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Trust in the Digital Age

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Trust in the Digital Age

Why It Matters More Than Ever

Aspen Institute,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

In the digital age, don’t let convenience determine which product, technology or organization you trust.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging


Research indicates that in the digital age, people are changing what – and how – they trust. Automation may make life easier, but as trust expert Rachel Botsman warns in this Aspen Institute presentation, you should avoid outsourcing your trust decisions to technology. She explains that as institutional trust in large companies declines, people shift their reliance back to distributed trust of individuals. Those who want to understand the basics of customer trust will enjoy Botsman’s lively presentation.


There is no trust crisis; today’s interactions reflect the changes of the technological age.

Trust expert Rachel Botsman explains that during the digital age, trust is shifting from institutions to individuals. People are now less trusting of large companies, governments and religious groups, and are transferring their beliefs and confidence onto other people.

Many people think trust is something that they can create by taking certain actions or that it is a value. But, you can’t create trust; trust is something people give – often to the wrong people.

Botsman’s parents once hired a nanny from an ad in The Lady, an English high-society publication. The woman spoke with a Scottish accent, wore glasses and said she belonged to the Salvation Army. All of these attributes were trust signals, the kinds of indicators people use to gauge someone’s trustworthiness. After 10 months, the nanny disappeared. Later the family learned she...

About the Speaker

Oxford University lecturer and author Rachel Botsman researches and speaks on trust. Her books include What’s Mine is Yours and Who Can You Trust.

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