The Digital Life Collective draws an important distinction between "Their Tech" and "Ourtech" and this post intends to help you see the "line in the sand" between two worlds that operate on fundamentally different socio-economic models.

The world on the left side gave birth to "Their Tech" as a result of the Extractive / Consumer Economy in which platform capitalism, consumer manipulation, surveillance and centralization play a central role. In other words, these economies helped create and shape the very tools that are now in return shaping us, turning us into mindless consumers that can't wait to buy the next shiny thing, post the next beautified selfie or find that new funny catgif. And there is no end in sight - the current narrative of the consumer industry keeps telling us that "shiny things are good for you" and, conversely, employs ever more people (and machines) to build more shiny things and to make people want to buy those shiny things.

Along comes the Collaborative / Sharing Economy with the intent to help us break out the vicious cycle of the old economy and empower consumers to begin making independent choices without being tied to the "big corps" - directly connecting people with needs to people who can cover for these needs (think: apartment rentals, food delivery, car transportation). Unfortunately, that didn't turn out so well, and the "thin orgs" that directed the traffic turned into "big corps" (without the overhead) fairly quickly and began to show very familiar extractive patterns. But not all of them went this route. The Sharing Economy has many good examples of organizations that exist for the good of their customers and employees, creating new organizational forms with roots in early co-operative models of the industrial revolution or sociocratic models created during the mid-twentieth century.

These latter models provide the foundation for the next economic stage we depict here as the Relationship / Co-operative Economy. Contrary to earlier models, this economy starts with a critical review of privacy, trustworthiness, decentralization, and the new possibilities of platform cooperativism. This is where we place Ourtech and begin weaving a new narrative for Tech We Trust for a World We Want. We seek to promote the right tech to unlock human potential and to transition towards a stronger digital society (note that Their Tech applied to the right side of the line looses its meaning and, conversely, OurTech applied to the left side has no power). It is from this side of the line in the sand that we can finally leave the dark silos of the old economies behind and enter a world that allows people and cultures to excel and to thrive. We shall look and see.