Edition 2023
A Matter of Trust

Note: the following ideas are an initial approach to this year's topics. Come back in a few weeks to read the complete texts.

Trust is an integral part of society and the functioning of any human organization. Trust systems create connections between individuals and organizations, which enables them to work together and achieve shared goals.

Under this concept, what would happen if these systems broke apart? The rapid advancement of technology and the constant flow of information allows us to reconsider and transform the value we place on our relationships. In an increasingly digital world, where do we place our trust? What are the sources of trust? What do we sacrifice when we succumb to predetermined trust systems?

 


Subtopics

The following texts delve into the main ideas of each of the subtopics of this edition.

Borderless

About 200 years ago, the concept of nation-state arose as the predominant form of political organization. This concept is supported atop three pillars: a territory, a population, and a government. However, as societies quickly digitize, it is critical to ask ourselves if it is necessary to continue to keep global order and organization subject to lines drawn on a map. Is it appropriate for the nation-state as a concept to keep its predominance in the decades to come?

The purpose of a border is to separate us from others. How much trust we hold in concepts such as our national identity and the institutions which rule over it will be key to keeping or forfeiting borders in a context in which information exchange deems frontiers obsolete. Under a new paradigm in which decentralization is the norm, is it sensible to keep the current systems?  Are we willing to reduce physical borders as virtual ones soften? Speaking in more human terms, in societies where technological development seems to drive us further away, how many borders can we tolerate?

 

The Price of Privacy

As technology develops at an ever-increasing rate, new ways of connecting and sharing information have become vital in our daily lives. In these new networks of information, the worth of user data began gaining traction. As a result, businesses began capitalizing on it by exchanging free services for our data. 

However, the abundance of data available also brings risks. Data leaks, abuses, and inefficiencies in the handling of the data just to name a few. Therefore, the question arises as to what personal data we are willing to share and for what purpose it is used. Nowadays, the discussion revolves around rethinking our relationship with the data collected by public and private digital service providers and the value we assign to it. What are the limits for the use of our personal information?

 

 

Human Singularity: an Enigma

As a society, in order to work synergistically we depend on great measure on expression tools that connect what is personal to what is collective. Culture, language, and the concept of identity bring us together. However, it is the values of trust, belonging, and belief that offer different perspectives and levels of importance to these tools we use daily to interact. 

It is of utmost importance that we do not lose hold of human essence as we continue to develop new technologies and become immersed in a digital world. It is technology that, in an attempt to maintain said essence, ends up redefining the individual and the collective to integrate it accordingly. The following question then arises: Are human qualities unique or could they be replicated by the breakdown of an analyzed behavioral pattern? 

 

 

Note: The opinions and ideas presented in these texts were written as triggers to facilitate writing the discussion needed to apply to the SABF. They must not be taken as an undeniable truth. In case of disagreeing with some of the ideas, applicants are encouraged to express it in their texts.