Technology adapting to humanity -a different conversation

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An artist, psychologist, sociologist, historian and a technologist all sat down for a chat.

This weekend I was away with friends and found myself in conversation with a technologist, a historian, a sociologist, an artist and I wore my psychology hat (okay, I’m not registered with the BPS but I do have an MSc in Psychology). It was one of the best conversations I’ve had in a long time.

We were talking about knowing what to do with technology, how to shape it and direct it— this feels more important now, or at least as important, as knowing how to make it.

The conversation also felt different because the technologist wasn’t the most important voice — this is in part because they were literally outnumbered 4 to 1, but it was also the questions we were asking.

When you situate technology within the social sciences and humanities rather than centring tech, ideas about what’s possible feel different, more imaginative and more human. Often descriptions of where we’re heading as a digital society feel led by technocratic and (old) economic ideas.

We felt so buoyed as a group by this conversation that we’re going to experiment with a few different ways of doing this regularly, in an open and diverse way, to see if it connects with others. We’ll try some different formats — audio recordings and live podcasting, as well as online video discussions or micro-events — and we want to change the people taking part each time.

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Back in August, when I was starting to think about this, I put out the tweet above, and had an amazing response. I will be following up with those recommended (finally), but also wanting to find others who would be up for taking part.

Do you know or are you, an artist, a psychologist, a sociologist, a technologist, a historian (or really anyone from the humanities) to wants to take part in one of these monthly conversations?

Please fill out this very short form.

Written by

Senior Head, UK Portfolio at The National Lottery Community Fund & Co-founder of the Point People. Previously Strategic Design Director at Doteveryone.

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