How to build trust in a world where tech giants are more powerful than governments?

Mark Zuckerberg is sorry. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed tech’s biggest challenge: trust. Trust is known as a cornerstone of the Nordic welfare state. The levels of trust towards each other, politicians and government are higher in the Nordic countries than anywhere else.

How to build trust is a more acute question than ever before as human beings, machines, and their surroundings are connected by trillions of tiny sensors. These hyperconnected technologies are shaping a world where single companies can wield enormous power over entire economies.

Source: SurveyMonkey/Recode Poll Created with Datawrapper

The development is not just about the economy either: never before have single companies wielded so much power over our personal, social, and political lives. At the same time as tech giants are expanding, there is a growing deregulation trend in government.

We are willing to jump into the digital platforms because they offer good and useful services. However, platforms are set of rules that dictate our interaction inside them. The deregulation trend of governments makes the situation paradoxical raising questions like how much power over our lives are we handing over to global tech behemoths like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Tencent? Unless societies are capable and proactive in guiding policy, practices, and business around hyperconnected technologies, we may end up living in a dystopian future, controlled by a handful of monopolistic platform companies.

2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report

What we need is a roadmap for a better life in a hyperconnected society – one in which these technologies fulfil their promise of a better life for human beings. We call this the Nordic digital promise.

Related blogs

This blog series presents four theses on how to make sure that the future is a hyperconnected paradise rather than a dystopia. Each post presents one of the four theses that bring to life the Nordic promise of a hyper-connected society:

Introduction: How to build trust in the world, where tech giants are more powerful than governments?

Blog 1: It’s not enough to develop technology – If we want to benefit new technology, we need to shape the societal institutions

Blog 2: We let platforms govern our lives but how to govern platforms?

Blog 3: Limited Liability Corporation is Dead, Long Live Responsible Ownership

Blog 4: Hyperconnected technologies change how to do business – six value creation models that are successful in the future

This blog series is based on Demos Helsinki’s publication “The Nordic Digital Promise: Four Theses on a Hyperconnected Society”


Writers: Laura Domingo & Johannes Mikkonen

Please have a contact with Johannes if you want to discuss the theme and how digitalisation changes your organisation. Follow Johannes also in Twitter.

This blog series is based on Demos Helsinki’s publication “The Nordic Digital Promise: Four Theses on a Hyperconnected Society”