How is tech changing vital services?

First we build the tools, then they build us.
― Marshall McLuhan

In early 2018 we released the first of two reports providing insights from our National Digital Attitudes survey. The survey sets out to make sense of how people across the UK feel about living in our (almost suddenly) digital society.

But as well as listening to individual voices, we also want to surface the kinds of unexpected changes new technology is having on services and people that are vital to our society — law centres, police, healthcare, farmers and more — in ways we couldn’t have predicted, but which policymakers and funders should know about.

There’s a ton of attention paid to role of the internet at the top end of town, disrupting big business and reshaping regulation. But there’s still so much we don’t know about how tech is changing the communities and public institutions that serve us.

So we spent time with a different vital service or community in the UK to hear about how things have changed in unexpected ways. Our dispatches from the places we visited are below.