World Without Work, he calls it. I’ll agree with his core arguments but challenge the optimism of his conclusion.

Inside the Digital Society: Everything changes, everything stays the same
Inside the Digital Society: Everything changes, everything stays the same 20 January 2020 David Souter

Two things are clear: how much has changed in terms of the technology and how little’s changed in public discourse.

Inside the Digital Society: Revisiting 1984
Inside the Digital Society: Revisiting 1984 15 January 2020 David Souter

As the Digital Society develops, more and more people worry that it won’t be the Utopia that internet pioneers once dreamed of; that it might even turn out to more like the dystopias that have featured in film and fiction over the years.

Inside the Digital Society: The gig economy
Inside the Digital Society: The gig economy 16 December 2019 David Souter

What's happening to employment? Last week I looked at the big picture. This week's focus is on platform jobs, ‘the gig economy’.

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