Although we ended up talking about dystopias way more than your average weekend, the vibe was overwhelmingly optimistic. Although the naivety of the Internet’s beginnings means we’ve let parts of it slide into a troll cesspit or become a muddle of confusion, and of course, good ol’ Capitalism means we’ve allowed brands to monetise the whole thing, the internet can be an incredible force for good. Audrey Tang, Tawain’s digital minister, was one of the IAM Weekend 18 speakers that really affirmed this point. Appearing via hologram (yes, you heard us!), Audrey walked us through the dangerous socio-economic polarisation that social network echo chambers can produce, and explained how their work in Taiwan has helped shift the democratic process there into a conversation rather than a slagging match between two sides. From data visualisations showing how government budget is being spent to engaging citizens in decision-making through tech, Audrey is radically changing life for everyday people in Taiwan – a country where access to the internet is a human right. Audrey explained that it was possible to remain optimistic about our collective futures on the internet, and how the drive to use the internet to change the world comes from a deep-seated personal passion, “because it is from within, no external force can change this!” speaking to a rapt crowd. Swoon.