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As our societies move from hierarchies to more network-based structures, power inevitably shifts from the few to the many. In the process, empires crumble as agency and decision-making power get redistributed.

Social movements in the 21st century are gaining much of their strength from their networked nature, which allows them to ramp up quickly and exert great pressure on top-down institutions. In this way, they represent a rising force confronting older seats of power. Though this has been building for years, we can expect to see some tangible breakthroughs in 2016, when networked social movements gain the upper hand at the expense of businesses, governments and institutions. Continue Reading…

My most recent article in Open Democracy explores how internet giants such as Google and Facebook, who position themselves as champions of open societies, have created brand identities that leave them open to pressure from digital human rights advocates. Activists can then rightly hold the tech sector to account when it collaborates with repressive regimes or compromises the online privacy of its users. Continue Reading…

I recently had the chance to test run some of the core concepts discussed on this blog before an audience of digital marketing and communications folks at McGill University. Below is a copy of the presentation, which outlines the broad strokes and research discussed. Feel free to reach out with any questions about individual themes or case studies! Continue Reading…

In the past two years, major mining and pipeline projects around the world have been stopped in their tracks while corporate giants in the food and retail sectors have been forced to revise their minimum wages and sourcing practices. Though markets have been unsteady, the global economy is not to blame here. These stalls, reversals and concessions are entirely the result of pressure and demands from a new class of power player, the “Superstakeholder”. Continue Reading…

Have you read the hefty expose on Amazon’s brutal work culture in the New York Times? The business world is abuzz this week with articles either confirming the allegations or defending Amazon’s work climate. Others wonder whether or not these kinds of conditions are just par for the course in a world of increasing corporate pressures and diminishing returns. Continue Reading…