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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Technology with limits

How can we tame technology to do what we need and then let it go so that we can be more connected to each other in real life?

Welcome to the ‘New Dark Age.’

A terrifying new book by James Bridle calls on us to embrace uncertainty.

Techno-brilliance or techno-stupidity?

We pay a high price when we confuse addictive pseudo-significance with real meaning.

Combating online abuse with the principles of nonviolent resistance

Individual and collective empowerment may be a more effective strategy than policing or legal action.

Humanizing technology

It’s easier to turn technology in the direction of democracy and social justice when it’s developed with social and emotional intelligence. 

‘Assemble ye trolls:’ the rise of online hate speech

Anti-Semitic tweets were viewed ten billion times on twitter in 2016—that’s why the alt-right loves the internet.

Could Facebook provide an antidote to political polarization?

Is it so hard to listen and speak respectfully to people you disagree with?

For automation to benefit society it must serve human beings—not replace them

Advances in artificial intelligence call us to revisit basic questions about work, love and human purpose.

Empathy and vulnerability in the digital age

The cyber-world collapses the distance between the spectator and the scene of brutality, but does this encourage voyeurism or solidarity?

The internet can spread hate, but it can also help to tackle it

Hate picks no sides—it merely fills the gaps left by broken communication.

Listen to a recorded audio version of this article courtesy of

Lost in space? Silicon Valley and the future of democracy

When Elon Musk talks about governance on Mars, what’s really scary are the implications for democracy on Earth.

Does anyone know what’s real anymore?

Increasingly we are lost in a world of binary codes: zero or one, Republican or Democrat, black or white, female or male, good or bad.

Reclaiming conversation

Are smart-phones eroding authentic communication? A Q&A with Sherry Turkle

Workaholics anonymous: four ways to take time out

Being an effective, productive employee was everything I dreamt of. Until illness caught up with me and I had to learn to take a break.

From Orlando to Suffragette: how feminist films transform their audiences

What propels a person to whole-hearted engagement in social change?

We need to talk about PTSD

Using the hashtag #PTSDChat to spread the word, I paint the trauma of war veterans, rape survivors and first responders.

Dead name: why Facebook is wrong about who we are

For me the legal barriers that block living authentically are upsetting. But for others they are downright dangerous.

The mindful media diet: how to consciously consume the news

Understanding how we digest the news gives us the power to stop being passive media consumers and benefit our wellbeing.

Are you cultivating knowledge or just consuming information?

Whether the internet is a mindless distraction or the greatest educational tool ever invented is all in how we use it.

Why we need the internet more today than ever before

Being able to transmit and receive on so many different levels to such a variety of audiences may be rewiring us for better emotional health.

Can Facebook damage your mental health?

Studies are starting to reveal how social media are changing our lives—for better and for worse.

Beyond clicktivism

Gary Alexander’s new book eGaia examines how digital technology could be used to create much deeper changes in society.

Let’s get real about the transformation of society: can you email me directions?

Following activists on twitter is easier than following them to jail. Why can’t we do both?

Open protocols and open people: preserving the transformational potential of social media

People are the most valuable thing on the internet, so the power to connect, share and work together shouldn’t be curbed by companies who exploit us for monetary value while limiting the flow of information.

Six ways to bring more empathy to the internet

How can web users promote more empathetic interaction online? This is the fifth installment in our series on social media and social transformation. 

Small steps, big changes: how social media contribute to social transformation

Social media facilitate differing degrees of involvement in political action, helping more people to take small steps as part of a larger movement: the fourth piece in our series on social media and the transformation of society.

What I learned from going cold turkey on technology

After I developed RSI, the use of social media led to crippling pain which forced me to confront my compulsion to react. What would life be like if everyone thought twice? 

Why the Internet makes the personal even more political

Online interactions have changed the ways people participate in politics. The second in our series on social media and the transformation of society.

Why social media won’t transform our politics

Is there a sweet spot between online and offline activism? 

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