People are disenfranchised, left voiceless, for many reasons: convention, gender, permission, poverty, technology (or lack of it), misunderstanding, bullying, bemusement, culture, the list goes on and on. As organisations strive to be more connected, more Social, it’s important to remember that it’s not simply access to technology that can leave us voiceless: it’s normalised inequality, globally differentiated status of gender, and varied legal approaches to homosexuality. The world is neither uniform, not equal, and nor will it ever be.


Social Leaders fight for fairness: part of this battle is through their Social Capital: the ability to thrive in these new spaces and, more importantly, to help others to find their way. To help people find their voice, and to ensure that nobody is disenfranchised through lack of support within the community. It’s easy to focus on the levelling and enabling facets of the Social Age, but for all the ways that technology brings us ever closer, it can just as easily leave us further apart.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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4 Responses to Voiceless

  1. Hi julian, i dont understand what is meant by disenfranchised. Can you help? Thanks. Aude

    • julianstodd says:

      Hi Aude, to be ‘enfranchised’ is to be given permission, resources, structure, to achieve something. Much as as you can buy a Starbucks ‘franchise’, to run a store ‘out of the box’. To be disenfranchised is to be actively disempowered, something in the systems doesn’t just passively prevent you being successful, it actively prevents it. You are stripped of your power.

      In this context, i am exploring how the very features of the Social Age that bring us together (technology, community etc) can leave certain people disenfranchised. For example, someone who is strongly dyslexic may find it hard to engage in online spaces, or women can be treated differently in certain cultures or spaces etc.

      Thanks for asking, hope you’re well, best wishes, Julian

  2. Thanks Julian. Life is good. I think i got it now. I will read your article again. I hope things are good on your end too. Looking forward to your next post as always, Ciao, Aude

  3. Pingback: One Voice | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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