#rp24 speaker Ramesh Srinivasan: Toward a more democratic internet

15.02.2024 - The researcher calls for a new ethic of diversity, openness, and inclusivity.
Ramesh Srinivasan als Speaker auf einer Konferenz. Er trägt ein Hemd und ein Mikrofon.
Photo Credit
Ivo Näpflin, https://flickr.com/photos/63368911@N00/3330953525, Lizenz: CC BY 2.0 DEED, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We may love the immediacy of Google search results, the convenience of buying from Amazon, and the elegance and power of our Apple devices, but it's a one-way, top-down process. We're not asked for our input, or our opinions – only for our data. In 2020, Ramesh Srinivasan published “Beyond the Valley. How Innovators around the World are Overcoming Inequality and Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow”. In this book, he describes the internet as both an enabler of frictionless efficiency and a dirty tangle of politics, economics, and other inefficient, inharmonious human activities. 

“Beyond the Valley” outlines how the future of the internet still hasn’t been written: Ramesh argues that Tech can be fairer and more democratic, while still serving business interests. To make a better internet, Ramesh says, we need a new ethic of diversity, openness, and inclusivity, empowering those now excluded from decisions about how technologies are designed, who profits from them, and who are surveilled and exploited by them.

As a professor at the UCLA Department of Information Studies and founder as well as director of UC Digital Cultures Lab, Ramesh studies and speaks about the intersection of technology, innovation, politics, business, culture, and society. He blends his skills as a leading academic, author, engineer, social scientist, storyteller, policy adviser, and thought leader to shine a light on how technology and innovation, from all quarters and countries, will make a balanced world possible, for all.

Ramesh is on the board of directors for Digital Democracy, which works with land protectors in the Amazon and all around the world. He is the author of three books: “Whose Global Village? Rethinking How Technology Impacts Our World” (2019 – NYU Press) and “After the Internet” with Adam Fish. “Beyond the Valley” was named a top ten 2019 book in Tech by Forbes. His articles and interviews have been published by the Washington Post, Wired, The Economist, CNN, New York Times, among others.

At #rp24, we look forward to Ramesh’s exciting insights on how to repair the disconnect between designers and users, producers and consumers, and tech elites and the rest of us.