Digital Capitalism: Six-Week Course for Activists

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AI and digitalization have become topics of everyday discussion and debate, but what are their implications for activists fighting for social and environmental justice? To explore this, the Transnational Institute (TNI) organized a six-week course from April to May 2024 analyzing what is digital capitalism, how and by whom it is being shaped, its implications for our economy, society, and environment, and the possibilities for transformation.

The course consisted of online teaching resources/modules, a forum for discussion, reflection tasks, and recordings of live 'masterclasses' that were held each week with leading experts.

IT for Change’s Anita Gurumurthy, Nandini Chami, and Gurumurthy Kasinathan conducted masterclasses as part of the course.

Gurumurthy was part of a masterclass titled, 'What is Digital Capitalism?' He spoke about how digital platforms are emerging in different parts of the economy and society, in the latest phase of capitalism, arguing that with venture capital support, platforms aim to become monopolies and exploit both producers and consumers. He also highlighted how platform co-operatives can provide an alternative to platform capitalism, as they enable democratic control of digital platforms. 

Meanwhile, Nandini focused on 'Digital Colonialism: Geopolitics of Data and Development.' How has digitalization perpetuated global inequality? Who benefits and loses from global value chains? How is the internet and data management governed globally? What are the strategies of the major state digital powers - US, China, and Europe – and where does that leave everyone else? Nandini explored these questions.

Additionally, Anita delved into 'What's the Alternative? The Digital World We Want to Inhabit,' examining the infrastructures, policies, and models necessary to uphold digital justice. She also analyzed how social movements are resisting Big Tech.

While the course has concluded, you can register here, watch the recordings, and complete the course in your own time. Know more here.