Robert Wigley, the Chairman of UK Finance, has just published a book called, Born Digital: The Story of a Distracted Generation. Click here for your chance to win a free copy.
Our attention has been hijacked by the tsunami of devices, games and social media which now dominate our lives. This new technology brings efficiency, cost-savings and instantaneous information. But when our attention is the currency being traded by big tech firms, what price are we willing to pay for convenience?
Addiction, anxiety, depression, loneliness, low self-esteem, stunted empathy development, troubled relationships, fake news, propaganda and even threats to democracy are just some of the challenges new technology presents.
Antitrust law has failed to prevent the emergence of a few dominant big tech platforms and regulation has not kept pace with surveillance capitalism.
The internet was created on the assumption that all users are equal, but children and the vulnerable are not. In Born Digital, Robert Wigley distils the mountains of available research on the subject and brings to bear his wealth of institutional experience to present a roadmap for society to radically and urgently reset its relationship with technology – for the sake of future generations.
Much has been written about the various harms technology causes, but Born Digital suggests practical solutions based on a businessman’s experience.
He spent a career in finance rising to be EMEA Chairman of Merrill Lynch and a member of the board of the Bank of England during the 2008 financial crisis.
He was Chairman of the Green Investment Bank Commission and wrote the seminal report Winning in the Decade Ahead on the future of London as a Global Financial Centre, for Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London.
He is an Officer of the Order of St John. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.
He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, a Visiting Fellow of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and an Honorary Fellow of Cambridge University’s Judge Business School.
He sits on the UK’s Economic Crime Strategic Board, co-chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Home Secretary. Born Digital is his first book.
‘Born Digital covers a lot of ground in terms of reviewing social tech ‘weapons of mass distraction’ an important read for parents, caregivers, educators, policymakers and industry, in fact, for any stakeholder concerned about the impact of technology on our children, and in turn, on society.’ Professor Mary Aiken author ‘The Cyber Effect’
‘Technology companies are not neutral and their design choices shape our lives. Starting with this unarguable premise, Born Digital raises provocative and interesting questions amidst a hotly contested debate on how we should set new rules of the road’.
Neil Berkett, Chair, NSPCC