The Global Centre for Risk and Innovation (GCRI)

De-coding Risk

Re-building Trust

An invitation to explore, discuss and imagine new systems, technologies and mechanisms capable of accelerating innovation & reducing catastrophic risks to human civilization

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The most effective technologies are tools for human collaboration. The personal computer, mobile devices, the Internet – all are connective technologies that actively engage us and facilitate our coordination. They gave us the modern computer revolution.

Some forget this and now think the future for technology is inevitably in automated systems built to manipulate or replace humans. Nevertheless, this is a confused and dystopian view of technology’s role in society.

For our digital systems to succeed, they must work for people. The focus needs to be on the human experience.

Technology is never successful or “right” in some abstract sense, but it can support many different people. The benefits are justified and made understandable to people on their terms.

Bottom-up pathways for discussion and resolution between those in charge of systems and those who bear the risks of living under them are critical for bridging the divide between technology and society.

The greatest uses of technology empower us to create whatever we choose to imagine. To reuse technology in unpredictable ways to the designer but adaptive to their contexts, much like, say, programming languages. In turn, designers can refine their underlying parameters and assumptions to address broader considerations.

Reusability lets people determine for themselves whether and how to use technology, protecting human agency over the forces that shape our lives and livelihoods.

The modern world is multidisciplinary. There are many complementary ways of thinking and beliefs about what is essential. We need technical expertise, be it in policy or engineering. We need attention to how people live, which is the focus of community organizers and human-centered designers. We need the project managers and politicians who lead broad public discourse as neutral coordinators, orchestrators, and synthesizers of the other disciplines. Every discipline may have rigorous internal standards, but ultimately they must also work with and be accountable to other fields’ standards.

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