24 January 2016

The grand illusion of empowerment

Be the first to share

Financial times journalist/anthropologist Gillian Tett deconstructs the idea that the internet hands power to the people. In fact, she writes, in most countries power remains firmly in the hands of the elite.

The bitter — and dangerous — irony of our modern age is that although the internet gives people the impression that they can have a voice, in most countries power remains firmly in the hands of the elite. This creates a cocktail of frustration and disappointment: ordinary people have the illusion that they are vocal but they cannot actually use their voice to do anything. Or, to put it another way, although people are learning to use their cell phones to exercise power over some issues (such as shopping), they cannot easily use them to change the really important issues such as politics.

It is little wonder, then, that protest is rising — and that popular trust in established, elite institutions is declining.

She refers to the interesting “Trust Barometer” research by he public relations group Edelman. It “reveals the largest ever trust gap (12 points) between the informed public and mass population, driven by income inequality and divergent expectations of the future. While trust levels among informed publics are the highest ever in 16 years, trust is below 50 percent for the mass population in over sixty percent of the countries surveyed”.

Or in the words of Tett: “The top 15 per cent of global society predictably have faith in the status quo: 60 per cent of that group trust the major institutions to “do the right thing”. But among the remaining 85 per cent of society, only 46 per cent trust institutions — and the gap between elite and non-elite views is rising.”

Be the first to share
19 June 2018
The UK Government’s Data Ethics Framework
The UK Government's Data Ethics Framework guides the design of appropriate data use in government and the wider public sector. This guidance is aimed at anyone working directly or indirectly with data in the public …
9 June 2018
[Book] Radical Help – by Hilary Cottam
Radical Help - How we can remake the relationships between us and revolutionise the welfare state By Hilary Cottam Virago Publishing June 2018, 320 pages > Book talk at the RSA How should we live: how should we care for …
11 May 2018
A design lab is making rituals for secular people
At the Ritual Design Lab in Silicon Valley, a small team of “interaction designers” is working to generate new rituals for modern life, with an eye to user experience. Created by Kursat Ozenc and Margaret …
4 May 2018
[Book] Automating Inequality
Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor By Virginia Eubanks St. Martin's Press, January 2018 272 pages The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years—because a …
27 April 2018
Impact through Design – Event in Turin, Italy
(Scroll down for English) Come può il design generare impatto? In continuità con il summit International Days of Deans and Experts: Impact Through Design (Barcellona, aprile 2018) Torino ospita il primo evento dedicato alla prospettiva italiana sull'impatto …
18 April 2018
[Book] The Qualified Self
The Qualified Self: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life by Lee Humphreys MIT Press May 2018, 179 pages How sharing the mundane details of daily life did not start with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube but with pocket …
13 March 2018
Want to craft better policy? Hire an anthropologist
In the spring of 2017 the Danish Business Authority and MindLab, a Danish policy lab, developed a methodology to quickly identify costly regulations and how they could be improved, by combining the Standard Cost Model …
30 January 2018
Designing better elderly healthcare with with Singapore’s public services
Many public services, from welfare to healthcare, are mainly intended for the elderly. One of the challenges of designing digital services is to create simple and effective public services for older users. Designers Italia, the …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup

Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]

3 May 2018
Invito: DesAlps innovation workshop per le PMI del territorio piemontese

Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 – dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino Scopri i vantaggi che il Design Thinking può portare al tuo business per prepararvi […]

27 April 2018
Impact through Design – Event in Turin, Italy

(Scroll down for English) Come può il design generare impatto? In continuità con il summit International Days of Deans and Experts: Impact Through Design (Barcellona, aprile 2018) Torino ospita il primo evento dedicato alla prospettiva italiana sull’impatto generato attraverso il design in riferimento ai Sustainable Development Goals definiti dalle Nazioni Unite. Attori dell’ecosistema territoriale ed […]

26 February 2018
Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Technology is radically changing the world of healthcare and acts at different levels in support of different stakeholders. There are several digital tools on the market (e.g. wearables, virtual reality, robotics, etc.), many of which work in integration with each other, for example, wearables connected to IOT applications. Experientia’s report provide an overview of some […]

22 December 2017
Happy new year 2018!
30 November 2017
New European study on e-Government initiatives

The latest eGovernment benchmark report of the European Commission shows significant improvement on cross-border availability of digital public services and accessibility of public websites from mobile devices in EU Member states. The study also indicates a need for improvement in transparency of public services delivery and use of supporting technology like eIDs or eDocuments. Performance […]

See all articles