Bolder from A to Z
Maybe it’s your first time browsing the site or perhaps you have heard about us during a conference and want to learn more. Bolder puts philosophy first, which is why it can be helpful to get to grips with our word bank in order to understand the principles this company is founded on and our various projects. Whatever your motivation, this might just be the starting point you are looking for.
A – AIR by Bolder
AIR by Bolder is an adventure center located in Stavanger’s urban business area. Here, you can escape the static routines of your office job, and bring the whole family along, as you test limits via ziplines, trampolines, aerial nets, parkour and climbing walls. However, there is more to this space than what meets the eye. In fact, it’s also Bolder’s very own cyber-physical lab, where we can test and trial how technology can improve user experiences and empower an active lifestyle.
AIR is an acronym for our values – Adventurous, Including and Real.
B – Bolder
Bolder is a value-based company. We are always working on a new and exciting project but, from day one, our goal has always been to ensure individuals gain control of their personal data, allowing them to track, store and make sense of it all. “We call it Bolder because it will give you back your freedom. The freedom to choose.”
C – Conscious technology
Bolder-founder Eirik Skjærseth coined the term ‘conscious technology’, describing a world where tech supports the individual. While technological advancement has brought us many benefits, there is no denying that it has also led us down a dangerous path of exploitation, inequality, addiction and manipulation. Bolder, on the other hand, believes the digital tools we build should be working for fundamental human values instead of the opposite. That is why we call it ‘conscious’.
D – Digital footprint
When we talk about digital footprints, we are referring to the data you deposit through your interactions with technology. Whenever you are posting a photo on Instagram, liking a post on Facebook, using a Fitbit to track your run, asking Alexa to play you a song or turning to Google to find new hiking gear, you are providing each of these companies with valuable data streams. These data sets can reveal details about your personality and habits which, in turn, can be sold to third parties using the information to sell you their services and influence your opinion.
F – Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal
The British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica unlawfully collected personal data from 87 million Facebook users under the pretence of academic research when, in reality, it was used for advertising during elections. Despite Facebook being fined and brought to court as a result of failing to protect users, they are yet to face consequences that truly deter them from similar behavior.
G – GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in 2018 after years in the making. The intention was to strengthen and unify data protection for all citizens within the EU. This regulation is significant as it has put the question of data ownership and privacy on the agenda, and is a milestone on the path towards regulations that secure individuals’ control of their personal data.
H – Holacracy
The organizational structure ‘holacracy’ is embraced by Bolder because, in contrast to a hierarchy, this means there is an emphasis on decentralization and distributing the power between employees. That way, there is more freedom for each member of the team to define their role within the company, as there are no traditional job descriptions or rigorous power structures. Curious to learn how more about how it works in practice and the impact this has on collaboration in the workplace? Read more.
I – Including
While we encourage you to make your own reflections around our core values, Including reminds us of the importance of welcoming new opinions and perspectives with open arms. Unfortunately, the digital age means you can easily create your own filter bubble where your opinions go unchallenged. If anyone disagrees, they get dismissed, unfollowed, blocked and even cyberbullied. We live in a time of increased polarization and when our worldviews are challenged, we often shut down and refuse to listen. The only way to heal is by doing the complete opposite – having open discussions, even if we don’t necessarily agree with a certain argument. At Bolder, we celebrate trying to understand rather than arguing why you’re right.
O – Ownership
We are building solutions supporting a future where individuals have ownership of their own data, including the freedom to decide what they want to share, who they want to share it with and why. In contrast to the current model, where big tech companies set the terms and conditions, and harness the value of data produced by you – we give you the chace to decide whether you want to sell or give up certain strands of your data to a value chain you believe in.
P – Push
In a world where we don’t have control of our own data, it makes sense that we are being pushed products, services and content we don’t need nor desire. It is often said that “if the content is free, you are the product” and we see this in practice whenever our personal data is used against us to advertise a product or sell us something that does not serve us. In a bolder world, tech would be there to support us instead of using us. Bolder is determined to empower the individual which is why we will never push our services. Instead, we ask what you need and tailor our services accordingly. Read more.
R – Real
Listing Real as one of Bolder’s core values is to remind us to look inward and learn to be honest with ourselves. It is all about figuring out your likes and dislikes and not trying to be anything different from who you really are. Like Bolder brand manager Anne-Sofie Engelschiøn once put it: “I make my own choices based on what I believe is right, not based on what society tells me to, what my parents think or what anyone else believes for that matter. I need to focus on what I really want and which choices aligns with my values.”
S – Stereolabs
One of our latest projects is the Stereolabs x Bolder collaboration which utilizes Stereolabs’ knowledge of 3D technology, AI and motion sensing – paired with Bolder’s philosophy. The goal is to use technology to improve user experiences with the help of a camera that counts, maps, recognizes and analyzes the movements users that crosses its pathway. Thanks to machine learning, it can be programmed to suit various purposes and privacy is, of course, always ensured. So far, the technology is being tested at the beaches of Jæren, in Magma Geopark, the Ryfylke museums, Clarion Hotel Energy and Utstein Kloster Hotel. Want to know more about how it works? Read here.
T – TEDx Stavanger
Over the years, Bolder-founder Eirik Skjærseth has hosted various talks covering conscious technology and the road towards a more human-centric and equal digital future. In 2019, he was invited to speak at TEDx Stavanger, warning that this is the time in history when we decide what kind of society we want to create using technology. Watch it here.
V – Value creation
We tend to forget just how valuable our digital footprints are, and oftentimes we fail to recognize exactly what our data is being used for. If we knew who makes the profits and why, perhaps we would not be as willing to give it away. And if we flip it, we can ask how much value we could create if we take back the power that belong to us. As the system stands, data tends to be abused but there is plenty of potential for good. When citizens get ownership of their data, there is more room for innovation that directly benefits the individual and the collective.
W – Web 3.0
With the rise of social media and Web 2.0, we have witnessed the serious consequences of phenomena such as filter bubbles, fake news, polarization, cyberattacks, surveillance capitalism and tech addiction. Now that we are venturing into the new technological era that is the Web 3.0, there will be new challenges and potential for exploitation. It’s about time that we establish proper regulations that hold tech companies accountable and prevent them from taking advantage of our data.
Z – Zuboff
Even if you are yet to understand what it means, you have already fallen victim to surveillance capitalism, assuming that you are reading this on your laptop, smartphone, tablet or likewise. The term was coined by Shoshana Zuboff and it refers to how social media platforms and search engines profit off selling the data you deposit online. The Harvard Business School professor has written a brilliant book titled The Age of Surveillance Capitalism where you can learn a lot about the things big tech is trying to hide. If you want a more gentle introduction, you can read more here.