A unique song to identify us all

Each week a global thinker from the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology or the arts is given a minute to put forward a radical, inspiring or controversial idea – no matter how improbable – that they believe would change the world.

This week, Russian sociologist Alena Ledeneva imagines a future where identity documents are replaced by a song.

“Currently the world is dominated by formal procedures, taken for granted principles and top down control. Look at the ways we are identified – passports, documents, nationalities, date of birth, family status, and profession. Formalities are behind all of these principles. To make the world less formal we need to create alternative bottom-up identification systems – a new ID. I suggest a song ID. After all, countries already have their anthems. A person would just need to think of their own now. Music is that universal language that crosses boundaries – geographical, ideological and cultural.Wouldn't it to be fascinating indeed if each person wrote one's own song ID or if it was possible to meet someone with the same ID?”

You can listen to Alena Ledeneva discuss her idea in more detail on the BBC World Service programme The Forum, where you can also download more sixty second ideas.

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