Digital Democratization Trend #7 of 8 from Web Summit

Since the invention of internet, the democratization of technology and knowledge has exploded. At Web Summit we spotted how the future of digital democratization is going to look like – and what is happening right now.

The hard part of running a company is the people. There are few tools that give feedback about how our employees are doing

-Stewart Butterfield, CEO at Slack

The great conversation

The way we communicate and interact has gone through major changes the last decade with social media platforms as disruptors. But for organizations the change has been slower. E-mail is still the most used communication tool, but there are many new solutions entering the field. One of those is Slack which simplifies communication and increases the transparency in organizations.


Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack argues that its main advantage is that it increases information sharing and transparency within organizations compared to e-mail. Each time we use Slack, we create signals about e.g. which channels we are frequently using and whose messages we are likely to read first etc. These signals can be analyzed via machine learning, enabling Slack to become an always on duty assistant that increases the user’s efficiency.


But Slack is going one step further to create a seamless organizational design. By using AI to analyze and understand positive and negative sentiments, it is possible to identify frictions within the organization. It might be a lack of alignment between different functions and departments, or even between two colleagues.


Identifying these frictions will greatly enhance the overall performance and culture in organizations. Furthermore, it can also be applicable beyond professional organizations. For example, it is proven that toxic conversations online often precede violence, and AI can measure how violent and toxic a conversation is, enabling us to take on proactive actions to prevent further escalation. This would greatly reduce the effectiveness that internet bullies and extremist groups have online today.



Slack is a cloud-based communication platform. Its original use was for organizations, but with time it has also become popular as a community platform where people can join channels that discuss specific topics. Everything that your team discusses in Slack is searchable, including files, conversations and people.


Blockchain – Power to the consumer

Before social media, big media companies were the owners of global conversations and media platforms were for the elite, not the general public. Today, social media is switching their positions. Most people are yet dependent on banks to handle their identity and money, but the blockchain technique can prove to have the same effect on banks as social media had on traditional media. Blockchain technique is built on an open source platform, where all data and information are available to everyone. It removes the need of involving a third part, and gives the power to the individual.


The full potential is still uncertain, but there are many areas where drastic changes can happen in the near future. Using Bitcoin as a currency is the most popular example. Another enabler that has been discussed is digital identity, a technology that has already been introduced in Estonia. It allows people to safely share their health records with doctors or sign big business contracts online. Taking this one step further, we might even be able to vote digitally in political elections and have global digital passports.



One way to effectively democratize technology is to use open source platforms. The creator of a specific code or system can choose to share it on a platform where anyone can freely download, apply or develop it further. Tech giants like Google and Facebook are examples of contributors to open source platforms, were Android is one of Googles most famous projects.  


Decentralize AI

The automation AI provides is already improving over 700 professions, lowering costs and increasing output. Still AI is mainly a company secret and unavailable for public use. AI is also modularized, meaning algorithms in a self-driving car can’t recognize the ingredients in a bag of cookies.


To solve these two aspects, Ben Goertzel from SingularityNET has created a platform where everyone can contribute and use AI-solutions. This means that the barriers to reach General Intelligence is drastically lowered, and AI can come to benefit everyone and not become a company secret.






Web Summit is the world’s largest tech event, and a global meeting place for the world’s most innovative technology companies and people interested in how disruption can transform their business and everyday lives.

The event takes place during a couple of days each year and Cartina had the chance to be part of it in late 2017. We really got to experience the latest innovations and meet the frontrunners within different areas of technology – resulting in these trends.

This series consists of 8 global mega trends that business leaders, experts, innovators and disruptors talked about during the days in Lisbon. If you want to read the full report, click the button above and we will email it to you.

Here you can read about the previous trends we wrote about:

AI – Doomsday Prophecy

AI – Real World Superhero

Mad Men to Math Men

Monopoly of Innovation

Augmented Revolution

Humanity 2.0


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William Lorenz

William Lorenz

Management Consultant at Cartina
William Lorenz

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