Monday, 12 May 2008
Future Internet ... Flattening the Earth?
The Internet is providing a global platform of relative freedom for all. Socially and politically, the world is effectively being flattened, letting people from almost anywhere regardless of their status or background have a voice and a means to innovate. As non-democratic Governments around the globe continue to struggle to maintain political control, the Net brings more individuals together into virtual online communities. Such communities will gradually assume more power and there have already been examples of how these online groups, which may be dynamically formed and self-organising, have successfully formed to support specific causes and managed to influence decision makers in a number of organisations including Government.
Further ahead, it may be that the Net based community movements will also begin to steer the sort of regulatory decisions that currently Governments aspire to make. Where these decisions are about regulating individuals rather than business, this shift may be most significant and indeed effectively flatten layers of Government. Is this the 'ultimate' in political flattening and perhaps devolution and democracy itself?