I thought my interview with Igor Beuker will be about innovation, disruption, and ways your business can make it in the ever-changing digital economy.
I was caught completely by surprise.
I didn’t expect the lines you’ll read below – a long, open, and really honest explanation about the feelings current trends spark.
Since this didn’t really fit the more business-oriented blog post I previously published, I decided to keep it as a separate entry. Here it goes. It’s an answer to just one question – “What’s the current trend you’re most excited about and is there one you fear?”. Here’s what he had to say:
“My purpose is to inspire the idea that people can use technology to be a great force for good. Through technology, we can cure diseases and save the environment. Expedite education and exchange knowledge. Create equal opportunities for everyone on Earth.
I fear smear and propaganda. Fake news. Especially the dangerous role many news media play: Their lack of investigative, data-driven journalism. Their eagerness to misinform us to win some eyeballs and advertising revenues back.
The way how they give lying people, bull shit influencers and vloggers a platform on i.e. TV. Or other curated media. Formerly known as quality media. Opportunistic and dangerous for our democracy and society.
I fear the sneakiness of firms like Cambridge Analytica and its suspended CEO Alexander Nix. Who feed smear into the bloodstream of the Internet via Facebook and Google.
I fear the media, who lack to inform us what really happened with that data. Did they hack and leak people’s political preferences to shady regimes, dictators and warlords?
I am old school. I come from a time when “investigative journalism”was a respected form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. Now, too many media just care about 50 or 87 million Facebook users. Or the Facebook stock price. This massive breach could have endangered people’s lives. Up to the media to inform us. Now in the hands of investigators.
I fear people like Mark Zuckerberg. His ongoing lack of transparency, responsibility, and empathy make him unfit as a leader. He suffers from amnesia when he needs it. But people remember that this is the fifth or the sixth time that Zuckerberg has sworn to protect our privacy going forward. I’ve lost count.
And just as Zuckerberg apologized to the world on CNN – with his scriptedHollywood-like bull shit statements – he was again under fire. He was forced to acknowledge that Facebook, for many years, has been collecting the call and text messages of users who signed up for Messenger or Facebook Liteon Android.
How about WhatsApp and Instagram? How about the log in with Facebook on so many other sites? It’s clear that karma has no deadline.Remember how Zuckerberg ‘got’ his Facebook? That’s exactly how he will lose it. I wrote this story on what is being called Watergate 2.0.
Old school and naïve as I am, I always dreamed that social media would offer us beautiful platforms to discuss (and solve) our social problems. We trend Justin Bieber instead. We selfie ourselves Kim Kardashian ‘doggystyle’. And we see brands bribing influencers, DJ’s or speakers who’s following exists of 60% fake likes.
I fear some of our world leaders, who inspire us every year with videos from World Economic Forum in Davos: We need to change education. Like I stated on stage at Webit Festival 2017: “I hear that each and every year. But who dares to look Malala in the eyes? My kids are still learning French and German at school. Our educational systems need to be upgraded to the 21st century. Sometimes it’s time to break with political politeness and demand action.
As you can see, I have a purpose and being on stage, means I can keep walking towards my purpose. I’m a professional troublemaker who is not afraid to be the first domino to fall. I’d like to find like-minded peers and to start a movement. The time is now!”