Forbes Interview: Here’s How The Internet Will Reboot Civilization

This is part of a series of dispatches from TED Global 2012 in Edinburgh, on the theme of Radical Openness. Follow the Twiter hashtag #TEDGlobal or follow me on Twitter: @Parmy

Don Tapscott is one of those people often described as futurists – and in this case, the label fits pretty well. The author and chairman of Moxie Insight was one of the first to lay out how the Internet would change business, and helped define the emergence of a Net Generation and “digital divide.” His latest ideas surround how we are moving from an information age, to a networked age.

Tapscott believes that the world’s future is one of openness, a digital one permitted by the growing pervasiveness of the Internet. If the Internet of yesterday was a platform for content, today it’s for computation, a global computer that humans can share, enabling us to “collaborate on an astronomical basis.” Humanity, Tapscott says, is building a machine that lets us share, collaborate and become more transparent. That’s scary for established institutions that stem back to the Industrial Age, housing everything from education to entertainment to business. So civilization itself needs a reboot. I sat down with Tapscott after his talk so that he could walk me through how that might happen:

To say civilisation needs “rebooting” suggests something is wrong with it to start with. What is that exactly?

Read the full interview in Forbes.