Disruptive Technology

Members of the Arviat Hunters and Trappers Association view panoramic images, that are now part of a virtual tour for Arvia’juaq National Historic Site, using Google Cardboard Viewers in 2016 . Photo credit: Colleen Hughes.

Our report uses the concept of “disruptive technology” to place digital return in northern regions into a social and technological context. The term disruptive technologies was first coined by Clayton Christensen in his 1997 book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”. Disruptive technologies are technological
innovations that upset networks
supporting the existing state of affairs.
Digital return acts as a disruptive
technology because it disrupts established
institutional models for archiving,
accessing, and interpreting objects and
cultural knowledge. Paradoxically, digital
return also disrupts traditional
Indigenous networks that support how
objects and cultural knowledge are
accessed and circulated by making them
freely available on the public Internet.