Independently minded publishing

The Rise of the Humans

How to outsmart the digital deluge

By Dave Coplin

eBook £0.00
Paperback £9.99 / $16.00
Buy now

The Rise of the Humans

How to outsmart the digital deluge

By Dave Coplin

Jacket text

The rapid growth of our digital world has brought huge advantages – access to information anywhere, at any time, and the ability to communicate with colleagues, family and friends around the globe in real-time.

But in other ways, the same technology has also disconnected us. Computers risk becoming less of a productivity tool and more like information firehoses, drowning us in a deluge of data that can keep us from doing meaningful, real work. The devices in our hands connect us like never before, but they vie for our attention to the point where they are beginning to disconnect us from the real world.

In this book, Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft UK, argues that right now it feels like the machines are taking over but if we stop thinking about the digital deluge as a problem and instead see it as an incredible opportunity we will be able to redress the balance. Technology offers our society so much but it is up to us, the humans, to rise to that potential.

About the author

Dave Coplin is the Chief Envisioning Officer for Bing and Microsofts UK Advertising and Online business and a leading thought leader in the UK. He has worked across a wide range of sectors and customers, providing strategic advice, leadership and guidance around the impact of technology on a modern society both at work and in play.

Dave is passionate about turning the base metal of technology into valuable assets that effect the way that we live, learn, work and play and in so doing, move the focus from the technology itself to the actual outcome. Dave has contributed to a range of media articles, conferences and forums all relating to the goal of making technology less visible and more valuable in our daily lives.



‘If you’re working in or managing a workplace today you need to read The Rise of the Humans.’

– Guy Clapperton, co-author of The Smarter Working Manifesto

‘Thought-provoking book. This slim volume does some envisioning, giving you a more cheerful view of how to cope with the world of work and the flood of information than the usual headlines. It’s also a good high-level survey of the research and writing on these areas, and it’s written in a friendly and accessible style that doesn’t assume you use any particular brand of technology, studded with personal anecdotes and discursions into what serendipity really means (it’s more Sherlock Holmes that winning the lottery).’

– Mary Branscombe, ZDNet

‘Coplin’s 130-odd pages will leave you fantastically well read.’

– Simon Rockman, The Register

‘Dave Coplin outlines how we can turn the threat of the “digital deluge” into a key organisational asset, creating a new generation of responsive organisations that are ready for the 21st century business world.’

– Adam Pisoni, Co-founder and CTO at Yammer / CVP, Yammer Engineering, Microsoft

‘I recommend that you switch off all electronic devices, devour this in one sitting, then lean back and ponder deeply.’

– Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, author of Tired But Wired

Media coverage

From City A.M.:

Many modern workers struggle to tune it out, but you can use it to your advantage, says Microsoft?s Dave Coplin. Ever get frustrated that despite all of the advances in technology and how hard you work, you never really seem to get anywhere? Chances are that you?re struggling with 21st century working in a 20th… Read more »

Read More…

From HR Magazine:

As we become increasingly dependent on technology for managing both work and leisure, have we fallen into addiction? How is this ‘digital deluge’ affecting our health? The average Brit spends more time on their smartphone every day (119 minutes) than with their partner (a mere 97 minutes). It?s a pretty shocking statistic, but one that… Read more »

Read More…

From Carat:

Blog – Outside Insight: Dave Coplin, Microsoft’s digital guru, explains the ?digital deluge? Dave Coplin is the Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft UK and an established thought leader in the UK. This year he published the book The Rise of the Humans: How to Outsmart the Digital Deluge. He?s passionate about making technology more valuable… Read more »

Read More…

From The Guardian:

Giving a workforce laptops and mobile phones will not make it work smarter unless good processes and practices to underpin the technology are firmly in place Smarter working needs smarter thinking Giving a workforce laptops and mobile phones will not make it work smarter unless good processes and practices to underpin the technology are firmly… Read more »

Read More…

From Katarina Nolte blog - Health, Food & Eco-Feminism:

Book Review: The Rise of the Humans ? How to outsmart the digital deluge By Dave Coplin Katarina Nolte ? 09/10/2014 This book was written by a Microsoft UK ?envisioning officer?. ?We are drowning in a sea of artificiality.? It reminds us that information is useless if we accept it without reservations. Information is only… Read more »

Read More…

From ZD Net:

Summary: Is there a simple answer to the future of technology and the world of work? Probably not, but this thought-provoking book might help you relax and stop worrying about it so much. Is technology still new and shiny and exciting, or has it become a bit boring, scary and overwhelming? Are you really too… Read more »

Read More…

From The Register:

A few days ago, I heard an interesting keynote speech. The speaker was Dave Coplin, who in times past could have been called an anthropologist. Dave?s job title is in fact “chief envisioning officer” at Microsoft UK. The speech took place at Business Transformed, a summit run by Microsoft in London in June on Windows… Read more »

Read More…

From The Telegraph:

Bankers beware: City ?will soon be run by robots? Artificial intelligence will render human efforts redundant, says Microsoft executive By Rebecca Burn-Callander 10:29PM BST 31 Aug 2014 Robots will be running the City within 10 years, rendering investment bankers, analysts and even quants redundant, it has been claimed. Artificial intelligence is about to outpace human… Read more »

Read More…


About the Author

1. The Digital Deluge
The lie of multi-tasking
The digital distraction
Being mindful: taking back control
Mastering the screaming digital demons by Gloria Mark

2. Bingeing and Snacking
Chewing on data's empty calories
Failing to cope with information excess
Unlocking the potential of information overload

3. Filtering and Thinking Big
Tuning in and out
The creepy valley and over-personalisation
Human control
Serendipity and the importance of discovery
Judging the jump

4. The Rise of the Connected Customer
Mining the data divide
The multi-dimensional customer
The four dimensions of the connected customer
The end of organisational silos
Case study: Ted Baker

5. The Rise of the Connected Worker
Unleashing the workforce
Transformational employees
Opening up the internal serendipity economy
Culture, culture, culture
The new alchemists
Time for a new "career"
Unboxing the inbox
Case study: Delta Airlines

6. Unlocking the Power of Data
The Big Data bandwagon
Correlation vs causality
This is NOT a Big Data book
Unearthing Big Data's top three hidden talents
Moving out of creeoy valley
Creating a data culture
Small data and a bright future by Lutz Finger

7. The Rise of the Machines
How I learned to stop worrying and love the algorithms
The end of handmade digital
Teaching the machines to learn
The singularity is near (ish)
What seems hard is easy, what seems easy is hard
The incredible future of machine learning by Chris Bishop

9. The Rise of the Humans
Judgements Day
New skills for a new machine age
The rising tide


Published: 20/05/2014
Edition: 1st
Pages: 152
Formats: ebook - ISBN 9780857194183
paperback - ISBN 9780857194053
Media enquiries

If you’d like to get in touch with the author for interview or comment, or you’d like a review copy of this book, please contact us at or call +44 (0)1730 233870.


For information on available rights, please contact

Bulk purchases

We offer discounts for bulk purchases. Please contact for a quote.