Digital society

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

Last week I wrote about the relationship between digitalisation and climate change. This week I’ll ask what might be meant, at a time of growing environmental crisis, by responsible innovation. Three great environmental challenges There are many environmental challenges we face today, but four are specially important: pollution, resource depletion, lost biodiversity and climate change. The last of these, at least, poses an existential threat to human welfare. Our economies, societies and ge...

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 ag...

Human Rights in the Age of Platforms: "The call for alternatives is growing"
Human Rights in the Age of Platforms: "The call for alternatives is growing" 21 January 2020 APCNews

The publication “Human Rights in the Age of Platforms”, published by the MIT Press in November 2019, examines the human rights implications of today's platform society. “Today such companies as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter play an increasingly important role in how users form and express opinions, encounter information, debate, disagree, mobilize, and maintain their pri...

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...

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