The rise of ‘Tech for Ungood’

All eyes have been on Silicon Valley as hopes have been pinned on the idea of using technology to create positive social change. But what if the motivations of those behind the codes do not align with this view?

My latest article for Pioneers Post looks at the rise of ‘Tech for Ungood, and calls in to question the Cult of Disruption. You can read the article here: http://www.pioneerspost.com/news-views/20150106/the-rise-of-tech-ungood

If it peaks your interest, I’d suggest also reading these two pieces:

  1. This short blog by Adam Lent of the RSA briefly discusses the rise of the blockchain, the technology which underpins BitCoin and has the potential to revolutionise business (amongst other things): http://www.rsablogs.org.uk/2014/adam-lent/hello-blockchain-future-decentralised-flat-small-creative-bit-scary/
  2. This longer piece by Matthew Sparkes for The Telegraph also looks at the rise of the blockchain, but looks at it’s potentially disastrous application to political and social issues: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10881213/The-coming-digital-anarchy.html

All three article raise important questions about what we want technology to do for us, and whether or not this aligns with the philosophies and politics of those who hold the money and technology.

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2 thoughts on “The rise of ‘Tech for Ungood’

  1. Good stuff Steve – I’ve missed reading your writing! Plenty of good points made, and it got me thinking about Nesta’s FutureFest last year that I went to – lots of the speakers (and attendees) implicitly assumed that because something was technological/scientific progress then it would also have a positive social impact. In the end it’s the motivation behind the creation/control of the tech that determines its role in the world. It could just be used to perpetuate other existing problems, as Uber seems to have done so.

    David’s piece on love and motivation in social enterprise came to mind too. Motivation matters, as it will naturally feed through every piece of output from that business. Whatever tech you produce will be an extension of your own desires, views and biases – which potentially are not very altruistic at all!

    1. Thanks Nate.

      Yes I agree with your comments. From our previous conversation you’ll have noticed changed tack in the end, partly inspired by some of our conversations as well as with others. I think theres a future article to be written someday along the linea of ‘Not every one is pure of heart’!

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