Lessons from history for governing the digital future

Jeni Tennison

Jeni spoke on this panel with leading experts on learning from history to manage technological change as part of the Cambridge Festival 2022.

Digital technology – smart phones, social media, AI, 5G, virtual reality, smart homes… – is transforming the way we live, work and play. Opportunities from new digital products and services can drive economic growth and tackle some of the biggest challenges we face – from climate change and coronavirus to conflict and poverty. But how can we also curb the harms it creates?

Governments are scrambling to catch up with digital technology to balance individual and collective risks and rewards, and fairly distribute economic, political and social power within society. What can we all learn from history – take the industrial revolution for example – to help understand the present and harness the evolving power of the digital age for the future?