Navigating The Post-Trust Era with Shiv Singh

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Social media and other new communication tools have changed the world mostly for the better. However, it is ever more difficult to know whom to trust and what to believe. The result is that we have entered what Singh describes as a post-trust era. Here we shine a light on how we can be more mindful of the role we play, sometimes unwittingly, in condoning and promoting fakery and how can we become more alert to how vulnerable we are to falling prey to fakeness and why it is so compelling. Singh gives us the bad news, “The way information spreads has become candy. The way it’s weaponized with technology is also happening in corporate America and it’s become much harder to tell fact from fiction, where information has become entertainment [and is spread not only] in honorable ways but sometimes in malicious, nefarious ways as well. It is a very big problem across our country in different spheres.” Singh goes on to give the good news and to suggest ways to overcome this drift. “First and foremost, we all carry responsibility. It’s a copout for us to blame our political or our business leaders or corporate America. We, ourselves, can step up and demand more. We are fortunately still a thriving democracy that works really effectively and we can make our voices heard. For example, calling out the media when we have more fiction than facts. The second thing, which is incredibly important, is for us to pay attention to the other side. I know it can be painful, it can be like taking bad tasting medicine. But we don’t know as much as we think we know. And [we must overcome our] overconfidence bias.” Singh encourages us to become more media literate and to participate in respectful conversations with others who hold opposing points of view. This will help us overcome what he calls our “naïve realism” and selective perception so that we ourselves don’t unintentionally become the enablers of the fictions and the fake news. He also gives suggestions websites in which to seek trustworthy information. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Shiv Singh advises Fortune 500 companies and startups on strategy, marketing and how to succeed in the digital era as the Founder of Savvy Matters. Prior to starting his consultancy, Shiv was a senior executive driving marketing, innovation and digital strategies at Visa Inc. and PepsiCo. He has previously advised Ford Motor Company, Chanel, Genentech, Citibank, and Verizon and is a member of the Board of Directors at United Rentals Inc., a Fortune 500 company. In 2016, Shiv was inducted into the American Advertising Hall of Achievement and has also been recognized by Adweek as a Top 50 marketer.

Shiv Singh books include:

To learn more about the work of Shiv Singh go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why we are losing our trust in political and business leaders
  • What it means that we have moved from the “post-truth era” into the “post-trust era”
  • What is the definition of trust as suggested by Morton Deutsch
  • What research showed about how the twitter platform was weaponized to share huge amounts of fake news
  • How independent news has honorable intentions, but capitalism also drives the news industry and news becomes entertainment
  • What is the “backfire effect” in talking with someone with an opposing viewpoint
  • Why it is important to relearn the art of conversation
  • Why Singh has hope for the future
  • Why we tend to put our trust in what is familiar or someone who physically looks like us
  • Why it’s not just bots that are spreading false news, it is also spread unwittingly by “normal” citizens
  • What are some trusted websites that help us sort fact from fiction
  • How repetition in news wears down our resistance
  • What is an example of how polarization in news adds to citizens becoming numb to important cultural issues
  • Why we are not doing enough to shut down extremist points of view
  • How we may become more media literate
  • What are the benefits and cautions that Singh talks about regarding the development and implementation of artificial intelligence or AI 

Host: Justine Willis Toms             Interview Date: 3/15/2019            Program Number: 3671

Music Playlist

From Album: Journey Between
Artist: Baka Beyond

Opening Essay: Track 01 - Mbé
Music Break 1: Track 04 - Konti
Music Break 2: Track 02 - Migrations
Music Break 3: Track 07 - Soiridh Leis