Menu More Information

What is Technology Privilege?

Depending on who you ask, there will always be different definitions of technology privilege. We define technology privilege as following:

tech·​no·priv·​i·​lege / tek-ˈnä-priv-lij /
 Any unearned advantage of one species member (biological or non-biological) over another, acquired through or amplified by technology Techno Privilege could be described as ‘the unearned advantage of one life form over another, through (or accelerated by) technology’, although other definitions are possible. It is a new term to describe a power dynamic that is one one hand based on existing forms of privilege, such as economic privilege and white privilege, but on the other hand is experienced throughout all layers of society and the planet as a whole.

For example, cashless payments through credit cards and mobile phones are an easy way to buy things, yet they make life difficult for those who are dependent on cash payments, such as people in marginalized groups, such as those who experience homelessness, undocumented immigrants, or people who work informal economies accross the globe. In this scenario, the person that owns the smartphone holds a degree of technology privilege; not only is the smartphone a symbol of their wealth and perceived social status, it also prevents people in those marginalized groups from participating in the economy.

On a planetary scale, the human species has technology privilege over other species by killing and consuming animals in an industrially organized and systematic way by using technology. The worst nightmare is that humans will become encapsulated by a technological superorganism, as envisioned by Hollywood movies such as the Matrix (Wachowski’s, 1999).

Here, the super organism holds a massive amount of technology privilege over humans.

How are the results generated?

Please note that the results generated are not objective or scientific. There is no global standard of Technology Privilege against which you are being measured. The results are relative, and should be seen in comparison with others to give you an indication of how much Technology Privilege you hold in comparison to them, as a means to raise awareness within yourself and spark a meaningful conversation with others. And who knows, it will lead to concrete action.

What is the Checklist of Technology Privilege?

The Checklist of Technology Privilege is an instrument that allows you to measure the amount of technology privilege you have. # Who wrote all the statements in the checklist? The statements in this version of the checklist were conceived through a series of internal brainstorms with the Next Nature team, led by Hendrik-Jan Grievink (initiator and creative lead of the project). It is unavoidable that some degree of bias from the makers has shaped it. However, in order to avoid bias as much as possible, we filtered the selection of statements through four lenses, described below. - Millennium goals (United Nations) - Hierarchy of human needs (Maslov) - The Culture Compass (Geert Hofstede) - Pyramid of Technology (Next Nature)

How can I contribute to this project?

The Checklist of Technology Privilege is a document in flux. This means that it will be updated over time and that multiple versions of the checklist will exist at some point. In fact, we would even encourage people and organizations to make their own version (see below). In a next phase of the project, we will set up a sounding board that consists of stakeholders from different communities worldwide, in order to secure multivocality.

Who are the people behind this?

Check Your Technoprivilege is initiated by researcher/artist/designer Hendrik-Jan Grievink, in collaboration with Next Nature. Next Nature is a future lab based in Eindhoven (NL) and Amsterdam (NL). The goal of Next Nature is to carve a satisfactory path into the future, not only for humans but for the planet as a whole.