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Social, digital networks in deprived
communities

                       20th May 2009

                             RSA

...
Vicious and virtuous circles of networks

   •   Network analysis - social and digital -
       highlights vicious and vir...
1. Why do we need digital inclusion?

3. Why do we need social capital?

5. How does ICT aid social capital formation?

7....
Digital inclusion


    An economic issue on paper:
    • 51% of non-internet users cite cost as a reason
    • 90% of new...
Social capital


    •   “Networks, norms and trust”

    •   Bonding social capital:
             • Long-standing close t...
Social capital


    •   An economic issue:
             • Bonding social capital is an efficient response to emotional,
 ...
Social capital and exclusion


   • Vicious circles:

              • Key finding is that social capital has been rising a...
Internet and social capital


    • Sufficient empirical research now shows the internet’s capacity
      to build social ...
Speeding up and entrenching network effects?


   • There is a risk that the internet exacerbates existing trends in
     ...
Opportunities for excluded groups


   •   Digital inclusion strategies generate online/offline networks themselves

   • ...
Challenges


   •   Maintaining networks beyond engagement of founding entrepreneur

   •   Altering cultural representati...
Examples


   • Talk About Local - training young bloggers in deprived
     communities

   • People’s Voice Media - hyper...
Questions

   • Which are the individuals or agencies best suited to engaging
     with people in this way?
   • Leaving I...
Questions


   • How to respond to the ‘grey economy’ or questionable
     networks?
   • Which ICTs are most suited to de...
Discussion…

  •     Which are the individuals or agencies best suited to engaging with people in this
        way?
  •   ...
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Will Davies - Digital Inclusion And Social Capital

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Will Davies presents on the link between social capital and digital inclusion.

From an RSA-UK Online Centres seminar at The RSA on the 20th May 2009.

More details at http://connectedcommunities.rsablogs.org.uk/2009/05/20/blogging-and-tweets-from-digital-inclusion-seminar/

Published in: Technology, Economy & Finance
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  • ALL ADDS UP TO A MASSIVE POLICY CHALLENGE:DIFFICULTY OF HIGHLIGHTING DRIVERS OF CHANGEDIFFICULTY OF IDENTIFYING CAUSE AND EFFECTDIFFICULTY OF IDENTIFYING SUITABLE OBJECT OF POLICY INTERVENTION…Social capital analysis represents admirable honesty on the part of policy-makers, but sometimes I wonder if it doesn’t also highlight the sheer difficulty and complexity of tackling inequality.
  • Rail discount report on Monday…
  • Problem of causes….Decline of unions
  • Issues about online/offline - real world/virtual… a slightly moribund debate really. It’s all real. It’s just that the web combines the technological properties of a television or newspaper with those of a telephone. There’s nothing virtual about that. The question is how that is used to structure social relations…On the final point: Shirky makes the point that we can now ‘organise without organisations’; Paul Resnick makes the point that we can move from just-in-case associations to just-in-time associations
  • - Keith hampton’s e-neighbours study…- Are crime maps really a good thing?
  • 1. Informal may work better than formal, policy-driven…
  • Shirky issue about a ‘bargain’ -
  • Transcript of "Will Davies - Digital Inclusion And Social Capital"

    1. 1. Social, digital networks in deprived communities 20th May 2009 RSA Will Davies will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 1
    2. 2. Vicious and virtuous circles of networks • Network analysis - social and digital - highlights vicious and virtuous circles of inequality: • Connectivity delivers confidence, information, reputation-formation, well- being, economic advantages; these QuickTimeª and a deliver further confidence, information, TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. reputation-formation, well-being, economic advantages • Demonstrates the ‘embeddedness’ of economic activity in social and cultural contexts will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 2
    3. 3. 1. Why do we need digital inclusion? 3. Why do we need social capital? 5. How does ICT aid social capital formation? 7. Challenges and questions will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 3
    4. 4. Digital inclusion An economic issue on paper: • 51% of non-internet users cite cost as a reason • 90% of new jobs in the UK require ICT skills • Online services and price-comparison are more efficient But not in the psychology of non-users: • Lack of interest dominant reason for non-use • Lack of literacy and education in general • Cultural image of computers Or users: • benefits include social connectivity, civic participation, media content, better information on jobs, services etc will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 4
    5. 5. Social capital • “Networks, norms and trust” • Bonding social capital: • Long-standing close ties, which are likely to also know each other • For when you need to borrow £100 in a hurry • Emotional and psychological support • Bridging social capital: • Weaker, more ephemeral ties, which are less likely to connect to each other • For when you need a job • Potentially more diverse, cosmopolitan, associational will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 5
    6. 6. Social capital • An economic issue: • Bonding social capital is an efficient response to emotional, physical and financial dependency, that would otherwise fall to the state • Bridging social capital is an efficient response to ‘information asymmetries’ in markets; it circulates reputation • Beyond economics: • Civic participation is a good in its own right • Civic participation and information networks lead to better governance • Informal sanctions against ‘anti-social’ and criminal behaviour • Nearly any positive policy outcome correlates to social capital • Malign social capital will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 6
    7. 7. Social capital and exclusion • Vicious circles: • Key finding is that social capital has been rising amongst middle classes and falling amongst working classes • Poverty - especially unemployment - tends to correlate to disproportionately more bonding social capital than bridging social capital • The excluded may suffer from dysfunctional social capital, where networks are divisive or ‘anti-social’ will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 7
    8. 8. Internet and social capital • Sufficient empirical research now shows the internet’s capacity to build social networks: • Can be used to maintain both forms of social capital, especially over distance • Lowering barriers to entry for civic engagement • Effective at circulating information and reputations, including at a local level • Social networking sites and publishing platforms offer new opportunities to build and maintain community, including at a local level • New form of community, between formal and informal will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 8
    9. 9. Speeding up and entrenching network effects? • There is a risk that the internet exacerbates existing trends in social capital: • Vibrant, middle class neighbourhoods exploit capacity of internet to circulate information, build reputations, publish their good news • Deprived neighbourhoods do not, but are stigmatised by the technology. will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 9
    10. 10. Opportunities for excluded groups • Digital inclusion strategies generate online/offline networks themselves • Shift to audiovisual content broadens definition of literacy • Online communication is potentially more inclusive, less intimidating, more cosmopolitan than face-to-face - potential to build bridging capital • Building networks in and around labour markets • Considerable local knowledge could be ‘freed’ • P2P social technologies have ‘tipping points’ of take-up • Potential for virtuous circles amongst elderly will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 10
    11. 11. Challenges • Maintaining networks beyond engagement of founding entrepreneur • Altering cultural representation of ICT • Avoiding prescriptions over how networks are to be built and what is to be communicated and how • Dealing with the risk of bad online social capital - stigmatisation, bullying, will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 11
    12. 12. Examples • Talk About Local - training young bloggers in deprived communities • People’s Voice Media - hyper-local, audiovisual news platform • Digital Bridge - wired neighbourhood based on IPTV, to deliver public services and local content to TV and PCs • Haringey Online - platform for local news, networks, discussion, reputation will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 12
    13. 13. Questions • Which are the individuals or agencies best suited to engaging with people in this way? • Leaving ICT aside, what are the most effective strategies for generating networks in deprived communities? • How can ICT be represented in a way that doesn’t seem like ‘education’? • How can information be better circulated around local labour markets? • How can the shift to institution-building occur, if it should at all? will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 13
    14. 14. Questions • How to respond to the ‘grey economy’ or questionable networks? • Which ICTs are most suited to developing social capital in deprived communities? • Which software platforms are most suited to developing social capital in deprived communities? • Who are the hardest to reach groups, and can anything be done to change this? • What is needed from public services to facilitate benefits discussed here? will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 14
    15. 15. Discussion… • Which are the individuals or agencies best suited to engaging with people in this way? • Leaving ICT aside, what are the most effective strategies for generating networks in deprived communities? • How can ICT be represented in a way that doesn’t seem like ‘education’? • How can information be better circulated around local labour markets? • How can the shift to institution-building occur? • How to respond to the ‘grey economy’ or morally questionable networks? • Which ICTs are most suited to developing social capital in deprived communities? • Which software platforms are most suited to developing social capital in deprived communities? • Who are the hardest to reach groups, and can anything be done to change this? • What is needed from public services to facilitate benefits discussed here? will@potlatch.org.uk www.potlatch.org.uk 15
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