Jag Singh is a leading digital expert who co-founded the online political campaigning and advertising agency MessageSpace. He works with leading international brands, organisations and politicians to help them connect with active online crowds – be they voters in elections or consumers of specific brands – and provides them with the technological know-how to fully harness the powers of the Web. Jag frequently advises on issues relating to the usage of technology within the political arena, and has advised several US Presidential candidates including Wes Clark, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. In the UK, Jag most recently served as the Director of Digital Communications for the NO to AV referendum campaign, which garnered over 14 million votes (68% of the total). He is also a co-founder of Labourhome.org, one of the Labour Party’s first attempts at engaging with and reinvigorating its grassroots. LabourHome.org was sold to the owner of the New Statesman in 2008, one of the first such transactions in the UK for a blog. Jag is also a trained economist who entered University at the age of 16. Jag regularly comments on all aspects of digital technology and social media
?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?
JS: I’d love to see a future where political engagement isn’t just a buzz-word. I want a future where voters are given real responsibilities (but also take them seriously), and aren’t treated like idiots. This world would have fewer politicians, and they’d treat politics not as a vocation but a public service. We’d give them the chance to be open and transparent about their convictions, ideologies and misgivings, and we’d care a little bit more about things that didn’t directly affect us. This is all essentially a world where there’s a realisation that integrity and frankness makes for the best politics, but also that we ought to be more in control of our lives, and by extension – destinies.
?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?
JS: I’d say it would be Christian Marclay’s extraordinary 24-hour video art project, “The Clock,” a re-arrangement of thousands of movie clips that accurately depict a functional clock. It dawned on me when I first saw it that not only do we live in an increasingly interconnected world, where actions taken by a person can almost instantly cause a reaction in another corner of the world – but more importantly and whether we like it or not, our lives revolve around time. We’re unique individuals, so isn’t it strange that we all have exactly 24 hours every day to make the most of our lives? Shouldn’t that inspire us to achieve and do more?
?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?
JS: I’d say an act to create this future would start with changing the way we spend – or waste, depending on how we value – our time. Trying something new, whether it’s visiting a soup kitchen for the homeless for an hour, hearing from a politician we wouldn’t usually listen to, starting a for-profit company that aims to pay its fair share of taxes, or even offering to spend an afternoon visiting with the elderly neighbours who live alone, is a great start.
?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?
JS: These days, everything starts with a Google search. Or you could visit Do-It Volunteering, or maybe build a site that competed with ones that already exist. Simply performing an action that you haven’t done before is a ‘vote’ for this future.
?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future?
JS: Adele – Someone Like You hits the spot for me
?!X: Can you share with us up to 5 weblinks that you find interesting and inspiring?
Follow Jag on Twitter @jagsingh
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