To celebrate their launch, Boma Chile hosted an exclusive conversation between Shoshana Zuboff, Professor at Harvard and author of the bestseller The Era of Surveillance Capitalism, together with the Chilean Secretary of State, Alfredo Moreno. The two speakers engaged in a very timely discussion on the impact of social networks on our lives, democracy and economy.
Dr. Zuboff is one of the most influential exponents on this subject worldwide, which resulted in her starring role in the widely discussed Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. Referring to Dr. Zuboff's book, Frank Rose of the Wall Street Journal writes,
The main contribution of this book is to give a name to what is happening, put it in a cultural and historical perspective, and ask us to pause deep enough to think. in the future and how it could be different.
The event was supported by The Chamber of Construction, the Association of All Chambers, and Credicorp Capital. 1500 people subscribed, and there was incredibly high engagement, with the average viewer staying online for 50 minutes.
"Surveillance Capitalism" refers to the process by which technology companies convert private human experience into a source of free raw material, which they claim as property in order to predict and monopolize on behavioural data trends. Behavioural surplus, a term coined by Dr. Zuboff, are the personal data points (age, lifestyle, sexuality, etc) that are extracted from users, often unknowingly, in order to influence customer behaviour and target more effectively. The surplus creates predictions about us, but not necessarily for our benefit. Its targeting mechanisms can be extremely invasive due to the sheer amount of private data they harbour from its users.
This process of data extraction and data exploitation, although extremely profitable, is also profoundly anti-democratic, intervening in human autonomy, human decision-making, and in the sovereignty of our private experience. It is also anti-democratic on a larger level, because it has produced a huge and unimaginable concentration of knowledge - knowledge that is inherently linked to power. This power can be used to interfere in elections, the free press, and the democratic process.
The vision of Boma is to be a truly global network, where every country and every culture has the opportunity to shape a conversation about the future we want to create, and the leaders we need to create it. The threat of social media to democracy and economy is a critical issue affecting countries and leaders all over the world. Boma Chile’s critical conversation on the risks and challenges posed by social media from a local perspective, provide important lessons and learnings for the larger global network.
The Founding Partners of Boma Chile are Ramiro Urenda, a seasoned CEO of multinational corporations and board member of many of the largest companies in Chile, Rodrigo Mobarec, business advisor and President of the Smart Citizenship Foundation, Leonardo Maldonado, serial social entrepreneur and Former Leader of the B Corp Movement in Chile, and lastly, innovator, entrepreneur and co-founder of gender equality Foundation “Hay Mujeres”, Felipe Contreras Haye. The CEO of Boma Chile is Maria Alejandra Esposito Latrach. Maria Alejandra is a certified Ontological Coach, and has more than five years of experience as CEO in the consulting industry, and over 14 years in management in the retail sector.