Exploring the (in)security consequences of digital life

RR Model

Image supplied by the Scottish Government.

The Centre for Cultural Relations is pleased to host a Rapid Reflection Construction event with the Strategic Assessment team of the Scottish Government on 17 September.

We will soon live in a world in which for the first time in human history all people and all things will be connected through cyber technology. The “internet of everything” represents a fundamental shift in the national and international landscape with significant social, economic, political and legal implications. This technological change is characterised by exponential developments which makes it one of the most interesting and urgent issues of our time.

Many conversations drill into the depths of specific issues. Few efforts however focus on understanding ‘the big picture,’ i.e. to explore these implications not in isolation but in concert. Over the past year Scottish Government has developed an innovative ‘big picture thinking’ methodology – called Rapid Reflection (RRF) – which seeks to accomplish precisely that. It is designed to provide decision-makers with a strategic framing of the context, conditions, and consequences arising from key global challenges. The RRF overcomes the limitations of traditional knowledge transfer by presenting information in an easy-to-understand and highly visual strategic framework.

The Scottish Government is collaborating with the Foreign Policy Group (Washington, D.C.) using this methodology in order to explore the past, present and future of our digital lives. They aim to investigate a multitude of perspectives from government, business, to individuals and how these may vary across jurisdictions and geographies, surfacing a broad range of issues, such as governance, privacy, personhood, security, and changing economic practices.

The Rapid Reflection methodology consists of two phases: (1) a construction phase in which experts, practitioners and stakeholders help ‘construct’ the content of the model and (2) a delivery phase in which the final product is delivered in interactive sessions. This RRF will form the basis of a number of joint Scottish Government and Foreign Policy Group events held on both sides of the Atlantic in the autumn.

Students from across the University will participate in a half-day workshop, facilitated by two Scottish Government officials, in which they will work together to produce their perspectives on these challenges. Insights from the session will be translated into the final product.


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