The American Civil Liberies Union (ACLU) joined Silicon Valley’s top incubator, Y Combinator, and Techcrunch put out a call for ‘democracy tech’ saying:
“It’s time to actually make the world a better place.”
Did you know Silicon Valley began in the 1950’s to fight the threat to democracy? Techcrunch’s Josh Constine writes: “Silicon Valley was birthed from an existential threat to the world. Nazi radar defense technology was decimating the Allied air forces. But American engineers heeded the call, and in a Harvard lab led by Stanford professor Frederick Terman, invented radar jammers that helped win the war.”
“Terman brought the engineering talent back to Stanford, turned it into the MIT of the West, won military contracts, pushed researchers to start companies and made Silicon Valley the center of innovation.”
Josh continues: “It’s time for engineers to heed the call once again. President Trump poses an existential threat to world peace, social equality, the environment and the future of American values. Now the resistance needs tech tools to fight back.”
I’ve been at Peter Diamandis’ Abundance 360 conference in LA this week, where the top tech experts have been talking about the power of tech to both destroy and to democratize.
Peter sums it up with his 6 ‘D’s of exponential growth, saying “The Six Ds are a chain reaction of technological progression, a road map of rapid development that always leads to enormous upheaval and opportunity.”
Here’s Peter’s 6 ‘D’s -
1) Digiized – Once a message or idea is digitalized, it can be spread globally in no time and minimal cost, which means you get reach everywhere, anytime.
2) Deceptive – To begin with, no one notices the impact of the shift, but as the impact keeps doubling exponentially, before you know it the impact is global.
3) Disruptive – The new product or platform disrupts and destroys the old paradigms and creates an entirely new way of working and living.
4) Demonitized – The low cost of the new technology means the service that used to cost a lot now costs little or even nothing.
5) Dematerialized – The old institutions suddenly shrinks or collapse as the things and people needs to achieve the same result goes down rapidly
6) Democratized – Always, the control goes from the few to the many, and everyone becomes the masters of their own destiny instead of the victims of the old heirarchies
Is government itself now about to follow knowledge, content, media and every other institution that has fallen to the six ‘D’s in the last two decades?
After ACLU and Exec Director, Anthony Romero, tweeted their legal win against Trump’s executive order on immigration in court on Saturday, they attracted $24 million in donations this last weekend – more than they raise in a year.
They then joined Y Combinator so they can learn the same skills that tech startups learn to scale rapidly with tech, and to use the donations they’ve raised effectively.
Following that news, Y Combinator sent out a “Request to Startups” yesterday saying:
“There are thousands of ways technology can be applied to improve democracy. We’d like to see startups and non-profits who are using technology to make it easier and more appealing to get involved in the political process, and for that involvement to make an impact.”
Is this the beginning of a new phase of digital disruption? The women’s march was driven by the combination of humans and technology to organize marches globally and to broadcast the size of them around the world, making it the largest march in history.
After my last week in the US, I think some of the biggest tech news in the coming year won’t be about disruptions in markets and companies, but disruptions in government and our social institutions.
It won’t be just in the US. It will be global.
It won’t be remembered as a disruption.
It will be remembered as a revolution.
“Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness a more humane society will not emerge.” ~ Vaclav Havel