SHAPING THE FUTURE
ITSI will work to conceptualize, curate and promote ideas for technological progress and regulatory frameworks that work symbiotically to the mutual benefit of each. Regulation must serve technology and creativity, rather than the other way around.
Our commitment is to the effective application of new technologies to the enhancement of free societies – and in connecting those who share our vision.
An Inflexion Point
The world is at an inflexion point in the course of the history of technology. Thanks to the imminent arrival of the internet of things, we will soon be more connected to each other and the technologies with which we have populated our world than we ever have been.
At the same time, in light of the Covid pandemic, combined with increasing tensions between democratic states and autocratic regimes, we are entering a period of skepticism concerning the competing virtues of connectivity and globalization.
The Institute for Emerging Technologies & Social Impact (ITSI) believes in the power of technology and connectivity to create a better, more free and more prosperous world. We believe our generation is endowed with unprecedented power – and therefore responsibility – to put this technology to the best effect.
Pursuing such a goal is of course easier said than done, and involves more than a purely technological understanding. It requires a social and economic vision. This is because new technologies are neutral in themselves – it is only in their application that they are transformed either into boons or scourges for civilization. Technology is a means to an end, while a good society conducive the human flourishing is an end in itself.
LEADING THE WAY
Cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology serve as a perfect metaphor for this dilemma, and the manner in which revolutionary technology might be used for good or ill. Bitcoin might have the potential to lay the foundations for a more open and inclusive global financial system, while blockchain technology can empower civil society through unmediated and verifiable contractual obligations. By the same token, Central Bank Digital Currencies might accrue the capacity to increase state control over individual citizens and quash civil liberties.
In the same vein, while autonomous technologies lie at the heart of this 5th industrial revolution, it is a landscape abound with regulatory hazards and legal minefields. Yet the reality is that driverless cars could serve to save thousands of lives each year and increase productivity by sparing us long journeys, while electric vehicles are indispensable to any plans for a net-zero future.
Innovation in public transport also goes hand in hand with economic growth, social mobility and public health.