future

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 (short of catastrophe). How are they linked? Or, to put it another way, why aren’t they linked more than they are? This week, the problem. Next week, a suggested approach. An existential threat When I was young, the existential threat we feared – the thing that could destr...

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

Fears that digital technology will cost jobs and lead to large-scale unemployment are nothing new. In last week’s blog, I pointed out such fears as long ago as 1971. But they’ve become more prevalent of late. 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. A family affair The digita...

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

USAID – the US government’s development agency – tweeted recently that we were ‘entering the second decade of digital development.’ Not so, we’re much further down the road then that. When I was thinking, some years ago, of writing a book about the early years of ICT4D – or ‘digital development’ – a key figure from those early days directed me way back, towards United Nation...

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

Last week I wrote about some of the big picture issues affecting jobs – employment – in the digital society. How many jobs are likely to be created, and how many destroyed, by automation? How different will the jobs experience be in different countries? The gig economy It’s very hard to predict the answers to these questions. This week I’ll take the focus down to one job sector tha...

Inside the Information Society: What happened to those liberal hopes?
Inside the Information Society: What happened to those liberal hopes? 30 October 2018 David Souter

Twenty years ago, the internet was expected to advance the causes of democracy and human rights. But is it turning out that way? The world today is less liberal than it was back then. What’s happening? Old expectations Let’s go back twenty years or so, when the internet was becoming widespread in the North, more available in the South, and widely seen as a source of new hope ...

APC at the IGF 2017: Towards open, universal and affordable access to the internet for all people
APC at the IGF 2017: Towards open, universal and affordable access to the internet for all people 17 January 2018

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multistakeholder policy dialogue space convened by the United Nations Secretary General in 2006 to “foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the internet.” Twelve years later, it remains a platform for some of the most controversial internet governance issues, allowing actors with quite radical...

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