In my first conversation, I speak to Rob van Kranenburg. Rob is the founder of the IoT council, a network of people and a thinktank that organises discussions and events around the topic of the Internet of Things. He is considered one of the key influences in the field and for a long time has lended a more critical perspective to the debate.
In this conversation, we speak about the different narratives that provide us with the ideas for what IoT should do for us and where these narratives are coming from. Inevitably, we start talking politics, about new and old kings, the revenge of the engineers and how enven ultimate hippi structures still reproduce old power-structures. Rob paints some dystopian pictures about a future in which civic society is privatised, but also has some radical propositions for a different future. Not hiding behind privacy debates, but acknowledging the reality of full transparency, he advocates in strategic ways for first taking back control of our infrastructure, by building a European identity system that provides all the core services in a new form of governance. Once we have reclaimed this vital infrastructure, we can start debating a paradigm shift and slow the system down.
Rob is a very knowledgable and critical mind that analyses technology in society from historical, cultural and political perspectives. His ideas may sound radical and possibly counter-intuitive, but change is also urgent. Importantly, he remains positive about our ability to bend current trajectories for better futures. Maybe, being a DeTao Master helps. Enjoy.
This work is part of the Research and Education Award I received from the Next Generation Internet Initiative and has been made possible by the support of the Department of Business Development and Technology at Aarhus University
Music by To Rococo Rot (I Am In The World With You)