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Posts in category 'Identity'

24 February 2010

Google Video: Italian law is complicating the world

Google
This Italian reflection on the Italian Google sentence, written by journalist Luca De Biase (in charge of the Nòva24 insert of “Sole 24 Ore” business newspaper), is highly pertinent and therefore worth to be translated:

Google Video: Italian law is complicating the world

“So now those platforms that allows users to publish online content have become responsible for possible violations by those same users? That’s what an Italian judge just decided. And this will have global legal consequences.

Judge Oscar Magi – the same one [who dealt with the CIA kidnapping] of Abu Omar – has condemned several
Google Italy executives for violating Italian privacy law, because they allowed the publication of a video showing a teenager with Down’s Syndrome being bullied. The judge absolved the three of a defamation accusation.

In practice it seems to state that Google would have had to obtain obtain a consent of all the parties involved – directly or indirectly – to the publication of these images.

This lower court decision is not final [and can be appealed]. But it opens a very complicated future scenario for all internet access providers and most of all for platforms that allow informational and other video content to be published by users directly.

Taken to its logical consequence, this sentence means that before publishing anything whatsoever about third parties on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, or Facebook, users need to first obtain a consent from those third parties, and if not, also the platforms themselves are responsible. The platforms therefore need to supervise everything their users are publishing.

That could be a very serious blow to the world of user-generated content. This sentence should be carefully looked at by all those people and entities who care about the web as a place for freedom of information – with all its good and bad, its risks and opportunities.”

In fact, according to the BBC, Google’s lawyer “questioned how many internet platforms would be able to continue if the decision held.”

I wonder if judge Magi has written consent from his 47 friends, listed with full names and photos on the judge’s entirely public Facebook page

In any case, here is Google’s answer. And yes, they are going to appeal.

Further analysis:
- Guardian
- Guardian editorial
- Fast Company
- ReadWriteWeb
- Spiked

19 February 2010

The Internet in 2020

Room with a view
A new report on the future of the internet, based on interviews of nearly 900 internet stakeholders and critics, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University, created wide interest.

“The web-based survey gathered opinions from prominent scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers and technology developers. It is the fourth in a series of Internet expert studies conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University and the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. In this report, we cover experts’ thoughts on the following issues:

  • Will Google make us stupid?
  • Will the internet enhance or detract from reading, writing, and rendering of knowledge?
  • Is the next wave of innovation in technology, gadgets, and applications pretty clear now, or will the most interesting developments between now and 2020 come “out of the blue”?
  • Will the end-to-end principle of the internet still prevail in 10 years, or will there be more control of access to information?
  • Will it be possible to be anonymous online or not by the end of the decade?

Fast Company focuses on privacy:

Experts were nearly split down the middle, with 55% agreeing that Internet users will be able to communicate anonymously and 41% agreeing that, by 2002, “anonymous online activity is sharply curtailed.” Not only are there divergent opinions on whether online anonymity will be possible in the future, there isn’t even a consensus on whether anonymity is universally desirable.

ReadWriteWeb takes a broader view and highlights some key quotes from the report.

MSNBC instead focuses on literacy:

A decade from now, Google won’t make us “stupid,” the Internet may make us more literate in a different kind of way and efforts to protect individual anonymity will be even more difficult to achieve, according to many of the experts surveyed for a look at “The Future of the Internet” in 2020.

Download report

1 February 2010

Europeans’ Privacy will be big challenge in next decade, says EU Commissioner

Europa
On the 4th annual Data Protection day (28th January 2010) the European Commission announced the intention to reform the 1995 European Union (EU) Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC.

“Our privacy faces new challenges: behavioural advertising can use your internet history to better market products; social networking sites used by 41.7 million Europeans allow personal information like photos to be seen by others; and the 6 billion smart chips used today can trace your movements.

The European Commission today – Data Protection Day – warned that data protection rules must be updated to keep abreast of technological change to ensure the right to privacy, legal certainty for industry, and the take-up of new technologies. EU rules say that a person’s information can only be used on legitimate grounds, with their prior consent.

With the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights now in force, the Commission today said it wants to create a clear, modern set of rules for the whole EU guaranteeing a high level of personal data protection and privacy, starting with a reform of the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive.”

Read full story

(via eGov monitor)

17 January 2010

danah boyd on why Zuckerberg is wrong to say “Privacy is Dead”

danah boyd
Ethnographer danah boyd, a Microsoft researcher, argues that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is wrong saying that ‘the age of privacy is over’.

“Privacy isn’t a technological binary that you turn off and on. Privacy is about having control of a situation. It’s about controlling what information flows where and adjusting measures of trust when things flow in unexpected ways. It’s about creating certainty so that we can act appropriately. People still care about privacy because they care about control. Sure, many teens repeatedly tell me “public by default, private when necessary” but this doesn’t suggest that privacy is declining; it suggests that publicity has value and, more importantly, that folks are very conscious about when something is private and want it to remain so. When the default is private, you have to think about making something public. When the default is public, you become very aware of privacy. And thus, I would suspect, people are more conscious of privacy now than ever. Because not everyone wants to share everything to everyone else all the time.”

Read full story

28 July 2009

People will be able to control and federate their own data

John Clippinger
John Clippinger, who directs the Law Lab at Harvard University, predicts, in this video on Nokia’s IdeasProject, a huge shift over the next one to two years in the way people manage their identities.

He asserts that “user-centric identity, “the ability of individuals to carry their information from one site to another in a “cloud” of their own making, will become increasingly important.

Watch video

Related content:
Article on Future Banking in which John Clippinger describes some of the ways in which traditional information asymmetries between enterprises and their customers are being redressed to allow individuals more control over their personal information.

15 June 2009

Identity crisis in the West and innovation in the developing world

IdeasProject
Nokia’s Ideas Project published two feature stories today:

Digital We: A (Multiple) Identity Crisis
We create new digital identities almost without limit – at the same time new technologies urge us to blur them. Is it a new digital arms race?

“Intentionally or not, the world of bits offers so many opportunities to create information related to ourselves, and for that information to coalesce into something like an identity, that even the most transparent and consistent Net denizens appears in multiple forms in multiple locations. You might say that we’re all suffering from a form of digital schizophrenia.

Yet according to a number of our ideators, the ways in which we coordinate our digital personae is about to change.”

Global Vision, Local Impact
Technology innovations in the developing world generate lasting results

“The developing world has begun to experience a dramatic transformation not only in the adoption of new technologies but in the innovative ways they are being used. Mobile devices in particular have offered unprecedented opportunities to individuals without access many other basic amenities.”

Also on Ideas Project a video interview with Ann Winblad, a well-known and respected software industry entrepreneur and technology leader, who argues that by moving technology from location-based servers to a virtual environment, with expanded if not universal access, the opportunities for innovation increase exponentially.

10 May 2009

Book: Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing

Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing
Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction
J.D. Lasica
The Aspen Institute, 2009

Smart Mobs reports:
“Recently, The Aspen Institute has published an eBook which some say is possibly the best report on cloud computing ever published. Written by J.D. Lasica, Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction is the result of the Seventeenth Annual Roundtable on Information Technology which included 30 experts in identity and technology with notable contributors such as John Seely Brown and Esther Dyson. This is a MUST read for anyone attempting to decipher and understand the ramifications of the cloud on a societal level.”

Here is the abstract:
“Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction” examines the migration of information, software and identity into the Cloud and explores the transformative possibilities of this new computing paradigm for culture, commerce and personal communication. The report also considers potential consequences for privacy, governance and security, and it includes policy recommendations and advice for the new presidential administration. Written by J.D. Lasica, the report is the result of the Seventeenth Annual Roundtable on Information Technology.

Download e-book

8 March 2009

When everyone’s a friend, is anything private?

privacy
Randall Stross is a New York Times staff writer, who expands on the issue of privacy in an era of social networking — a topic which has also been addressed pointedly and extremely eloquently by Bill Thompson last week at the LIFT conference.

“The popularity of Facebook and other social networking sites has promoted the sharing of all things personal, dissolving the line that separates the private from the public.

As the scope of sharing personal information expands from a few friends to many sundry individuals grouped together under the Facebook label of “friends,” disclosure becomes the norm and privacy becomes a quaint anachronism.”

Bill Thompson’s reflections are much more to the point.

Read full story

29 January 2009

“Publicy”, the rebirth of privacy

Laurent Haug
Laurent Haug, an entrepreneur based in Geneva, Switzerland and founder of the LIFT conference, launches a new concept: publicy.

“What happens with social networks is they publish information about you to the world. Two kinds of information: the ones you control, and the ones you don’t control.

The solution to fight the ones you don’t control has been known for years. If you can’t control the conversation improve it! Become the one stop source of info about yourself. [...]

Now that you are back in the driver seat, you have your privacy back. Just of a different kind. You have built a space that could be called “publicy”, or “the plausible me”. It is a credible space where people expect to see information about you. Whatever credible information you say in there will be taken as true by the world.

That is your new privacy.”

Read full story

24 January 2009

The Publius Project

PubliusProject
The Publius Project is an initiative of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, with the cryptic byline: “a collection of essays and conversations about constitutional moments on the Net”.

“The project brings together a distinguished collection of Internet observers, scholars, innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, technologists and still other experts, to write short essays, to foster an on-going public dialogue, and to create a durable record of how the rules of cyberspace are being formed, potentially impacting their future incarnation. [...]

Through this series of essays, we hope to generate a discussion among global stakeholders and netizens regarding rule-making and governance on the net, and in the process, to envision the net of the future. We will cast fundamental questions that will intrigue both experts and laypeople, by asking who should (or shouldn’t) control cyberspace? Can it be governed? Who decides?

Through this process, we will consider how best to protect our common resources, how to balance individual freedoms with community rights, public action with private activity, national security with personal expression, intellectual property protections with open access. In echoing historical dilemmas, we will ask how cyberspace stimulates innovative thinking regarding authority and rules and how those ideas might shape the future “constitutions” of the net.”

Ethan Zuckerman, who also contributed one of the essays, provides some more background:

“John Palfrey’s thinking in launching Publius was to recognize that the emergence of American constitutional democracy didn’t occur in a single moment of crystalline brilliance. It was the product of years of argument, conversation and deliberation, through media like the Federalist papers. Palfrey argues that we’re going through a long, complex constitutional moment as regards the internet, constructing the laws and norms that will govern how we interact with one another through the infrastructure of the internet. As such, Publius is an invitation to post arguments, to ask for the Internet to behave one way or another and make the case for one’s point of view.”

Here are my preferred essays:

The Polyglot Internet
Essay by Ethan Zuckerman on the need for focused efforts to make translation cheaper, easier and far more common to enable global discussions

One Missed Call?
Essay by Ken Banks on refocusing our attention on the social mobile long tail

The Latent Community in Every Webpage
Essay by Clay Shirky on the increased ability of otherwise uncoordinated groups to achieve their shared goals

19 January 2009

Taken Out of Context: American teen sociality in networked publics

danah boyd
danah boyd is a a PhD candidate at the School of Information (iSchool) at the University of California (Berkeley) and a Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

She just published her dissertation entitled “Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics“. It examines how American teenagers socialize in networked publics like MySpace, Facebook, LiveJournal, Xanga and YouTube, and how the architectural differences between unmediated and mediated publics affect sociality, identity and culture.

Abstract

As social network sites like MySpace and Facebook emerged, American teenagers began adopting them as spaces to mark identity and socialize with peers. Teens leveraged these sites for a wide array of everyday social practices – gossiping, flirting, joking around, sharing information, and simply hanging out. While social network sites were predominantly used by teens as a peer-based social outlet, the unchartered nature of these sites generated fear among adults. This dissertation documents my 2.5-year ethnographic study of American teens’ engagement with social network sites and the ways in which their participation supported and complicated three practices – self-presentation, peer sociality, and negotiating adult society.

My analysis centers on how social network sites can be understood as networked publics which are simultaneously (1) the space constructed through networked technologies and (2) the imagined community that emerges as a result of the intersection of people, technology, and practice. Networked publics support many of the same practices as unmediated publics, but their structural differences often inflect practices in unique ways. Four properties – persistence, searchability, replicability, and scalability – and three dynamics – invisible audiences, collapsed contexts, and the blurring of public and private – are examined and woven throughout the discussion.

While teenagers primarily leverage social network sites to engage in common practices, the properties of these sites configured their practices and teens were forced to contend with the resultant dynamics. Often, in doing so, they reworked the technology for their purposes. As teenagers learned to navigate social network sites, they developed potent strategies for managing the complexities of and social awkwardness incurred by these sites. Their strategies reveal how new forms of social media are incorporated into everyday life, complicating some practices and reinforcing others. New technologies reshape public life, but teens’ engagement also reconfigures the technology itself.

Download dissertation

22 September 2008

Identity management manifesto

Identity management manifesto
In March this year Trendbuero, the consultancy “for social change”, organised its 13th Trend Day. The topic was “Identity Management – Recognition replaces attention”, with speakers such as Richard Florida, Willem Velthoven of Mediamatic, Norbert Bolz (BANG-Design), Hartmut Esslinger of frog design, and Dick Hardt of identity 2.0.

The organizers have synthesised the interviews with experts worldwide (including the author of this blog), the presentations of the speakers and the results of a workshop into an extensive manifesto (SlideShare, PowerPoint, PDF) that is worth reading.

The paper argues that today’s “attention economy” will be succeeded by a “recognition economy,” in which opportunities for design will continue to increase: “Compulsory self-responsibility will force consumers to optimize their self. This self will call for deliberate decisions and new orientation frames. Identity will become a management assignment. Recognition will become the new key quantity.” The result is what the authors call “Egonomics – an economy geared to the own self.” Egonomics comprises of the following pillars: Body: Healthstyle; Security: Authentification; Relationships: Connectivity; Recognition: Reputation; Self-actualization: Creativity.

(written in part with input from CNet article)

26 August 2008

Privacy in an age of terabytes and terror

Privacy
Scientific American magazine (SciAm) devotes the whole September issue to privacy in an age of rapidly developing technology.

Privacy in an age of terabytes and terror
Introduction to SciAm’s issue on Privacy. Our jittery state since 9/11, coupled with the Internet revolution, is shifting the boundaries between public interest and “the right to be let alone”.

How loss of privacy may mean loss of security
Keynote essay by Esther Dyson
Many issues posing as questions of privacy can turn out to be matters of security, health policy, insurance or self-presentation. It is useful to clarify those issues before focusing on privacy itself.

Internet eavesdropping: a brave new world of wiretapping
As telephone conversations have moved to the Internet, so have those who want to listen in. But the technology needed to do so would entail a dangerous expansion of the government’s surveillance powers.

Tougher laws needed to protect your genetic privacy
In spite of recent legislation, tougher laws are needed to prevent insurers and employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic tests.

Beyond fingerprinting: is biometrics the best bet for fighting identity theft?
Security systems based on anatomical and behavioral characteristics may offer the best defense against identity theft.

Digital surveillance: tools of the spy trade
Night-vision cameras, biometric sensors and other gadgets already give snoops access to private spaces. Coming soon: palm-size “bug-bots”.

How RFID tags could be used to track unsuspecting people
A privacy activist argues that the devices pose new security risks to those who carry them, often unwittingly.

Data fusion: the ups and downs of all-encompassing digital profiles
Mashing everyone’s personal data, from credit card bills to cell phone logs, into one all-encompassing digital dossier is the stuff of an Orwellian nightmare. But it is not as easy as most people assume.

Cryptography: how to keep your secrets safe
A versatile assortment of computational techniques can protect the privacy of your information and online activities to essentially any degree and nuance you desire.

Do social networks bring the end of privacy?
Young people share the most intimate details of personal life on social-networking Web sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, portending a realignment of the public and the private.

Does an advertiser know you clicked on this story?
Facebook, Yahoo, and Google come under fire for allowing advertisers to follow online consumer behavior to create targeted messages.

International report: what impact is technology having on privacy around the world?
ScientificAmerican.com, with help from our international colleagues, highlights privacy and security issues in China, Japan, the Middle East, Russia and the U.K.

How I stole someone’s identity
The author asked some of his acquaintances for permission to break into their online banking accounts. The goal was simple: get into their online accounts using the information about them, their families and acquaintances that is freely available online.

Pedophile-proof chat rooms?
Can Lancaster University’s Isis Project keep children safe online without invading our privacy?

Industry roundtable: experts discuss improving online security
Experts from Sun, Adobe, Microsoft and MacAfee discuss how to protect against more numerous and sophisticated attacks by hackers; security professionals call for upgraded technology, along with more attention to human and legal factors.

(via Bruno Giussani)

15 June 2008

Involved observational research

Basi
I always appreciate unusual perspectives so when Dr. Tina Basi, who consults with Intel’s Digital Health Group, contacted me about her research on power dynamics in ethnographic research, I was intrigued.

She recently presented a paper on the matter, entitled “Identity at Work and Play: Conducting Ethnography for Commercial Enterprise” at the London Business School in a seminar that dealt specifically with gender and power issues within the larger context of a seminar series on emotions and embodiment in research.

Here are some excerpts from a longer story she sent me:

The seminar brought together academics and practitioners with an interest in ethnographic research perspectives to the material generated in research.

Dr. JK Tina Basi, Director of Mehfil Enterprise and freelance researcher with Intel’s Digital Health Group in Ireland, discussed the role of identity in shaping the research process and outcomes. Her talk, entitled, ‘Identity at Work and Play: Conducting Ethnography for Commercial Enterprise’, looked at the way in which research design could better include and make space for the co-construction of both the researcher and the research participants’ identities. Drawing upon a range of feminist academics (Haraway, 1991; Stanley and Wise, 1993; and Wolf, 1996), Dr. Basi pointed towards the feminist epistemological critique of positivism and ‘value free’ research, which argues that the subjective/objective dichotomy is false, and that objectivity is simply a name given to male subjectivity.

“Interviewing is the art of construction rather than excavation; thus the task is to organize the asking and listening so as to create the best conditions for constructing meaningful knowledge (Mason, 2002). Research cannot be ‘hygienic’, and knowledge is best created as a co-production between the interviewer and interviewee (Collins, 2000), as two intersecting dialogues: dialogue number one is the ethnographer’s interviews with informants or the observations of people’s lives; dialogue two is between the ethnographer’s written work and the readers (Smith, 2002: 20) or the clients. Such an approach paves the way for greater reflexivity, which isn’t just about presenting the self and being reflexive about the self, it is about exposing power relations and the way in which these relations shape knowledge – a much more authentic way to conduct research, yielding sharper insights and deeper meanings.”

Dr Basi presented two examples from Intel’s research in the healthcare sector to show the strength of a dialogic approach to data collection. Intel’s research work on transport and mobility in rural Ireland was designed in part by the Rural Transport Programme and the research on social care services in England was heavily influenced by the experiences of elderly people using the services provided by Age Concern.

“Ethnography is just as much about the interview as it is about the setting, it is about building a rapport, yet you do more than just talking. You see things that people cannot articulate, what they don’t know they are trying to articulate. Ethnographic research provides a view of the rituals, practices, markers, and triggers in intimate settings and important environments – the situatedness of ethnography however, calls upon the researcher to become vulnerable in the process too.”

Download slides

Check out the LadyGeek blog too

19 May 2008

New Demos paper: UK Confidential

UK Confidential
Demos, the UK think tank for “everyday democracy”, has published its latest pamphlet on privacy.

“The transformation of our social lives and the increase in surveillance and technological innovations have led us to believe that privacy is in the midst of a very public death. But privacy is not dying, nor can we let it do so.

Privacy protects a set of deeply significant values that no society can do without; it is about the lines, boundaries and relationships we draw between and among ourselves, communities and institutions. Privacy appears threatened because our perception of what it means has radically changed. This collection argues that we get the privacy culture we deserve. Our appetite for a connected society means we have yet to determine why we still care about privacy.

These essays explore the underlying challenges and realities of privacy in an open society, and argue for a new settlement between the individual and society; the public and the state; the consumer and business. To achieve this, we need collective participation in negotiating the terms and conditions of twenty-first century privacy.

The collection includes contributions from Jonathan Bamford, Peter Bazalgette, Chris Bellamy, Peter Bradwell, Gareth Crossman, Simon Davies, Peter Fleischer, Niamh Gallagher, Tom Ilube, Markus Meissen, Perri 6, Charles Raab, Jeffrey Rosen, Robert Souhami, Zoe Williams and Marlene Winfield.”

Download paper (pdf, 580 kb, 184 pages)

9 May 2008

Our surveillance society goes online

Phone
The Guardian reviews a book that argues that our privacy is under threat by increased digital surveillance.

Being able to make your own decisions and hold your own views without interference; controlling information about yourself; and being in charge of your personal space – these basic elements of privacy are under threat, according to a new book, The Spy in the Coffee Machine: The End of Privacy As We Know It, by Kieron O’Hara and Nigel Shadbolt, two computer scientists at the University of Southampton.

While our offline activities are tracked by CCTV cameras, Oyster cards and RFID tags, the details of our online searches and purchases accumulate in databases that know more about us than we’d tell our closest friends. Many of us also broadcast our lives through blogs and social networking sites. “When one’s self as a social entity, with history, with transactions, is all out there, then privacy is not the same old notion,” says Shadbolt, who is professor of artificial intelligence at Southampton and one of the leading scientists shaping the protocols for the future internet.

Read full story

10 April 2008

Experience design and authenticity – is there a connection?

Authenticity
Idris Mootee, a business and innovation strategist, explores in a very casually written post the relevance of authenticity in experience design.

How about everyday experiences? Often these little experiences (digital or real world) are not engineered to be great, but somehow they find a way to us and we feel comfortable with it. They don’t appear to be great at first and somehow we get used to it. They may not be places for special occasions but they represent a third place we spend our time. People are friendly not because they are trained to act that way but they are simply who they are. It is called authenticity. We can tolerate those long waits or any human errors because we know they are like us – being humans. The questions why we do we tolerate these service hiccups in those places and get mad when it happens as a result of a service breakdown in a large company whether it is hotel, airline or retail chain? I think it has to be with authenticity.

Read full story

10 April 2008

The future of Europe lies in email

Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky, author of the book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organising without Organisations (see also these posts), argues in a short essay that the future of Europe lies in email:

“The EU is the test case for the effects of the Internet on government. No other multi-national region of the world has gone so far to dismantle national broders. Within the EU there are no passport checks, no customs checks at internal broders, and no barriers to work – any citizen of any of the 12 EU countries can work in any other EU country without needing a visa. Things that Americans take for granted, like being able to move 3000 miles for a job, are available to the citizens of the EU for the first time. In other words, the EU has most of the trappings of a country except the citizens, and the citizens are being produced at places like easyEverything. The people sending their email there are Europe’s first post-national generation, its first Internet generation, the first group of people who can move from one country to another if they hear that life is better elsewhere. The willingness of this generation to ignore national identity is going to confound their elders, the people who have grown up convinced that sentiments like ‘The Germans are efficient and humorless, while the Italians are undisciplined and fun-loving’ have an almost genetic component. Nationality matters less than economics – the Internet generation is going to behave more like customers than citizens.”

Read full story

18 March 2008

A short interview on identity

Trendbuero
The people from the German consultancy Trendbüro published a short interview with Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken on the topic of identity.

It is part of their strategy to publicise their forthcoming Trend Day, which has the theme: “Identity Management – Recognition replaces attention”.

Mark is in very good company: they have also published interviews with Richard Florida, Willem Velthoven of Mediamatic, Hartmut Esslinger of frog design, and Dick Hardt of identity 2.0.

Read interview

15 February 2008

Why immigration is vital to innovation

The Difference Dividend
Just like any other innovative company in Europe, Experientia is sometimes faced with very tough immigration laws. Hiring someone from outside the EU is quite a challenge and sometimes results in us loosing out on the opportunity to attract really good people.

So I am pleased to see some debate on the issue. NESTA, the UK’s National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, has just published a “provocation” written by Charles Leadbeater (author of We-Think) on why immigration is vital to innovation.

Entitled “The Difference Dividend“, the essay starts of with an outline of the three critical connections between immigration, innovation and creativity, argues (rightfully) that the debate about immigration is conducted in a thick fog of prejudice, anecdote and rumour, and describes in detail the critical contributions immigration makes to our capacity to innovate.

Leadbeater warns that diversity is not enough for innovation to take place (“The costs of diversity need to be well managed to make sure the benefits come through.”), highlights how people need to trust one another to share ideas and build upon one another’s contributions for innovation to emerge, and ends with four main implications for policymakers keen to maximise the impact of immigration on innovation.

Timely indeed, as multiculturalism came again under attack today in the UK (see The Guardian and The Times).