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
20 November 2018
[Book] Who can you trust?
Who can you trust? How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart by Rachel Botsman Public Affairs November 2017, 336 pages If you can’t trust those in charge, who can you trust? From government to business, …
19 November 2018
What are Europe’s rules for democratic artificial intelligence?
Vincenzo Tiani has written an excellent summary in Wired Italia of the recently published "Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations", by AI4People, a task force of European experts. With the …
18 November 2018
Consumer behaviour and the circular economy
Report: Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy London Economics for the European Commission – Consumers Health and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) 23 October 2018, 202 pages The objective of this study was to provide policy-relevant …
17 November 2018
[Book] Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting The Rules Of Work
Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting The Rules Of Work by Alex Rosenblat University of California Press October 2018, 296 pages Silicon Valley technology is transforming the way we work, and Uber is leading the charge. An American startup that …
24 October 2018
[Book] Challenging the City Scale
Challenging The City Scale: Journeys in People-Centred Design Ed. by Cité du Design (Saint-Etienne) and Clear Village (London) Birkhäuser, 2018, 176 pages (free ebook) This 176 pages book is released by the famous international publisher Birkhäuser, and co-edited …
1 October 2018
[Book] Left to Our Own Devices
Left to Our Own Devices: Outsmarting Smart Technology to Reclaim Our Relationships, Health, and Focus By Margaret E. Morris MIT Press, November 2018, 192 pages Unexpected ways that individuals adapt technology to reclaim what matters to them, from …
11 August 2018
Tech companies use “persuasive design” to get us hooked. Psychologists say it’s unethical.
Behind the screens of the games we play and digital communities we interact with are psychologists and other behavioral science experts, who are hired to create products that we want to use more and more. …
2 August 2018
[Report] Reclaiming the Smart City
Reclaiming the Smart City: Personal Data, Trust and the New Commons Why and how city governments are taking a more responsible approach to the collection and use of personal data By Theo Bass, Emma Sutherland, and Tom …

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.

4 October 2018
Bringing​ ​patients into focus at the Roche Innovation Summit

Experientia is proud to have been a key participant at the Roche Innovation Summit, held at Roche headquarters in Basel Switzerland on 19 June 2018. Themed “​Transforming the Healthcare Experience Together​”, the summit aimed to galvanize the Roche community around the future transformation of healthcare and diagnostics. With 800 attendees from Roche and Genentech global […]

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!
See all articles