Rethinking trust – in technology

We are engulfed in technology in our homes, at our workplaces, in our spare time: every moment of our everyday lives. We rely on technology such much that the question whether we trust it doesn’t easily come to our minds. And there was little need to ask that question – until recently. But with information technology pervading literally every aspect of our lives today, we cannot evade that question any longer.

Rethinking trust – in humans

Trust is the essential currency in human interaction, it is the indispensible basis for the many unwritten contracts we enter every single day. Trust is the glue that keeps social groups together and the grease that lets these groups act, and interact, smoothly. Trust is so foundational to human society that we take it as just that: the eternal fundament of our culture. I’ll argue that digital technologies are gradually eroding that fundament, causing cracks in the foundation of our society.

Rethinking ownership

Our economic system is founded on the concept of ownership. Buying stuff, selling it, that’s the baseline model. Most importantly, how much or how little you posses is key to your social status. So ownership is a central aspect of our society, and it’s woven deeply into our daily lives. But that doesn’t mean it is immutable, that it could escape change.

Rethinking society

Looking for weak signals that might foreshadow major changes, a broad diversity of recent developments comes to the surface. These include the rise of cities as actors in global governance, the demise of the labour contract as the mainstay of wealth distribution, the dominance of data-driven platforms across many industries, and the re-localisation of manufacturing and energy supply. That begs the all-important question: Is there a way to integrate all these ideas and observations? To come up with a reasonably coherent image of the trajectory we are on?

Innovation – Our force for change

Innovation has become a major buzzword of our time, often with almost mystical properties ascribed. This essay is my attempt to demystify that buzz – in 500 words.