Rachel Botsman talk “Trust” @rachelbotsman



The day had already started well with an excellent catch-up and lunch with @PerryTimms at https://www.barandblock.co.uk/kings-cross

This talk by @rachelbotsman  was set in a beautiful, quite haunting building which was the right atmosphere for the topic under discussion tonight; Trust.

I had the absolute pleasure of watching the talk with Miranda Ash from WorldBlu who kindly introduced me to two lovely people from a @WorldBlu certified organisation Widen, Lucas and @annette_koenig

Rachel started this evening by offering a short presentation with some key takeaways from me as follows, underpinned by the message that “we trust strangers more than we trust our institutions” right now….. (this, whatever your political leaning, in itself would help explain why we have seen such seismic gambles on the worlds livelihoods over the past 12 months)


This comment was very striking for me personally.  Although I do not fly with Ryanair, I do not have any issue using Uber which is often 30-40% cheaper than Uber as I believe that it is a ‘like for like service’ compared with other private hire/back cabs.  I am prepared to have to help some drivers get me home for a 30-40% reduction in price.

Yes I fully appreciate that Black Cabs learn the knowledge but Uber is basically showing that using tech (GPS) you not ‘need’ the knowledge which is a very difficult thing to accept I appreciate, but that is tech advancement.  Interested in what other people think on this?


This was a very interesting reflection for me personally as we are used to monopolies existing within sectors where scarcity is common e.g. oil, precious metals etc however this is the first time that I have understood that we have current examples of Exponential Organisations monopolising digital space with a product that is not scarce.  Think about that for a second…… I am really interest in @salimismail view on this.  AirBnB is far from a monopoly, indeed far from it, yet appears to dominate a certain subset of the accommodation market.



Both @mirandaash and I were taken aback the revelation that China is using gamification to ensure that every citizen has a #trust score by 2020!  I did find it hilarious, however, that Rachel commented that the Chinese have bought the rights to her book, with few amendments!  Maybe this messaging will not be in it!


Miranda tweeted a critically important point here.  Yes there is a lot of volatility but one thing that we are missing desperately right now, for me, is social capital.  Everyone has become so myopic with fear and this combined with a general lack of desire to hear anybody else’s point of view is sending society into a tailspin, in my opinion.

This can change and I believe it will change but only when everyone, every single one of us, starts taking more accountability.  Accountability to help our neighbour.  Accountability for our actions, our coarse words or our overly emotional states.  Accountability to help our children learn, to get them away from their iPads and into the open air once in a while to reflect.  There is so much more in life that we can all take more accountability for and the sooner we do that, the healthier society will become.  We do have time, it is what we choose to do with that time to counts.


A plea for calm/support

To wrap up this blog, this talk reminded me of some research that was carried out by the @CIPD in March 2012 called “where has all the trust gone,” with the drivers of trust being shown in other Uni of Bath reports also.


I was reflecting on the above and questioning, if we truly trust strangers more than we trust our institutions, through the use of tech, what is it from the above that most upsets us about our institutions currently?

Institutions                                       Technology

Lack of predictability – YES          Uber/AirBnB – rating system, gives predictability

Lack of integrity – YES                   Online platforms ‘appear’ to have integrity through data

Lack of ability – YES                       Exponential Tech is evidencing its ability daily

Lack of benevolence – YES          Do machines really care?  Not yet, but they at least do not                                                            leave us purpose less and lost as James O’Brien                                                             @mrjamesob referenced on @LBC earlier this week

So basically, for me, we have a full house of mistrust being scored by our institutions and until ‘they’ take accountability for this mistrust, I cannot see this macroeconomic situation improving.

In the meantime however on a micro level as passionate, caring, loving citizens of the world, let’s do what we can to bridge the trust gap by starting to constructively debate, listen and support each other rather than having to believe that only our view is the right one.  Fake news is that, FAKE!  You only hear what you want to hear on Facebook, the algorithms are doing their job.

Start questioning more and to coin @simonsinek please, please “start with why.”

If we lead as the masses by example, maybe, just maybe, our trust-less institutions may follow.



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