Cloud Culture: the future of global cultural relations

The rise of cloud computing has not only creating a battle for global internet control: it will soon change the ways in which we exercise our creativity and forge relationships. Cloud Culture is a ground-breaking report, written by Charles Leadbeater, asking the key questions about this emergent social sphere: What will Cloud Culture be like? Who will own the cloud?

This Counterpoint pamphlet is about what happens when technology (mobile, open-source, 2.0) and cloud computing conspire to offer more access to more of everyone’s culture, heritage and ideas than ever before. Charles Leadbeater outlines the promise and the step-change that is cloud computing – the results of linking all sorts of devices to one another, the unprecedented level of access to vast stores of cultural artefacts and the enormous potential for new forms of collaboration, grassroots mobilisation and multinational communities. But the argument is not dewy-eyed idealism – the potential is there but we know it is already under threat.

To make the most of cloud culture all of us need to sign up to maintaining an ‘open cloud’. This means mobilising to preserve diversity of provision and of access, exploring collaborative approaches to copyright, supporting online activism across the world, finding ways of sustaining public initiatives that are global and diverse and, perhaps most importantly, countering technological exclusion by supporting the development of locally developed tools and software.


Charles Leadbeater


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