Technology is already successfully contributing to socio-economic development in India but the narratives used to frame these successes, and the types of technologies implemented are narrow. Often, these technologies are products of companies far removed from India and Indian culture and the asymmetric relationship between the makers of such technologies and the people that use them is sometimes referred to as Digital Colonialism.
Decentralising India’s Digital Futures will explore how we can harness powerful developments in emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, the voice enabled Internet, machine learning and artificial intelligence to support disempowered rural communities in India. We believe that safeguarding and strengthening these communities and cultures is essential to the sustainable growth of the whole country.
Working with Quicksand and the National Institute of Design, the project will create speculative counter-narratives that will describe a variety of co-created preferable futures to illustrate how technology development can address the unique challenges faced by decentralised, disempowered and disenfranchised communities in India.
We want to develop meaningful, future-focussed local narratives that challenge Digital Colonialism and the cultural hegemony it induces.
Decentralising India’s Digital Futures. GCRF/Scottish Funding Council. Sep 2018–Aug 2020.