openDemocracyUK

The Networked Society: OurKingdom joins the conversation

The world is only now waking up to the radically transformative potential of the network. Our ability to reflect and evaluate on such 'revolutionary' change is struggling to keep pace with the technology itself. The OurKingdom debate on the networked society aims to have a place at the forefront of this struggle.
Aaron Bastani Niki Seth-Smith
24 March 2011
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...nodes, memes, code and viruses... the language of the network is familiar to many but the world is only now waking up to its potential to radically transform the ways in which we communicate, coordinate, deliberate and organise. Sceptics, previously inclined to dismiss the revolutionary nature of online coordination and the birth of open source politics as over-hyped have been back-peddling fast in light of recent events. In the UK, the student and anti-cuts movements have demonstrated the power of networks to facilitate activism, dissent and resistance on a large scale and in radically new forms. Elsewhere events in North Africa and the Middle East have decisively illustrated that online networks have a crucial role to play in bringing about genuine political change.

Yet, while around 460K people are joining Twitter every day, our ability to reflect and evaluate on such 'revolutionary' change is struggling to keep pace with the technology itself. The OurKingdom debate on the networked society aims to have a place at the forefront of this struggle, with a particular focus on Britain.

The debate will launch with an article by Joss Hands, author of "@ is for Activism". 

Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

Layla Moran Liberal Democrat MP (TBC)

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

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