More specifically, it’s going to be about technology and global governance. Or how the former affects the latter.
What’s global governance? It’s about massive global problems like climate change. And the current absence of solutions. These ‘problems without passports’ don’t know boundaries. They’re not controlled by national governments. And they affect everyone on the planet, but some more than others. And the ‘some’ aren’t necessarily those who can do anything about it.
The post-1945 state of global governance allowed a small group of nation states to design and sometimes enact global policy. It is inappropriate today. It may have been inappropriate in 1945.
Today there is deadlock on climate change, as nation states are designed to maximise their national interest. This is true with other global problems. There are inefficient and insufficient efforts made towards global security and global health. Global financial and trade regulation is captured by large private sector actors. Democracy does not exist at the global level.
This blog is about what joins all these problems together – global governance, and how technology may influence it.
It’s about the ideal of a global digital participative democracy, formed quite differently from the top-down multilateral or transnational approaches. It borrows from the web concept of ‘2.0’, where things are organised socially through sharing and collaboration. This concept has been applied to government (‘gov2.0’), which suggests that as familiarity with web 2.0 grows, connected citizens can achieve many of the roles of governance themselves. This could include monitoring, research, policy debate, prioritisation, budgeting and decision making – all taking place in an online community, unbounded by location. It is a movement towards participatory democracy, in which government becomes a platform for citizen-led initiatives.
It’s global governance 2.0.
In a global context, cooperative and collaborative solutions could be built from the ground up, sidestepping international deadlock and democratising the governance process. The power of new networks organising themselves with open data and new communication, budgeting and management tools would generate real legitimacy, where every member of a global society has a voice.
Whereas multilateral institutions struggle to accommodate growing numbers of actors, 2.0 institutions that use co-creative and collaborative processes are strengthened.
There are over 6bn people on earth. Technology allows for a global conversation to happen about the issues that affect everyone on the planet. Then it enables people to get together to do something about these issues.
This blog is an attempt to document and analyse some of this change.