When Marc Benioff declared in early 2015 that “The digital revolution needs a trust revolution,” I was so excited. But, as time passed, my excitement turned to frustration. I realized several critical questions had not been answered, and the answers were needed for a trust revolution to be launched.
- If we are going to have a revolution, against whom or what are we revolting?
- What weapons and tools will be needed to fight the battles and win the war?
- How will we secure the funding to build the weapons and tools, and pay the human resources, required to do battle?
- How will we measure our success in waging the revolution? How will we know when, or if, we have won the war?
In several public presentations and keynotes, when I have asked those questions aloud, the audiences’ quiet affirmations—a chorus of nodding heads and shared glances—confirms we need those questions to be answered. Now, a little over a year after publishing my book, I have realized that is exactly what my book delivers—the answers required with which to launch the trust revolution that is so desperately needed!
Amidst the daily flood of fake news, false news, and even news about fake news, the evidence is abundant—there is a crisis of distrust pervading our communities, our companies, and our governments. But how do we attack the problem? How can we launch a revolution that leverages the digital infrastructure of humankind toward achieving trust, rather than dismantling trust?
The answer was right in front of me, to be found in my own conduct. At Georgetown University Law Center, at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, and at the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science, my courses have been planting the seeds from which a revolution can rise.
That’s right: education is the fuel with which any revolution begins. Those who will enter and fight in any revolution must first learn the answers to the same types of questions. Whether shouted from the stages before public marches, whispered in taverns (or online websites), or published and circulates in leaflets and pamphlets (or online forums or social media), the essential truths that become the foundation for a revolution must be shared and taught, from one to one, from many to many, until critical momentum emerges.
I have decided that it is not enough to just teach my formal courses. They are immensely enjoyable, but the need to teach and share the answers to those questions is not satisfied just by those courses. After all, my course at Oxford is now sold out in January for all of 2017 and even the first offering in 2018 is getting booked out!
So, I have figured out how to do more—to take the answers to those most able to fund and fight the revolution itself—the companies and governments of the world. In the weeks ahead, I will begin delivering to these stakeholders intensive, hands-on training on how to achieve digital trust. The content and lectures are being adapted to fit the time-constrained demands of business and governing, compressing into 2 or 2.5 days what might consume an entire academic term.
The corporate training workshop includes lectures, learning exercises, visual learning content (including RitterMaps used in my academic classes), and copies of my book.
It is inevitable, if humankind is to endure in a civil society, that trust will triumph; what is unclear is when will we declare the war and commit to win the revolution. Education will fuel the tinder; it is what I can offer and deliver. My goal is to make a difference and, I hope, accelerate the launch of the trust revolution.
In addition to my Buy One-Give One program, during 2016 (and, I hope, in future years), 50% of my earned workshop fees will be contributed by me to scholarship funds that advance the capabilities of our next generations.
If your company, government agency or organization are interested in learning what is needed to fight and win the trust revolution, give me a call or drop me a note. I will look forward to hearing from you.