The Internet Age: an era of unprecedented freedom in both communication and culture.
However each major new medium, from telephone to satellite television, has crested a wave of similar idealistic optimism, before succumbing to the inevitable undertow of industrial consolidation. Every once free and open technology has, in time, become centralised and closed; a huge corporate power taking control of the 'master switch.'
Today, as a similar struggle looms over the internet, increasingly the pipeline of all other media, the stakes have never been higher.
Tim Wu is a Columbia Law professor, author, policy advocate, who first coined the phrase "net neutrality". He visits the RSA to deliver an essential review of information technology history and to share his unique insight into the next chapter of global communications.
Speaker: Timothy Wu, Professor at Columbia Law School, policy advocate and author of The Master Switch (Atlantic Books, 2011).
Chair: Tom Chatfield, author, tech and cultural commentator and game writer.