Tech & Humanity

The 21st century has ushered in a new age where all aspects of our lives are impacted by technology. We are seeing radical breakthroughs: from individualized learning or health care, to microloans and the sharing economy – examples abound of how technology radically improves our lives. Yet the same technological advances also confront humanity with fundamental challenges. For example, technology has the power to curtail hard-won civil rights through unprecedented levels of surveillance. It can also be used to further embed bias and discrimination through opaque algorithms. Countless questions of ethics, moral, empathy, power, agency and control emerge.  

A few urgent questions arise amidst this fast- paced and disruptive change:  How will humanity anticipate, mitigate, and manage the consequences of technology? What are the ethical and philosophical frameworks around AI and technology? And, as younger and future generations become digital natives, what does digital citizenship entail? 

Next Now: Tech & Humanity aims to change the course of history by uniting leaders behind audacious goals that bring humanity and technology to a new equilibrium. Together, this ecosystem of visionary changemakers will shape the future of technology and the digital world for the good of all. A future in which no one gets left behind.  

In the coming months, the Next Now/Tech team will be assembling a team of visionary co-creators who will shape an ambitious vision for the field and narrow in on an initial set of audacious goals to team up around. Stay tuned for more details.


Albert Cahn_458x268.jpg

As part of Ashoka's ongoing series on Tech and Humanity, Konstanze Frischen spoke with Albert Fox Cahn, founder and Executive Director of Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) about his work and recent legal wins at the intersection of civil rights, privacy, and technology.

Richard Whitt - small.jpg

Richard Whitt is the founder of GLIAnet. Konstanze Frischen spoke to him about a new vision for the internet. What if users, not companies, can set the terms of engagement on the Internet?

Ronaldo Lemos_458.jpg

Ronaldo Lemos - internationally renowned Brazilian lawyer and creator of Brazil's framework for the internet - reflects on the future of the web and how to make sure it works for all He is an Ashoka Fellow and social entrepreneur, and was recently named a member of Facebook’s new Oversight Board. Read the full interview on Forbes.

Insight 05 - Science & Technology.jpg

In 2018, Ashoka signaled a rise in scipreneurship – where scientists have begun to employ entrepreneurial strategies to combat fake news and promote the understanding and influence of science on the general public. This year’s Fellows continue to devise solutions that help us to understand the complexity of the world we live in.

Sharon Terry-headshot_458x258.jpg

Ashoka Fellow Sharon Terry looks back at 25 years of impact — that led her from being a homeschooling mom to a genetic researcher and global health leader. Read the full interview on



Tue, 24 Nov 2020

Is technology driving progress or chaos?

We explore this question with technologists, impact leaders, changemakers, the general public and artists.

With Unfinished partner, Aspen Ideas, we stitch together live segments, dynamic films and provoking performances to showcase lived experience, creative expression, and real-world candor. Through conversations, exchanges and roundtable discussions, experts join everyday voices on a nuanced exploration of possibility and discovery.


Wed, 13 Jan 2021

On January 13th, we talk to Albert Fox Cahn, founder of Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.), about the threats and opportunities of surveillance technology, and why we must update the social contract for the digital age.

This conversation is part of our biweekly series where we tap social entrepreneurs on what works, what’s next, and why they’re hopeful. Explore past and future episodes here:


Date and time: 13 January 2021, 13:00 - 13 January 2021, 13:30 [UTC/GMT-05:00]