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The system is broken – And that's the good news

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like you good morning everybody so thanks for being here it's wonderful to be with you on this absolutely glorious early summer
day I and I wanna start I of summer conversation by actually sharing with you a Christmas presents so and this is a Christmas present that I received from a very dear friend of mine are the journalist Quinn Norton and Quinn for 2012 after the most recent American elections made a set of these prints and send them out to many of her friends and when we receive these prints we immediately know which she was referring to but you're not gonna know what he was referring to so try to explain Quinn that had published an essay at the end of 2012 with a very provocative title which was don't vote and this was an essay expressing her frustrations with what it meant to be an activist what it meant to be someone who was very political in the United States at that particular moment because the United States is going through a very rough moment as far as if it's a concern we have a Congress that is in passing legislation we have 2 parties in power that don't speak to 1 another that don't compromise it's been the least productive government in a very long time the system is flooded with money the people who are in power are in no danger of losing their jobs because the entire system is rigged by those in power so they never get voted out so if you're someone who's working on an issue like inequality or racism or some of the deep structural problems it's very hard to find faith in what's going on within the system and so Quinn wrote this very passionate essay where she said I decided I'm on strike I not voting until you can demonstrate to me that my vote is actually going to mean something the voting is actually going to be a way that I can make change on the issues that I care about and the bracket is particularly significant
because it's making fun of sticker this is a sticker that you get any time you show up at elections in the US and you're supposed to put it on your code so you can prove to everybody that you voted it's sort of like when you go to church on Ash Wednesday and put the ash in your for this is your way of proving that you've gone to the church of democracy you've done your duty you're a good citizen and by putting it on a break Quinn is essentially saying not only my rejecting that but I'm saying that maybe your vote should be a protest maybe your vote should be throwing a brick instead of showing up in the voting boxes now this is a cartoon I don't think she's actually encouraging us to stand up and Ryan but it's a really nice way to point out the tension which is that if you keep supporting the system that you know is broken to some extent you were complicit in the continuation of that system the no Quinn
sent this out right after she spent a year covering the occupy movement known as a member of occupied with someone who was in the occupied and giving it the attention I and the respect and the careful reporting that it deserved but as a way out to show clear evidence of of how systems are not working and how people looking for ways to change the it so I took this Christmas
gift and I attended over my desk and it's been sitting there for 3 years now and the reason it's been there is for me it represents this tension that I'm trying to figure out because I don't have a lot of faith at this point in the ability to make real systemic change through elections and unfortunately I also have real concerns about the ability of public movements to go out and make real change so I look at this brick this is a challenge to me what's the way forward at this moment today for someone who wants to make really big change in the world so let me 1st explain to you
why I'm not enormously confidence about the ability to make change for elections for 1 thing in my country at least I'm absolutely not alone we just had the worst voter turnout in our most recent elections in American history it's gone down steadily every single year it's always a little better during a presidential election during those are cycle elections it gets worse and worse this is the worst we've seen in 72 yeah know the good news is
that we're not entirely alone because you guys in Europe are seeing many of the same trends you just had the lowest turnout for European parliamentary elections and in fact that turnout has been steadily dropping since 1979 to the presence a new national elections always do better than the European parliamentary elections but they're dropping to across the board we're steer fewer and fewer young people in particular who were showing up and going to the voting they don't particularly care about getting that sticker the action the 4 had they don't necessarily see this as an essential part of what they can do and people go out
and blame young people for the failure to participate they basically say look this is a generation that is so lazy so distracted paying so much time on their mobile phones paying so much time on social networks they don't pay attention of politics they don't care politics they're not engaged with politics but that's
clearly not the case if you look at the people who were going out into the streets if you look at the people who were going out and making protests around the world you can say a lot of things about these people but you cannot call them lazy these are people who were looking for different ways to go out and make change in the world the
what's interesting about this is that we're seeing in what you might call a golden age of protest very different levels of success for different protests in my country we just had a wave of protests most recently in the city of Baltimore were young man named Freddy Gray who was arrested by the police was damaged so badly while in police custody that he later died and when it became clear that he had died in police custody people took to the streets not just in Baltimore but in Boston in New York around the country and within a week of his death people got what they wanted they actually had 6 officers arrested and charged in 1 case with murder this is a huge shift in the United States where 101 unarmed black people were killed by police last year at almost no cases did you see that officer getting arrested but there's now a protest movement that's capable of reacting very very quickly to these atrocious circumstances at actually finding a path towards justice and in fact we've
seen protest work with limited degrees of effect on much much larger scale issues 2011 in many ways was sort of the high water mark for protest globally we saw the Arab Spring began to unfold in Tunisia in late 2010 we saw Egypt in 2011 we saw a wave of revolution spread throughout the region but it's been a really mixed back we got a democracy in Tunisia we also get 3 civil wars in Yemen and Syria and Libya we got incredible vicious government crackdown in buffering and what we've got in Egypt isn't clear even now where you had an elected government toppled by a military government the we're learning that
protester very very good a counter power they're really good at ousting surprised and unaware governments but protests have a much harder time actually building governments than toppling them and even though it's much easier philosophically to get very excited about protests in a monarchy or a closed society what started happening in 2011 was the same idea this same revolutionary impulse to change the whole system by going out into the street this continued and continued in North America and South America and in Europe people picked up the spirit of the arab spring but they turned it into an n-type politics movement of movement of people essentially saying we may live in a democracy but our system is so broken that we have to find a way to throw that system as a
whole after so in Spain we saw the indignados movement we saw young people in particular come into the streets starting on May 15 2011 protesting austerity policies protesting lack of opportunity for young people people felt like Spain was being run by a wealthy elite for their benefit not necessarily for ordinary citizens and the movements lasted for almost a year before they turned into a political party put them what's and this is where things get tricky because today most very quickly ended up the 2nd largest political party in Spain the 2nd most members within a week of being found but during the 1st election cycle they only get 8 per cent of the vote there was something about taking the street movement and trying to bring into the political sphere that didn't work very well
occupied started shortly after september 17 2011 would occupy Wall Street in Zakari part we remember people going to the streets to protest inequality financial corruption a broken banking industry housing college debt burdens in the United States the some amazing sensors on a local level local versions of occupied often did a really good job of keeping people from losing their homes and across the country you have far more dialog in US about inequality than you had 4 years ago across the world occupy became a model that people have used for protest like occupy Hong Kong but even the most ardent supporters of occupy will tell you that it probably has not led to the sort of major structural changes that we hope to see in American society it got a lot of attention to get a lot of energy and it didn't convert into a movement that was able to govern here's a couple of reasons why some
smart people worry about what the limits of protest maybe this is nifty
fetching out never apologist she goes out and studies protests hence the nifty helmet on the helmet by the way is for the throwing tear-gas canisters you don't get water get hit with them up Zainab just did a brilliant field study on what happened with the gaze apart protests out which were amazingly powerful that brought 3 and a half million Turks out into the streets in 90 different cities from May to August of 2013 and it
was an incredibly diverse set of protesters you had everybody from ultranationalist to gay rights activist showing up at the same time but what's interesting is the protests were really brief they were huge they brought a ton of people out but then they were way very very quickly and effect the main demand of those protests which was to eliminate 1 they get completely the opposite in fact 1 ran for president and 1 without even a runoff so that the opposite of what they were looking for and Zainab says that what's
happening is that it's getting so much easier these days to build protest we go on
facebook we go on Twitter we livestream at on you stream run periscopes we have all this ability to draw people out and bring them to be part of our movement what we don't have is any of the hard work we used to have to do trying to get those people to settle their differences before they go into the streets together so the model for the Ghezzi protest actually comes from a room the poem that's the phrase send the gal you to you
come and that's with approaches for about no matter who you are no matter what you believe in come join us in the streets will find a way to be opposed together but that's not a very strong movement at a very brittle movement and when people were to shut that movement down or when people work to try to figure out how do we turn this movement into politics had we try to engage with the system we have a very very hard time making it work Zainab worries that what we're about to see is an age of protesters bigger but weaker than ever before and she worries that people like everyone know exactly how these big movements can be that leaders used to be afraid of 50 thousand people in the streets because that meant huge amounts of organizing behind the scenes now even a million people in the streets doesn't necessarily scare government because they know how quickly it can come together the no that's not depressing
this is depressing even cost yeah is a leading Bulgarian political scientist and he's also been studying this wave of protests after 2011 and his feeling about this is that even if a movement like the indignados even if they go out and topple the government even if they oust people in power they're still not going to get what they want the and his theory about this is that governments are so much weaker than we really think they are we think that the people that we voted in the power have the power to change everything but in fact a lot of what's happening right now between nations is not really governed by the people that we elect its governed by financial markets and he gives this example
when Berlusconi got kicked out of office in Italy it was a popular movement that finally get rid of Silvio it was the bond market we got to the point where Italy we simply couldn't afford to borrow money anymore and so the people didn't vote berlusconi out of office the bankers voted Berlusconi out of office at a certain point he had to go because there was no way to keep the country go and you may be happy that Berlusconi's got I think a lot of people are but what's actually happening across triple-B's is that politics has been reduced to the art of adjusting to the imperatives of the market that these people who we feel like we can influence either in the voting booth or by taking to the streets these are not the real people in power and we haven't tested this in Greece to see whether Cereza a movement from the left a real opposition political movement can actually govern that country or whether they get voted out of power again by the market so this is pretty chilling if
you have people who were frustrated and disengaging from politics as usual from showing up at the ballot box in trying to make change that way and you're starting to have the smart people saying look it may not be as easy as we hope to make change by going and taking to the streets what we do next we need a 3rd way we need some way of engaging in politics and civic life and public life that isn't a slow and indirect as representative democracy that isn't all this direct and as fragile as going to the streets and so for many of us for many of us in this room the 3rd way for the last 20 years has been the hope that were somehow going to go online were somehow going to find a digital approach to these issues that allows us to find a 3rd way so I've been working on this and
thinking about this for a long time I'm lucky enough to have been working on Internet companies from more than 20 years working with 1 of the very 1st Internet companies that worked on this idea of social media and user generated content and I can tell you that when we go back into the 19 nineties a lot of the people who were doing this work we weren't doing it because there was an enormous amount of money because in the early 19 nineties there was no money at all we were doing
it because we thought that this was an incredible shortcut to trying to build a better world we believe that a lot of things about what was going to be different because of the internet for 1 thing
we believe that it wouldn't be possible for a single powerful company to control markets anymore because it was so easy for people to start new businesses you were going to have a single firm that simply dominated and controlled every aspect of our life no 1 would be able to build something
as big as a search engine that had no rivals or social network that some have dominated the entire network see it just simply couldn't be possible we believe
that the Internet should be about the sensor invented the internet was going around around censorship that it was going to be the ultimate space for freedom of speech and that
as President Clinton said at 1 point censoring the Internet is like net nailing gelatin to the wall it simply can't be done people are going to find their way around we believe that the Internet was go
let people interact with 1 another in a way it was completely different you weren't gonna care whether you were male or female you were when like going to care whether you're black or white it wouldn't matter what nation you were from all that would really matter is who you were and what your
ideas were and of course no 1 would actually care about your identity to try to sell you things and of course this would be and much more open and fair space and much safer for people
like women and marginalized groups to have conversations how we doing these so far
we believe that this was a space that the government in care about that they were gonna bother paying attention to and even if they were that the Internet was so vast that it just wasn't going to be possible monitor all events and that the companies that we were using to communicate in this space we're gonna protect their privacy and that even if we had something really really careful that we had to get out there we have unbreakable encryption and that no 1 was going to pay attention to be able to read what we had to say In other words we believe a
lot of really dumb shit now this may have been the really brave and
vicious hell lot of this was really brave ambitious and hopeful but ultimately really dumb stuff we didn't know what we know now which is that the Internet doesn't magically make everything better it doesn't magically turn itself into a freer and fairer and more inclusive space thank you to look at this right now where you have certain Berners-Lee leading a campaign for the Web we walk 25 years after he invented the World Wide Web he's now
asking this question what's the Web we walk and the Web We Want these very very different from the Web we have it's more inclusive it's more fair it's more open to more parts of the world so for all of these disappointments that we've been dealing with for the last 25 years I wanna argue that may be the biggest disappointment is how the internet has affected how we govern many of us 20 years ago I believe
that what was going to happen is that the internet was going to open up politics to a much wider range of people it wasn't necessarily going to be the people who stood up and gave great speeches it might be people who had great ideas configured had the share them online I start thinking about how groups like the Pirate Party tried to bring in new people into politics with very limited success but the Internet may be possible to bring some really interesting figures talking with my friend modest that's probably my favorite German politician it's only in the age of the Internet that I could imagine him getting elected to office but for the most part what's happened is that actual politicians existing parties have figured out how to use these structures to raise money to raise the profile it's a lot of the same people they just figured out how to use these new tools we really hope that with the Internet would do is
increased transparency and effective has we've seen wonderful efforts to try to get Open Government Data in some cases even secrets and leaks out there but it turns out that the data itself is not enough simply having data all what the government is doing doesn't necessarily change what governments are doing we people analyze we need people to investigate we need journalists we need storytellers we datavisualization people we'll whole army of people to try to take even the most compelling secret information and actually have it turned into something that we can use to change the world and we really hope that we would start seeing direct participation legislation we would see people actually getting together writing legislation online we've had very limited versions of this we've had the mark to build Internet in Brazil a remarkable piece of crowdsourced legislation the people behind it including are another layer most at the Institute of Technology and society in Rio are putting forth a platform that are going
let people work together right legislation but this is a tiny tiny minority of what's happened so far it's been a rounding error and if you ask people what went wrong when we get wrong 20 years ago when we said that the Internet was gonna change politics there's at least to answer 1 answer comes from my friend we have set free we have put out a very very good book called the big disconnect why
the Internet has and transform politics yet it's a very brave but because he's saying much of what I'm saying here and and the height is is neck deep in politics so it's very very hard for him to admit that so far the Internet has and the transformation that we want but would the help believes is that we just don't have the tools yet that the internet right now is mostly a broadcast medium that when you sign up for a party sign up to follow a politician they simply advertised to you online rather than giving you a backchannel the tell you tell them what you want and what you believe and we haven't solved the problem of deliberation at scale we don't yet have a tool that lets us
get together and have a conversation and say how should we compromise how should we work together and solve this issue me have thinks that the solution is things like
democracy or less which is this remarkable new platform of software built by Argentina's net party led by PM which is letting people say OK if you elect me I will make it possible for you to give feedback on all of my decisions were gonna write legislation together let's find a way to work together so that I as your represented in Parliament and doing a better job and you feel like you have of voice I think these efforts are really laudable I think the fantastic and I think the way way too small because I don't think we've ever taken on the real problem and this is the real
problem we are living in an age where many many people are mistrustful not just of the government but of all sorts of institutions this is a graph of public trust in government united states from the 19 sixties to the present you'll see that it peaks at the 1964 with 77 per cent of Americans saying that they believe the government will do the right thing all or most of the time and it's dropped steadily down into the 19 eighties it's dropped even
lower since that it's now down around 24 points now for me I'm
born in 1973 and 42 years old in my entire life time there has been 1 single moment where 50 % of my fellow-citizens trusted the Government and it was at that precise moment that George W. Bush led us into a horrible and stupid water rock the whole rest of the time we have been in a position of
not trusting what the government has to set and it's not just the government if you ask Americans they'll tell you we don't trust the government we don't trust banks with interest corporations we don't trust the process we don't trust NGO was the 1 institution we seem to still trust is the military which frankly scares the crap out of me because that's what happened in Egypt where you had a situation where people lost faith in every single institution other than the 1 with the guns now before you think of this as Americans we know their uniquely screwed up let me point to some of this work being done by our friends over enablement Adelman has been trying to figure out what's the status of trust in Europe and according to their survey you guys have worse problems than we do in fact they argue that when they ask people they ask a hundred citizens and 33 nations how much they trust the government NGO O's business and the media they found 1st of all that trust is at an all-time low that Germany Italy Poland Spain Sweden and Ireland all have lower levels of trust and then we have over in the United States and I've been going around I've been talking to friends about this and they've been pointing to recent events luding process this debate about whether the German press is actually able to be fair and objective for me this is part of the same phenomenon this is this moment of a very high baseline level of skepticism in any large institution of any sort and we go further and say I don't think this is just an attitude I actually think a lot of this skepticism a lot of the time is highly justified I don't
have a full explanation for why we're going through this moment mistrust but there's a lot of possible reasons what are the ones that Thomas Piketty's been pointing out is that we're going through another wave of inequality after going through a period where society was getting closer society was getting more people were getting better
distribution of wealth were now at a position where a leads to pulling away from ordinary people and if you're in a system where you feel like you have less and less money and less and less power it makes perfect
sense that you would be mistrustful of that system it's possible that transparency this incredible move we've had with the Internet to saying let's just publish everything would put as much information out there is we can that 1 of the downsides of transparency is that we see all the shortcomings of all the weaknesses of these institutions sometimes we see massive systemic catastrophic weaknesses we do the banking system in 2007 2008 sometimes we see minor weakness the sort of weakness that we should be able to forgive and move on beyond what we end up building the cycles of mistrust where we punish again and again and again for these I think professionalization has a lot to do with this in the US it's gotten to the point where you
simply can't run for office unless you're multi-millionaire but even in europe you've seen a real professionalization of the political class you have a real difference between many of the people who were representing you in Parliament in ordinary citizens and that notion of politics being something the professionals do rather than something that everyone does is another way to create the sort of mistrust and his claimed was saying the beginning of this when you feel powerless when you feel like there is no good way that you as an individual can make a change in your society that's incredible impetus to feel mistrustful of all these different institutions no problem with mistrust is that mistrust is incredibly corrosive if you
feel like you can't trust a bag you know could put your money in at a certain point the bank doesn't have any money account land any money if you don't trust the government you less like the pay your taxes and don't pay your taxes the Government is bound to be affected because it actually can't figure anything to do and so when people talk about mistrust they always talk about it as something to fix they talk about it is something that if we would
just sort of get together maybe we would learn a little bit more about it maybe we would understand the legislature a little bit better and suddenly willful better about it and will be a warmer trusting friendlier society we'll all get along better and I just stop buying it I don't think it's happening I think we have at least 2 generations of people people my age and younger for whom this trust is the default state we start mistrusting until were proven otherwise and you have to continually demonstrate that some of
these institutions are something that we should give our trusted yeah and so here's the truly crazy idea I wanna put forward in this talk I think we have to find a
way to take this mistrust to take this baseline state of how many of us are in society and try to figure out how you
would turn this into an asset how do we turn mistrust into the fuel that lets us transform the world that we live in today I got a couple ideas for how we might do this I'm watching people who no longer have a lot of faith in the ability to make change the ballot box to look for other ways to make change my guide to this is Larry Lessig's book code and for those of you who read the book you may remember Lessig says the we think that what regulates the world is law we think if we wanna make a change we have to pass a law and make something legal or illegal but actually we change the world in a lot of different ways we make changes for code which makes it easy or hard to do certain things we make changes through markets which make expensive or cheap to do certain things we change through norms we make it socially popular or taboo to do certain things so for people who are looking at the world and saying I don't feel like I have a lot of ability to make change with law you have the possibility of change through code I don't really love to
see European governments find out some way to stand up for personal privacy and put real consequences for the companies and for the governments that have violated our trust in the revelations that come out in the wake of soda I know better than to even say that I would like my Government to make those changes this is not gonna happen and so I don't trust these guys very much to do it but an enormous amount of faith in some of the people who were trying to make these changes in code it's not gonna happen in US Congress but maybe it's gonna happen through toward or through whisper systems of the Guardian project a male polymer love or all these people trying to figure out how we can make security privacy the default for personal communications as an essential precursor to us to live in a democratic society I really wish we would see UN organizations take a firm lead toward the global carbon tax so we can do something about global warming I don't know that it's gonna happen but I'm fascinated by companies like Tesla they're going to the marketplace is saying yeah right now it's a hundred thousand dollar electric
car but wait until it's a 20 thousand dollar electric car and wait until this is the vehicle that everybody wants to have and we moved to a system where were taking when the major sources of emissions and moving instead toward solar power we'd love to see more people taking Germany's lead around something like solar power and making it affordable within the marketplace so if we can achieve that an international institutions we can achieve it through markets and it turns out that norms within this are probably the most powerful way we know how to make change a lot of problems that were facing in my
country right now are problems of racism and we have laws against it there were laws against shooting unarmed black men and that is the problem it's not passing more laws it's changing hearts and minds it's changing it so that for most people when they encounter a young African-American man their responses not fear which is what's leading to the violence and so a campaign like black wives matter is going after norms it's getting people to see these larger problems and trying to make changes in how we treat each other so this is 1 path to change when you don't trust the institutions it's to try to figure out a whole other way to make change within different system here's another way to people a
doing I call this idea monitorial citizenship it's an idea that basically says we are doing our job if all we're doing is showing up to vote every couple of years our job is to be engaged and skeptical critic of governments every day looking at what the providing asking the question are we getting what we've been promised and are we getting what we need His a project by my friend Luigi
region works for the Italian government charged with a really interesting open data project build a beautiful beautiful Open Data tool which is index of every project funded by EU Cohesion Funds within Italy if you're in Italy you can look up exactly where those funds of gone on what's been built in your neighborhood how's it going and nobody uses the tool and so the she did all of this work to build this tool we started talking to his friends and he would say well using the tool not not using the tool Will you think about the of the is a terrible idea we get nothing out of it so he looked at this and said look clearly just transparency is not going to solve this problem clearly better do something else
and so he started leading small teams of people to go knock on the door of an EU funded project and ordered show up and say what are you doing how's it going what you promised you were going to do with the money have you done has it gone well and what's crazy is that this has become a popular
weekend activity he's calling this the monophonic it builds on the hackathon hackathons are great if you know how to hack if you know how to build things maybe you could build something very quickly but you know what everybody knows how to monitor and we can all go out and so of ask these questions in effect this works so well that this is now being used at the high school level when you take high school civics in parts of Italy instead of sitting there reading textbooks about how government works you go out and ask hard questions about whether the government is doing the work that you needed to be doing for you I stole a lot of these ideas I've taken them to a couple projects that were working on and Brazil were doing a lot of work right now in Sao Paolo Brazil and we're doing it because the mayor of Sao Paulo did something very very unusual he said look I'm gonna promise you a hundred concrete promises of the course of 4 years and these are concrete
things like I never put in 400 kilometers of bike lanes I would put in 17 thousand street lamps and they're published in a 300 page book so you can hold him to it but of course no 1 built a system to actually let citizens go and monitor these problems so we did so we built a system called promise track which lets people get together in the neighborhood and say what you care about whether the local issues that you care about that you want effects from a smartphone you can make a survey the survey can take GPS readings it can take photos it can take videos it puts together a
crowd a way of sort of visualizing this information so you say to a group of young parents will you care about this say we care about parts we wanna make sure the kids have a place to play right 10 minutes that is on a survey they handed out to their friends you have a hundred people with phones who can go out and start building a map of how parts are working or not working in Sao Paula and once you have that that you can do some interesting things you can go to the mayor and
say you promised as parks were parts you go to the press and say what you did report on this issue that we really care about but we did maybe you can work with us actually publish the information that we have or you can take these maps you try to figure out how to solve it yourself are there problems that we can get together as a community and so we launched the since Apollo 3 weeks ago so it's been so popular that my staff and self Apollo has now been invited the 9 other cities around the country just in the last 3 weeks people are desperate for some way to come in and feel like they can actually have an impact that they can actually make a change 1 of things but when it's really interesting about this is that when you start monitoring government systems you
start from this position of opposition you start from thinking I really hate this we're not getting what we want and then you go and the community you take a closer look at you discover a lot of time that actually you are you're getting more than you think and of actually changing your relationship with the people who are providing government services for me in many
ways the most ambitious idea in all of this is this ambition that says you know what institution is inherently are not to be trusted I don't care whether I'm building them I don't care whether a monitoring them I simply don't think that any logic structure is the way that we should do things and this is 1 of the things that the net community has gotten the
most passionate about 10 years ago I remember being in Berlin when triphone was trying to build a citywide wireless network we started CCC and we start a roaming in all directions over the city to see if we could get the match to span the whole city 10 years later meshes starting to look like a very realistic way of dealing with some connectivity problems and it's a way of doing it that doesn't have a single lies fear a single point of failure these sorts of systems are incredibly hard engineer they're
incredibly hard to build but they're wonderful aspiration because they take us out of some of these problems of someone in the center of the network someone who were going to end up at some point lobbying or protesting a voting in and out of power if we can find a way to build architectures that resist centralization we have something really interesting and with Bitcoin we now have this really interesting challenge that something radically decentralized could also be something that is firmly in the realm of something that we think that's in the space of the government no we could huge problems with this when we build these de-centralized alternatives we need them to work as well as the
institutions that we have we need them to be as reliable we needed to be as believable while the decentralized the real problems with monitorial citizenship all you can do is try to hold someone the promises you can't necessarily try to make them take on something new taken something more ambitious when you're working on these new systems there's the danger that you become the new institution that no 1 trusts and everyone's fighting against our friends at google 10 years ago thought that they were the insurgents they thought that they were trying to topple the dominant power and now for many of them there are the dominant power that we wanna try to find a way to challenge the but what I think these alternatives all have in common is they start pointing to a 3rd way and it's a 3rd way that instead of letting us get paralyzed by mistrust and letting mistrust say you know what I'm gonna give up I'm going to sit on the sidelines I'm not going to do anything with this anymore these are ways to use mistrust to come together and become more powerful this is the middle path between the ballot box in the it's taking this dangerous and corrosive mistrust that we now face and it's using it to build the institutions we deserved and that's the challenge of our generation it's the challenge to build a better world than the 1 that we inherited and 1 that's fair more just more beautiful and more worthy of our trust thank you very much thank you so much even and exactly 1 once knew very badly in the last years and so that came today and I think we have a couple of minutes if you winning
originally hallucinations knows me would you like the means and ends up and then you might be the yeah the and I saw you raise your hand yeah after 10 move might higher but instead of saying don't vote but is vital to just form a new party that so I'm keep my my my whole talk was trying to reject don't vote and also was trying to reject the protesters
but the problem with the new party is if you're in a position where you're mistrustful of institutions in general it's very hard to mobilize people around founding that new party I think part of what's going on here is not just dissatisfaction with the existing parties it's often dissatisfaction with the party's system as a whole and what those parties are capable of and not capable of and I think when you look at some like crossed it will I was talking about there he was arguing that it's not just that the wrong people are in power but even if you have the right people in power they're not necessarily have to make the really big dramatic changes that we need and so I think found another party is is absolutely 1 alternative but I'm looking at what I'm thinking of is that 3rd path of other ways to try to make change in the world that are outside of that system we have another 2 questions over here and there hi attention
from I wanted to ask can you think of any can as an example where a distributed or decentralized our power structure has managed to run and if the and counter power actually got a power in itself something that is quite needed between the governance so I think it's much harder to find the examples and
politics and it's a lot easier to find that the the examples in other fields I I think we've watched from highly centralized ways of organizing companies and knowledge get toppled by the open source system and it watching Microsoft you have sort Linux committed essentially shake the foundations is the parallel that some were looking for in many ways we've seen sometimes in communities successful devolution of power but it seems very very hard to have this work solely within traditional political circumstances and I don't know that that's exactly the 1st target we go for it but I think looking for ways where highly evolved a centralized power has come into play and building on
top of that I think is a great way to go and that's where I think you know technology like the
blockchain with people really working from the ground up to say this does not work well in a centralized fashion I think that's a very intriguing way to go yeah I have a question in terms of mistrust yeah promoting this
trust but the way your promoting this just means that you have trust and mistrust and this mistrust can be abused by those supplying power can say something about this so I wanna be clear I don't think I'm promoting
mistrust and what I'm doing is recognizing mistrust and I'm arguing that mistrust is a critical part of our current moment in time and what I'm suggesting is that mistrust is something that we have to acknowledge recognize and then try to figure out how to channel and my hope is that many of the methods that I'm talking about help reduce mistrust if you go out and start monitoring your government and discovering that in many cases the government is doing well that lowers the level of mistrust if you end up building your own institution and it sticks better to your values in your principles than other institutions out there that lowers levels of mistrust but there is no doubt that there other people recognizing the power of mistrust and trying to figure out how to use it for their own ends I look at what party is doing in debates about the Ukraine and I think the Russian government may understand mistrust better than any other force on the planet right now and is trying to figure out how to sort of turn the media into a space where no 1 trusts anything at all it's not that I'm prone mistrust it's that I'm pro trying to figure out what we do with it and how to move it in a constructive way thanks so much time and so OK uh I used to work for the and some open source so that the social networks and basically not unknown on them and got popular and some people are claiming that they have in the popular because there was no way of monetizing them and for example be which the popular and for me in the main achievement of
because blockchain and it's made the lux to monetize in
the able to monitor it because you could make money just mining the guns and the main question is shouldn't we look for other ways to monetize their centralized uh uh infrastructure and the
itself and where is the following that we should stop not to become the next time and not to make ourselves by ourselves in
the place of so I I think building sustainable projects through whatever way you do it is a critical factor in all of us and I think 1 of the things that makes it very difficult to replace existing institutions with new more open more fair more participatory ones is that there are often very very difficult to support I agree with you that part of what's exciting is that in Bitcoin you have something that's both philosophically very interesting and also capable of a certain amount of self sustaining itself support but I don't think this can be the only systems we build there are a lot of the issues that are capable of being fueled really just by our energy not everything has to turn into a billion dollar you know venture capital funded project if what you really need is a way for a set of people to get together and solve a problem and you have people who wanna make change by making code we need to do a much better job of matching up people who care about the change more than they care about building an enormous business with the communities who want work with them on trying to figure out how we take on these issues so I think they're both important factors I don't think they're inherently and 1 over here great pay and so 1 question you mentioned mostly private initiatives when you talked about monitoring of privacy security sector but there are also a lot of companies who are at trying to protect our privacy and security sector and but they are also on the financial side right so how do they have to behave to be successful in this game between trust and mistrust them so I I think 1 of the interesting things when we
start talking about mistrust when we start talking about monitoring what we're really talking about is not just government institutions that's all different sorts of institutions and 1 of these questions becomes how do you create that culture even within a company what would it mean to build a company where mistrust was actually seen as an asset and something that could be constructive for how the business work and move forward what would it mean to
have a process that wasn't just transparent but was also the 1 extent
another confrontational and this is very different from the way we work it now right right now that the major ways that we look for trusting corporations is we build brand trust us trust us and we occasionally responsible to a whistleblower who basically exits the system saying I'm going to show you what's wrong it's very interesting to me to think about what would you do within a corporation in the same way that the city of São Paulo is basically inviting people in to say moderate practices see what's going on and see if it's working well help us try to figure out how to get better it's not gonna work for everything I understand that these aspects of financial transactions that we can't sort of open up in that fashion but it's a very very different paradigm from how businesses work today and for me
it's it's a provocative idea of thinking about what would it mean to let our employees and our customers take on that relationship and very aggressively monitor
what we're doing well on what we're doing poorly and I think that's something that actually would lead to a very different change in interest around these institutions yeah how the judgment back hello my name is stored the sort of them the head of Research of the European Broadcasting Union the professional association of public service media Europe so we have been doing some research and trust on following the figure is delivered by the Euro
barometer last year what we found is that Europeans trust 1st of all radio sequelae to be they don't trust press the on trust Internet and where they trust the list the social networks of so my question is In the talk you have been talking about the Internet and all the new tools but the thing from Joe perspective under American perspective that traditional media do they still have a role to play in building trust
all of the power of this broken system that talking about so you have different figures depending on how you ask these questions if you ask the question do you believe what you read that randomly circulating on the Internet verses do you believe what's coming up from a national broadcaster the national broadcaster comes out higher but if you ask people what they trust people tell you that they trust their friends and that that information delivered by the people was closest to them and the becoming the highest entrust systems all over the time and so I do think that in many cases the ability of people to get together and self-organize with their communities and of being significantly more trusted than even the national broadcaster and as you're seeing in Germany as we've seen in the UK there have been very interesting moments were national broadcasters have also felt eroding trust even if that trust is that in many cases justifiably some of the higher trust within the system certainly within the US we actually have fairly high trust in our national radio broadcaster in some of our better newspapers but it's still an evolving environment and what I think is happening to the national broadcasters is less and less can they be guaranteed that trust and less and less can they guarantee that power that they get to set the agenda and dominate the conversation and so I think it's a changing environment even for the national broadcasters I was talking with a friend about this yesterday and talking about what is it mean to build news for world of mistrust and think what it means is that we don't just report but we also report on why we believe what we believe and how we know when and how we tried to verify and I see some of the best news
organizations moving towards this and really putting forward how they're building that news and how they're trying to build trust and it and I think for national broadcasters and for everybody else I think starting from this assumption that the audience doesn't trust you and that part of what you have to do is explain why you believe in why you trust what you're saying I think that's a critical part of the question yeah on so you give the the example of the city
of some form of bringing people in and out asking them to help do their job better and the government body sensing something similar again this is feedback model where you you become interactively ask for feedback and tries to that engage the citizenry in good governance and telling this about the system to somebody and they said and this the government going delegitimize themselves and so this such distrust that even if the government is trying to open themselves up people relate no maybe dead this is just a way to show that they're doing something about it but they're not in some warning is in good people within the government do something better if they're going to open themselves up at the Kennedy more transparent if they're going to get feedback what else can you do the in the custody of lost of S you cities b because I was trying not not that Philip the full
hour I was to quicken myself follow story but in South hollow are partner is not actually the government are partners a group called reading of the self which is an association of neighborhood organizations and ready analysis self hollow actually was instrumental in getting the mayor to make this commitment towards transparency so what we have is essentially a situation where you've got a community committed to trying to figure out how they make sure the whole the government for the promises what we actually call this we call this Liberal mistrust liberal democracies relies on a certain amount of mistrust there's mistrust between the parliament and the executive and judiciary and that so you have checks and balances and what I'm interested in this can we take that idea of constructive liberal mistrust and bring it out into the community so I agree with you I think having the government In the lead out is probably not the right way to do it I think civil society and we on and government receptive is a much better way to do it but I think we really pointing to is for me this sort of the issue even when the government of showing up and say we want to participate more everyone sort of assumes that this is just another marketing ploy this is a trap at some point we have to figure out how do we actually get that input had we make a constructive because we know that that's a spiral it's a spiral the gets worse and worse and worse until we do find ourselves in a situation like Egypt where we say we rejected all we're going to start from scratch alone my name is Martin Schmitt from the center of contemporary history and puts them you say we live in an age of mistrust that uh and now we are here in the city of berlin and Berlin was the center of of a system of mistrust which called with which was called the DDR in the GDR mistrust was in every single bit of of personal relationship in economics and politics everywhere so how can you to say just for a 2nd that we are now living in trust as the
generation before us had to get over this and get over the wall to and to system of mistrust so we are living in a society where you can stay here uh and say we're living in an age of mistrust but you can trust that you can get a go home safely as just 1 asking if today we are a lot like have a higher standard where we are trusting in our lives in an hour in in a better future at but I just a little bit grumpy about things how it goes it's a very very helpful point perhaps the answer should be
I should be more nuanced than my statements in saying that an open democratic societies I think we're at a much lower level of trust than we were as recently as 40 or 50 years ago you're very right to point out that in this particular place in this particular moment in time there have certainly been points of higher mistrust and what I'm talking about societies in which the response has been revolution that tends to be a response that's a much more
reasonable 1 in a fully closed size that said with an open democratic societies I am quite happy to make the argument that we are at a much lower level of trust them we were even 2 or 3 generations ago and so I think it's always helpful as a historian to come and find out the example and particularly in this place at this time you have an excellent counter
example but I think my overall argument regarding the last 250 years of representative democracy and open societies like I think is perhaps on uh reasonably
someone but maybe we can find a way to talk afterwards and so you can try to talk me out
of out of the contention hello that out I'm here and about that last question thank you very much for the question before I would like to add to this actually this a prejudice you can pass it comes from a very pretty particular group here in Germany it's
not like a common thing and so I really think you talk was very interesting but still I think it's from the very American perspective and we here in Europe have a different situation and a different history and different intellectual history also and so I'm wondering where you see the differential the difference actually this would be my question because I think there are a lot of different differences and then this trust here is that if there is a some it's completely different than from what were promised you to have but part of what's helpful about showing up in different countries and trying to share ideas and you
find out whether they resonate locally or not I I would not be surprised to find out the Germans either feel a very different history associated with mistrust or that the idea that I'm putting forward simply doesn't apply that the whole point of coming here and try to give a conversation would be very hard for me as an American scholar to give you a German
talk and so it's helpful for me to get the feedback but that
these generalizations maybe overgeneralized but I do want a push on this question of whether the post world war 2 but there is a sense that that trust has been declining were increasing but I'm not speaking entirely without evidence I am according to other people would think that this trend is going on but I'm fine with hearing the response that
this is a particularly American phenomenon take the American problem but I don't know that it is based on a lot of the other examples that I've been getting a throughout the continents and countries that I know better but I appreciate the push back thank you so my CZE by so much as having having random of helices and it is
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Metadaten

Formale Metadaten

Titel The system is broken – And that's the good news
Serientitel re:publica 2015
Teil 25
Anzahl der Teile 177
Autor Zuckerman, Ethan
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen und das Werk bzw. diesen Inhalt auch in veränderter Form nur unter den Bedingungen dieser Lizenz weitergeben.
DOI 10.5446/31880
Herausgeber re:publica
Erscheinungsjahr 2015
Sprache Englisch
Produktionsort Berlin

Inhaltliche Metadaten

Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract We live in an age of mistrust: in governments, companies and institutions of all sorts. Mistrust can be corrosive, but mistrust can be a powerful positive force.

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