Tony Blair: Social media 'tremendous instrument' for protests

The former British Prime Minister discusses his perspective on the economic and security challenges we face today at RSA 2012.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The financial crisis exposed and accelerated the need for us to change, but didn't created it, according to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"We live in an era of uniquely-low predictability," said Blair, speaking on the final day of the 2012 RSA Conference on Friday afternoon.

Explaning how technology has changed the way we work and live today, as well as serving as a fundamental source for economic and political change worldwide, Blair posed the question, "The 20th century belonged to us, but will the 21st century belong to someone else?"

He answered by asserting no matter how many changes there are in the world going on today, those changes do not change one thing: our way of life and our values, which he added are "still the right values to guide the 21st century."

Blair described the role of social media in political revolutions, in particular, as "absolutely fundamental."

"[Social media] creates situations that governments -- particularly governments that have been there a long time -- don't understand and don't have the capacity to cope with," Blair said. "It's a tremendous instrument for protest, but it's not an instrument of government."

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