From the book
Today, a New Digital Deal is needed more than ever. In the years and months between making the final edits to the first edition of A New Digital Deal and writing the foreword to this updated edition, some serious water has passed under the bridge: Big tech breaches to data privacy, governments using data against their own citizens, citizens pushing back against ever more technology in their streets, schools and workplace environments. It has been a sobering period, following so many years of virtually unbridled optimism about where digitalization would lead us and what that might mean for our cities, our communities. What these past few years have taught us, if anything, is that technology on its own cannot be expected to lead us to a safe future. We need to have a plan in place if we are to champion the journey. I call this plan a New Digital Deal.
Over the past few decades, many have come to believe that the phenomenon of ‘connectedness’ translates into new levels of individual and collective resilience – and with good reason. Digitalization has allowed for unprecedented access to information, education, care, jobs and entertainment. It has enabled better management of scarce resources, smarter mobility and effective collaborative modes of working. Indeed, digitalization has facilitated new modes of human conduct and adaptability.