We are a global democracy membership organisation. Our mission is to shape the fourth industrial revolution for all, leaving nobody behind.
United Citizens is an initiative of The Fourth Group. The Fourth Group was established in 2016 to shape tech for all, leaving nobody behind
In 2018 we ran campaigns calling for Mark Zuckerberg to appear in front of US Congress and UK Parliament to answer questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. We also called for Tim Cook to inform us whether child labour was used to produce the latest line of Apple products. These campaigns garnered the support of over 220,000 people. There is a clear desire for citizens to address new problems caused by tech and hold tech leaders to account.
We then organised a global listening campaign to understand what citizens believe are our rights and responsibilities in the digital age, what the biggest problems caused by tech are, and how we address them.
We were most excited by the finding that there is a desire for people to come together around common causes. That’s why we established United Citizens.
We want to create a world where those who run it are democratically accountable, and where tech power is held to account. We want to work with Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Tim Cook (Apple), and Larry Page (Google/Alphabet) to shape the fourth industrial revolution for all, leaving nobody behind.
How will we do this?
We will unite citizens around the world to build a democratic movement. We will vote for our representatives, then vote for the campaign we want to run, then we will employ campaigning tactics such as lobbying, protest, and community organising to win change.
What we want to change
We are unhappy with:
- The fourth industrial revolution is being shaped by the few, and is leading to new problems outlined in The Fourth Group’s Global Inquiry into Citizens in the Digital Age (www.weareunitedcitizens.org).
- The fact that the digital world is run by a tiny tech elite.
- There is no democratically run global institution which represents our interests as citizens of the world.
What we will do
To change this, we United Citizens will:
- Build a democratically run membership organisation open to all citizens to represent our interests.
- Influence, campaign, and lobby powerful tech companies.
- Advocate on behalf of the public and help shape the world from as it is to as it should be.
What is our endgame?
We want to unite citizens globally around common interests for shared peace, privacy, security, freedom, and prosperity. We want to democratise global governance so that people have a say on who runs our world. We will work together to ensure that the fourth industrial revolution leads to progress for all, leaving nobody behind.
What is our plan?
We are an independent organisation to be run on democratic principles.
– Global Election
If we raise enough money, we will organise a global online election to elect our inaugural President and elected officials who will make up part of our inaugural Organising Committee.
– Global Campaign
We will launch a campaign based on the priorities set by our members and representative body.
– Global Community Organising
We will support you as members by providing opportunities to campaign on issues we care about. We will also share exclusive opportunities for training, events, networking.
What have we achieved so far?
Here are some highlights of what we have achieved since 2016:
– We have built a global community of 250,000 people from multiple countries around the world
– Developed new technologies via hackathons
– Raised awareness of the need for civic engagement in shaping of tech via press (Al Jazeera, The Economist, Forbes, WEF Agenda)
– Published new ideas to respond to societal problems caused by tech through online media publication, Foreword
– Campaigned for accountability from Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg, and Apple/Tim Cook through Change.org petitions and married it with real-world action (petition delivery to Facebook London office)
– Undertook a global listening campaign through Global Inquiry into Citizens in the Digital Age which gave an opportunity for ordinary folk to consider the social implications of technology, and put forward their views on what must be addressed (12 focus groups in 8 countries, 400 online survey responses from 32 different countries) (www.weareunitedcitizens.org)
– Delivered workshops on multiple issues (cybersecurity, political literary, etc)
– Put forward new ideas in the policy/politics/tech spaces (AI politician, political entrepreneurship, union of citizens for the digital age)
– Delivered talks at global/high-level events (TEDx, TOA Berlin, Web Summit)
– Invited to advise governments (UK Centre for Data Ethics, Pictfor), supranational organisations (OECD), politicians (Council of Europe)
– Invited to advise business (EACD, Google DeepMind, Wetherby’s Bank)
– Organised inaugural summit, engaging leaders in politics, business, and civil society, and organising Politics Summit 2018 (www.PoliticsSummit.org)
Testimonies from our members
– “Technology and social media platforms can’t be left to be value neutral. We are in an ethical and regulatory race against time, but I am an optimist. That is why I’m joining United Citizens as a founding member. I urge you to join us too. It is time for us to come together to shape tech for good. If we do, we have a good chance of technology being trusted by the public and we can at the same time keep our democracy safe.” – Lord Clement-Jones (Former Chair, House of Lords Select Commitee on Artificial Intelligence)
– “Facebook, Apple, Google, and Amazon shape so much of our daily lives, yet I alone don’t have a say on how those companies are run. That’s why I believe we need to come together to build citizen power to change that.” – Diana, 36
– “For far too long, the world has been run by an anonymous elite. It’s time we changed that and opened global governance to democracy.” – Natalie, 31
– “They say democracy is dying. That’s because the most important global decisions are still not made democratically. It’s time for change.” – Jeremy, 18
– “This is not about a political left-right agenda. This is about the ideas of freedom and sovereignty of the people.” – Idris, 44
– “We all belong to and live on this earth. But who decides what happens is not us. It’s time to change this.” – Vanessa, 27
– “The Fourth Industrial Revolution presents many challenges and opportunities. The biggest challenges affect all parts of society, but the biggest opportunity is the technologies that allow us to connect worldwide and organise using digital tools.” – John, 59