RSA Live Stream Seminar: The Existential Threat of Big Tech

Course Summary

We will live stream this seminar, being held at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) auditorium in London, to the GTA University Centre. It is open to the public to attend free of charge and refreshments will be provided.

Within a few short decades, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four giant corporations: Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google. But at what cost? In this seminar, leading liberal journalist Franklin Foer explores the consequences of this rapid change in 21st century tech.


Foer argues that though big tech firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience that has a darker underside. Their corporate ambitions are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation or autonomous thought – a world without mind.

In order to restore our inner lives, Foer suggests, we must avoid being co-opted by these gigantic companies, and understand the ideas that underpin their success. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide. At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become.


12:45: Registration, refreshments and networking

13:00: Live stream seminar starts

14:00: Live stream seminar ends

Tutor Profile

The mission of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is to enrich society through ideas and action. They believe that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st century enlightenment.

Supported by 28,000 Fellows, the RSA shares powerful ideas, carries out cutting-edge research and builds networks and opportunities for people to collaborate, helping to create fulfilling lives and a flourishing society.

Course at a Glance

  • Next Start Dates: New dates TBA
  • CPD Points: 0
  • Course Cost: Free
  • Course Length: 12:45 - 14:00

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