Issue 21

Kim Goodwin The leadership coach believes effective human-centred design requires better decision-making – not pixel-pushing.

James Bridle Rise against the machines: the artist and writer warns of a future clouded and dominated by technology.

Renée DiResta The research pioneer who helps to expose the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories on social media.

Nathan Schneider Making work work for all: the cooperative model as an alternative to the robber-baron tech economy.

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  • Kim Goodwin
  • James Bridle
  • Renée DiResta
  • Nathan Schneider

“Until we start measuring what we value, we will continue to overvalue what we measure.”

Kim Goodwin
Design Leadership Consultant

We wouldn’t dream of steering a car solely by staring at the dials on the dashboard, yet we’re comfortable running companies by a myopic fixation on metrics. As we come to terms with the harmful consequences of even the most well-intentioned software, Kim Goodwin calls for a renewed focus on the human aspect of our work. Referring to historical precedents and best practices in other industries, the author and leadership coach puts forward a more human-centred design approach that’s driven by values, not metrics. Kim urges designers to think less about pushing pretty pixels, and more about their role in the ‘decision tree’ of an organisation – the epicentre of where design’s ethical framework is put into place.

“I don’t think the idea that media has been democratised by the internet is true. It’s just been concentrated into an entirely different place.”

James Bridle
Artist, Journalist, Writer

How to describe James Bridle? Perhaps his vast and highly articulate work as an artist, journalist, writer, and technologist places him into that rare category of ‘public intellectual’ for our times. James explores how the hyper-connected digital world intersects with the physical, analogue one in which we all live – and the implications of this clash. He is never afraid to explore the darknesses that threaten our reality, as we increasingly live in a world whose complexity dwarfs our ability to understand it. We are – as he shows in his book New Dark Age – obsessed with measuring and modelling things, and increasingly the victims of our mistaken conviction that this will allow us to comprehend our present and control our future.

jamesbridle.com

“Disinformation is so insidious because it creates a sense of unease – almost like a sense of vertigo – around questions like: What is real? Who is real? What and whom can I trust?”

Renée DiResta
Researcher, Writer, Advocate

As one of the lead investigators into the spread of disinformation through social media during the 2016 US presidential elections and beyond, Renée DiResta’s body of work is crucial in helping us understand the complexities of the issue, and find solutions. The researcher, writer, and advisor reluctantly paints a grim – though ultimately not hopeless – picture of a constantly evolving arms race in which malign actors use the inherent virality of social platforms to erode trust. While her findings put the blame squarely on Big Tech, Renée believes Silicon Valley alone cannot provide the solutions required to defend the integrity of our democratic institutions. In order to meet the challenges of today’s algorithmic social ecosystem, she issues a clarion call for broad collaboration and positive progress through the ‘active unity’ of us all.

reneediresta.com

“People need to realise that it’s time to stop being hoodwinked by the investor ownership model and start investing our resources in business models that are really grounded in our communities.”

Nathan Schneider
Professor of Media Studies, Journalist

In the face of growing accountability crises in our world, and increasing assaults upon democratic governance structures, a professor of media studies urges us to look toward the economic model of cooperatives to bring us together. Inspired by global movements for social change, Nathan Schneider points to cooperativism as an old solution for the new problems brought about by today’s tech economy. Through his book Everything for Everyone and his work as a journalist and co-op advocate, Nathan demonstrates how a new generation of cooperative businesses can build value through human connection, extend democracy throughout our economy, and make tech accountable to all involved – from users to designers to CEOs.

nathanschneider.info

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Table of contents

A New Mindset for a New Internet
Food for thought by Geoff Mulgan.

Stuck in the Liminal Space
Food for thought by Amy Thibodeau.

Interview
Kim Goodwin on measuring what matters, the (lack of) accountability in design, and the designer’s role in a company’s ‘decision tree’.

A Day With
Spend a day with Djuvane Browne.

A Day With
Spend a day with Irena Bakić.

Interview
James Bridle on machine-made realities, the flaws of computational thinking, and the opaqueness of today’s power structures.

Rules of Business
Guiding principles for doing business, by Tatiana Mac.

Interview
Renée DiResta on uncovering malign narratives on social media, the responsibility of Big Tech, and how we can protect both free speech and democratic institutions.

Bright Signals
Projects and ideas that help realise tech’s promise, curated by Kai Brach.

Interview
Nathan Schneider on business models grounded in communities, the shortcomings of our individualist culture, and the rise of tech cooperativism.

Ten Things I’ve Learned
Nandini Jammi and Tait Ischia share ten life lessons from working on the web.

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