Rapid advances in technology have delivered benefits around the world, while at the same time causing real economic and social upheaval. This is driving a growing backlash against technology in some quarters and across the political debate, with many people deeply anxious about the future. Although there can be no avoiding the hard questions when it comes to the negative aspects of technology, technology can also be a major enabler in terms of solving big problems and realising progressive goals.
A major part of our work is concerned with how politicians and policymakers should think about and engage with technology. The emergence of new business models and ways of organising economic activity mean that old regulatory approaches may be ineffective or risk doing more harm than good. But simply giving big tech free rein is not sustainable either, so we are focused on a new set of principles that are realistic about the Internet while ensuring technology serves the public interest.
Alongside this we are focused on how policymakers can access new technologies to achieve a step change in performance on the big issues that voters care about, to enable new forms of democratic participation and civic engagement, and to reform government itself to meet peoples’ raised expectations in the digital age.