24 January 2016

The grand illusion of empowerment

Be the first to share
Media
Business
Services
Social Issues

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
4 April 2019
When ethnography becomes a joke
For a number of years, we have witnessed a diminishing appetite for ethnographic work among commercial clients, writes Patricia Sunderland, PhD and founder of Cultural Research and Analysis, on the site of the Qualitative Research …
4 April 2019
Old, online, and fed on lies: How an aging population will reshape the internet
Although many older Americans have, like the rest of us, embraced the tools and playthings of the technology industry, a growing body of research shows they have disproportionately fallen prey to the dangers of internet …
9 March 2019
Innovation is about understanding culture
Jay Hasbrouck, Founder of Filament Insight & Innovation, argues that ethnographic thinking is an overall innovation strategy that can strategically guide large organisations in how they innovate, can drive their efforts to build innovation capacity, …
24 February 2019
Ten arguments against algorithmic decision making
Against the Dehumanisation of Decision-Making – Algorithmic Decisions at the Crossroads of Intellectual Property, Data Protection, and Freedom of Information by Dr Guido Noto La Diega, Senior Lecturer in Law at the Northumbria University Law School Published …
16 February 2019
[Book] The Next Billion Users: Digital Life Beyond the West
The Next Billion Users: Digital Life Beyond the West by Payal Arora Harvard University Press, 2019 280 pages A digital anthropologist examines the online lives of millions of people in China, India, Brazil, and across the Middle East—home to …
13 February 2019
Papers on behaviour, design and the circular economy
Consumer insights into the circular economy Report of stakeholder meeting, 25 October 2018, 14 pages The "Stakeholder Meeting: Consumer Insights into the Circular Economy" in Brussels on 25 October 2018, was co-organised by the Collaborating Centre on …
20 January 2019
[Book] The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for the Future at the New Frontier of Power Shoshana Zuboff Profile Books, 31 January 2019 704 pages The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of …
22 December 2018
The tyranny of story
In this BBC Radio 4 series, British journalist John Harris examines the potency of narrative, both in the stories that define us as individuals and in those that shape our understanding of the public domain. Story …

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.

19 March 2019
Interested in a career with us?

Then we are interested in hearing from you. We have several positions available for talented UX/UI and service designers who are passionate about creating world-class user experiences. Please see the job descriptions on our website for more information, and send us your CV with a cover letter statement about yourself, your experience, and what UX […]

22 December 2018
Our very best wishes for 2019! / Auguri da Experientia!
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 […]

See all articles