Photo: Finding Ctrl

Image: NESTA (Creative Commons 4.0)

Finding Ctrl: Visions for the Future Internet

– Nesta

An online repository of inspiring and informative content from Nesta and NGI exploring the history, impact, and potential of the internet

2019 is a big year for digital anniversaries. This year, the World Wide Web turns 30 and the internet itself reaches 50. To mark these milestones, Nesta and the European Commission’s Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative have released an online repository of essays, artwork, poetry and stories all about the internet and its impact on our lives.

Throughout this "vision book" of curated content, various contributors explore the history, current status and potential future of the internet. For example, contributing author Hussein Kesvani’s article captures a brief history of the internet from basic data exchange, via MSN, to more recent events including Cambridge Analytica, and concerns over who has access to our data – big tech companies and governments for example – and how they use it.

Finding Ctrl acknowledges the problematic social implications and power structures at the heart of the internet age, observing:

"Increasingly, power over who gets to create, shape, and profit from the internet is concentrated in an ever smaller number of hands…

It is all too easy to conceive of dystopian futures: automation threatens to take away our jobs, facial recognition systems will track and rate our every move. As governments increasingly see control over the internet as key to their survival in the 21st century, the risk of geopolitical conflict rises."

However, the collection remains hopeful about the potential future of internet technology, encouraging readers to help steer things in a more positive direction.

Though the current trajectory of the internet does not seem to be an overwhelmingly positive one, the future has not yet been written. We can still take a different path

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