Will the digital revolution give us information democracies or information empires? The answer lies in a political choice, a choice between open or closed. Either making information open and freely accessible to all, or, closing it off and having it owned and controlled by the few. This choice matters everywhere from inequality to freedom. It matters whether you are concerned about a robot taking your job, or the power of Google and Facebook to shape how we think and vote. It matters whether you care about the cost of medicines or access to scientific research. These issues now reach into the lives of every single person on this planet -- whether they know it or not.
And dystopia is the default. If we do not act, it is a closed world that we will get. A world of extraordinary concentrations in power and wealth. Where innovation is held back and distorted by the dead hand of monopoly. Where freedom is threatened by manipulation, exclusion and exploitation -- where each click you make, every step you take they'll be watching you.
But dystopia is probable not inevitable. If we take action we can make an open world. A world that is freer, fairer, healthier and wealthier. A world where we get to harness the magic of digital technology, its limitless copying, for good. Where technology helps us flourish as never before. But we need to act, to act together, and to act now.