Crash Course Economics

Big Tech & the Global South — with Nandini Chami

June 08, 2021 Nandini Chami Season 3 Episode 4
Crash Course Economics
Big Tech & the Global South — with Nandini Chami
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In this fourth Crash Course episode of the series on Big Tech, Techno-feudalism and Democracy, we take a closer look at how we could resist the enormous and all-encompassing influence Big Tech and platform economies have on our lives. How can we regain control over our individual and collective data as they are being increasingly commodified and traded?

Nandini Chami, deputy director of IT4Change, answers these and other questions and links the rise of Big Tech to growing inequality and development in the Global South. We ask further ask Chami:

  • How is Big Tech deepening the geographies of inequality?
  • What are the governance deficits at the global level that are exacerbating data colonialism?
  • What are the new policy pathways that we need, in order to reclaim our data from Big Tech enclosures? 

Nandini Chami is Deputy Director at IT for Change. She is engaged in policy research and advocacy at the intersections of digital policy, development justice and gender equality. Her research interests are data justice, inclusive platform economies, and gender and digital trade. She co-leads the Digital Justice project, a collaboration between IT for Change and Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era network ( on gender equality in the digital economy and she is co-investigator of Policy frameworks for the platform economy, an IDRC-supported multi-country research study on platform governance models for the global South.


About Crash Course Economics

Crash Course is a platform designed to open up debate on how we can move out of the current crisis and make the necessary steps towards achieving social, economic, ecological and regenerative justice.

Crash Course is inviting global experts to break down complex issues in lay terms and make them accessible to all so that we can understand how to shape our economic system for a just recovery and future.


Music credit: "Capital G" by Nine Inch Nails, "Tribal Remix" by Imnotlouis (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US) 

Presentation by Nandini Chami; Taking on Big Tech - a view from the Global South
What is Big Tech?
To whom is value accruing?
The Intelligent Corporation as the new overlord
Strategies: acquisitions, mergers and investments
Strategy 2: marriage with speculative finance
Strategies 3-4: Ideologization
Taming Big Tech
A Digital New Deal
Q&A: A gender perspective on IT
Q&A: E-commerce and the effect of its rise in the Global South
Q&A: WTO and plurilateral initiatives
Q&A: What to learn from India
Q&A: Building blocks for regaining control over internet
Q&A: colonial structures and global inequalities, and fintech
Q&A: On the need for consensus about human rights and internet
Q&A: Digital commonsification
Q&A: Mechanisms for governments to intervene in platform infrastructures
Q&A: Big Tech’s influence on governments response to the pandemic
Wrap up and question to the next speaker Francesca Bria