The Future of Trust

With the Association of Professional Futurists (AFP) 

Arguably trust is at the heart of our transactions.  It is sometimes perceived as a binary so that I trust or don’t trust something.  It’s operation is more complicated than that. I may trust you with some things, but not others. Today global networks for business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer blur who to trust. It’s further complicated because the definitions above imply a decision to trust.  On one hand this might be a slow decision based on the careful weighing of risk, or it might be a quick chance taken because of perceived benefits.  It might be an assumption that the service you choose to use is being managed well.  Perhaps if we had to make a slow considered decision about every transaction we would simply cease to function. It is also said that when trust is lost, it can take a long time to be regained.

IAAC’s work on smart-living IoT imagined a world of pervasive technology, where one was not only a user of technology, but also a participant in an information system.  This research aims to look at trust in this emerging context. Questions that could be considered include:

  • Has trust been reduced to technology rather than integrity and relationships?
  • Does more trust mean more friction in transactions?
  • How will trust be negotiated?
  • Are the ethics of trust changing?
  • If we trust an institution such as a bank, will we simply have to trust the whole system?
  • Could a trust perspective change our approach to engineering services and systems?
  • What can be trusted in the future?
  • What happens if we lose trust in essential systems and services?

The events will be designed and facilitated by the AFP with IAAC to be participatory and engaging. The first workshop will use a version of the ‘World Cafe’ process, which allows for deeper dialogue and rich exploration of questions, while the second one is likely to be designed around an innovative futures method.