Two Talks About Trust


The first video is called What We Don’t Understand About Trust.


She says there are three clichés of our society:
A claim: there has been a great decline in trust, very widely believed.
An aim: we should have more trust.
A task: we should rebuild trust.

Are these statements true?




The second talk is We've Stopped Trusting Institutions and Started Trusting Strangers. And I feel a bit more skeptical of this one but I’d like to evaluate it in terms of what Onoro O’Neill said in the first talk.

Specifically I want to talk about this timeline. Is this a story you agree with?
So for a long time, until the mid-1800s, trust was built around tight-knit relationships. So say I lived in a village with the first five rows of this audience, and we all knew one another, and say I wanted to borrow money. The man who had his eyes wide open, he might lend it to me, and if I didn't pay him back, you'd all know I was dodgy. I would get a bad reputation, and you would refuse to do business with me in the future. Trust was mostly local and accountability-based.

In the mid-19th century, society went through a tremendous amount of change. People moved to fast-growing cities such as London and San Francisco, and a local banker here was replaced by large corporations that didn't know us as individuals. We started to place our trust into black box systems of authority, things like legal contracts and regulation and insurance, and less trust directly in other people. Trust became institutional and commission-based.

It would be easy to conclude that institutional trust isn't working because we are fed up with the sheer audacity of dishonest elites, but what's happening now runs deeper than the rampant questioning of the size and structure of institutions. We're starting to realize that institutional trust wasn't designed for the digital age. Conventions of how trust is built, managed, lost and repaired -- in brands, leaders and entire systems -- is being turned upside down.