Last updated: 23 december, 2009 - 11:36 GMT


Defining the Decade

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

Who would have thought, when the Millennium dawned, that it would end with both British and American troops dying in Afghanistan.

Would you have believed that millions would be communicating and doing business over the world wide web? And would you have agreed that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism?

This has been a decade when history has been on fast forward. Now, as we near the end of the decade, Edward Stourton looks at the big picture, charting the revolutions in science, technology and politics.

What are the underlying themes of the past ten years and what does it all add up to?

Part one: A Googling We Go

Ten years ago the internet was in the cyber equivalent of the Stone Age. Then along came Google.

The internet search engine has revolutionised what it means to go online and now accounts for 70% of all information searches in the world.

Its story parallels that of the internet itself - imagined by visionaries, embraced by the public and harnessed - not always successfully by enterprise. But some of the promise has faded leaving us with a complex world with both moral and legal pitfalls.

Edward Stourton speaks to Eric Schmidt - Chief Executive of Google; Martha Lane Fox – British government digital inclusion champion; and Internet guru Cory Doctorow.

This documentary was first broadcast on click BBC Radio 4 and aired on the World Service on Monday 21 December.

Download This Documentary

Download Other Documentaries

More from this series

  • When the world finally woke up to climate change

  • US dominance is challenged by the rise of China

Related Programmes

Previous Documentaries

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.