So here’s the bad news. When it comes to politics, the Internet, it seems, has been a great disappointment.
It’s failed to radically democratize politics and so, for the upcoming 2016 election, we’ve got almost all the candidates being funded by Super PACs controlled by tiny groups of enormously rich individuals. That, at least, is the view of Steve Hilton, the co-founder and CEO of Crowdpac, a Palo Alto based start-up that claims to provide strictly objective data about how and where all the candidates get their money.
Super PACs, Hilton told me, are “unhealthy for democracy”. And as the so-called “blue sky” thinker for the British Prime Minister David Cameron, Hilton knows a thing or two about democracy. He’s also just written an important new book about technology and humanity More Human, which will be out in the US early next year.
Last but not least, Hilton is just one part of one of Silicon Valley’s most illustrious power couples (he’s married to Rachel Whetstone, the former global head of communications at Google who is now SVP of Communications and Policy at Uber).
Many thanks to the San Francisco iHangar for hosting this interview with Hilton. And thanks again to CALinnovates for its help with producing the INNOVATE2016 show.