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Episode: 3

Can governments cope with digital citizens?

Can governments cope with digital citizens?

“The discovery provided by Uber and Airbnb presents an interesting picture for post-austerity governments shedding services, assets and resources.”

— Tom Cheesewright, Book of the Future 

The state is always in a difficult position. Caricaturised as an amorphous and rather apathetic entity run by faceless bureaucrats; it is loved by some, feared by many, and potentially misunderstood by all. Our relationship with the state has always been complex and with the digital frontier beckoning, we worry that it can only become ever more obscure.

Like an exemplar digital citizen, your host Paul Miller brings up these concerns with the leaders of the Design and Futurist constituencies. Your politics will vary but fundamental concepts like privacy, rights and diversity should be held sacrosanct, whether you’re following Elon Musk to Mars or setting up a digital state in a virtual world. In this episode, join us on the campaign trail with Sarah Gold (design director at IF) and Tom Cheesewright (applied futurist at Book of the Future) who offer visions of the power of hyperlocal parliaments, the possibilities of a true sharing economy, and the surprising immediacy of the future.


Sarah Gold – Designer and Director of IF – Tech for Good

Sarah is a designer interested in interaction, data and networks in the public domain. Her practice examines technopolitics, privacy and civics. She is founder of design studio IF, which “makes things that change how people think about data, privacy and security”. Sarah is a Fellow of “Near Now”, a programme that explores technology in everyday life and sits on the advisory board for Tech For Good, which promotes civic technology projects. She has designed for public sector organizations including the Government Digital Service and Doteveryone, as well as commercial businesses like Dior and Apple.

Tom Cheesewright – Applied Futurist, Book of the Future

Tom Cheesewright is the founder of applied futurism practice, Book of the Future and the creator of the Futurist’s Toolkit, a suite of tools for developing agile organizations. Tom helps people to see, share and respond to a coherent vision of tomorrow. Clients range from charities and public sector organizations to FTSE100 enterprises and global technology corporations. He appears frequently in the media, across TV, radio, print and digital, providing insight and analysis of the latest technology news and future trends.

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