TECHNOLOGICAL CITIZENSHIP FOR EMERGING IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGIES
THE CHALLENGE: how can citizens engage with the public discourse and politics of emerging immersive technology?
New technologies are rapidly taking over more and more aspects of our daily lives. With the advent of the Metaverse, many public services, such as education, health care and finance, will be offered by predominantly private companies. This is a big challenge for traditional democracies as core values such as accountability and transparency, of primary importance when it comes to public services, are disregarded in favor of convenience and profit.
The purpose of our project is to help citizens develop the awareness and knowledge to understand these technologies and empower them to take collective action over technological trends in society. We want to help form public opinion on how to make sure these instruments shape society in a way that caters to public interest instead of corporate bottom line.
The ideal outcome of our project is a tangible product that helps citizens develop a narrative on the Metaverse, by focusing on democratic and societal values. It would help the Rathenau Institute to foster an inclusive public debate on the implications and ethical considerations of emerging immersive technologies, where everyone’s voice is taken into account, ultimately benefiting democracy as a whole.
Our Outcome Criteria:
- Characteristics: tangible product, not “tech-first” as a form, reproducible, empowering, designed to be usable in libraries, fun, simple, safe, UX centered, inclusive, zero language barriers, no app.
- Experience: Designed for emotion, thought provoking, conversation-starting, interactive, gets people confused, sparks people talking to their friends.
- Citizenship: Influence the government through voting and lobbying. Influence tech companies by consumer demand and coalitions. Motivated by individual needs/interests.
- Government: May use tech to engage the people. Motivated by power/responsibility.
- Private Tech Companies: May influence people through tech cultural trends, may influence government through lobbying. Motivated by profit.
- Not necessarily tech illiterate, but not included/engaged in public discourse around emerging tech.
- Focused on ages 18-25, mainly students
Access, attitude, knowledge, and skills.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF TECH CITIZENSHIP
- Awareness and knowledge of the impact of technology
- Influence over the politics of technology in their society
- Access to technology
- Feel connected to their society
THE TOOLS WE USED FOR THE RESEARCH
PROJECT TEAM: Tech Tech Team
Giulia Lenzi: community manager, interested in sociology and anthropology combined with design and communication.
Ruth Abena: social designer, with a strong passion for strategy and innovations.