Understanding disruption in our increasingly digital economy is essential for all organisations and institutions, including the UK government. The broad, on-going debate now taking place is highlighting the challenges we face as individuals and as a society to deal with the transformational implications being driven by emerging digital technology. We are delighted, therefore, that INDEX’s Professor Mark Thompson was invited to deliver a speech to parliament. In his lecture, Reframing Our Politics for the Digital Age, Professor Thompson highlighted the importance of our political leaders waking up to the emergence of the relationship between technology and society and the stark choices to be made as we shape our digital future and, in turn, how our digital future comes to shape us. To highlight these themes, he set out a provocative view of a dystopian future whereby a small cadre of democratically inscrutable and unaccountable surveillance capitalists are in control of the knowledge, the money, and the power. How can our political leaders avoid this and start a national conversation about the digital economy, in which the polarities of labour and capital – and the extreme positions of those who argue for each – are significantly reframed? In raising this question, Professor Thompson threw down the gauntlet to the academic, commercial, and political communities, and presented several key directions to take this debate.

Read the full speech here.