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Jamie Susskind: Democracy in the digital age

Jamie Susskind speaking on stage

It is one of the most important questions of our time: how will digital technology transform society and the way we govern?

There is no doubt that technological advances have transformed our lives for the better. There is little doubt too, argues bestselling author Jamie Susskind, that digital systems have the potential to control us. 

In his ground-breaking analysis, Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech, Susskind calls for a fundamental change in the way we think about politics in the digital age. Reminding us of the very real ability of digital technology to shape the way we think, feel and behave, Susskind puts forward a clear warning: those who control these technologies will increasingly control us all. 

Since the digital age began we have looked upon technology through the eyes of consumers. If it’s right that the digital is increasingly political; that today’s software engineers are also today’s social engineers, then we need to stop looking at technology as consumers and start looking at it as citizens.

Jamie Susskind


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Photo credit: Prudence Upton

This talk was chaired by Chaired by Rosalind Dixon, Professor of Law at UNSW Sydney, and presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and is a part of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Trust. Supported by Adelaide Writers' Week.

Jamie Susskind

Jamie Susskind

Jamie Susskind is an author, speaker, and practising barrister. A past Fellow of Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, he studied history and politics at Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating first in his year before turning to the law. He is the author of the award-winning Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech, an Evening Standard Book of the Year, a Prospect Book of the Year, and a Guardian Book of the Day. Future Politics was also awarded the 2019 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize. Susskind writes and speaks about technology – from AI to blockchain, robotics, and virtual reality – and politics. He speaks globally about the future of power, freedom, justice, and democracy, and has written for The New York Times, Wired, and New Statesman.

Photo of Rosalind Dixon

Rosalind Dixon

Rosalind Dixon is a Professor of Law and Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Sydney. She is a graduate of UNSW and Harvard, and has taught at law schools around the world – including Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago and National University Singapore, and is the author of a new book, with Richard Holden, From Free to Fair Markets: Liberalism after COVID out later this year. She is passionate about law and politics, and currently Director of the Pathways to Politics for Women Program at NSW. 

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