Workshop: Power and Diversity on the Web
What are the global power dynamics that determine the web? And how can we shape a digital society of the future that is just, inclusive, creative and courageous? These were the key questions guiding us through an interactive workshop we organized in collaboration with the Goethe Institute. The participants that joined us were from all across the world, from Caracas to Moscow and Croatia.
Our thesis: The digital world is permeated by power dynamics based on old, colonial patterns. Those power dynamics perpetuate existing injustices, enable or hinder access to information, participation and self-determination. However, in order to create a fairer digital future, it is not enough to break up existing patterns. We also need creative, diverse visions of what the digital society of the future should look like, and how we can shape it collectively.
The aim of the workshop was to gain a better understanding of digital colonialism and to create alternative visions for a fair network - and to develop very concrete, diverse ideas on how we get there. As methodologies we used Backcasting and the Oracle of Transfeminist Technologies by Coding Rights. The workshop participants drafted their very own desirable future scenario. The visions contrasted with gloomy future narratives (such as surveillance capitalism, corporations that control everything, and people who are helplessly at the mercy of technology). They focused instead on technologies that are developed for the public good, on new digital tools that are human-centered but also environmentally friendly. To make the scenario as tangible as possible, each group developed a "headline from the future" - a news snippet that reaches us across time, from the desirable future to inspire the present.
Listen in on this podcast to get an impression (in German):
Images by Clara Juliano