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Digital technology and resilient communities

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Presentation from the first of two workshops run by Social Life and Cisco about using digital technology to build community resilience in Chicago's South Side.

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Digital technology and resilient communities

  1. 1. Using digital technology to createresilient neighborhoods in Chicago’s South Side Nicola Bacon & Saffron Woodcraft Workshop 1: July 18, 2012
  2. 2. Social Life is a new venture set up in 2012, with a strongheritage.
  3. 3. We continue to build neighborhoods that fail to thrive asflourishing communities and struggle finding ways to revivefailing areas.
  4. 4. This is a global issue.
  5. 5. We believe we can learn from both the mistakes, and thehopes, of the past.
  6. 6. Where are the people?
  7. 7. Our approach: putting people at theheart of placemaking
  8. 8. How can digital technology boost community resilience?
  9. 9. Resilience
  10. 10. Our first question: what is a community? A UK mainstream version: defining a sustainable community Source: Egan review 2004
  11. 11. A US version:what makes asuccessfulplace?Source: Project for PublicSpaces
  12. 12. But what about…•  A sense of identity: a place people feel they belong•  Local history, myths & stories•  Strong social relationships, networks & bonds•  Trusting the neighbors•  Rituals and rhythms•  Physical boundaries to promote geographical identity•  Visible leadership
  13. 13. Stuck vs dynamic?
  14. 14. What is resilience?•  The ordinary superpower…•  Resilience is the ability of a person, group or community to bounce back in the face of adversity•  Adaptability matters for individuals, families, communities and cities•  Good and bad happens everywhere•  Resilience is not static: it can be changed.
  15. 15. Survival resilience vs adaptive resilience
  16. 16. What interventions build resilience?Full of life: tested in Brixton and Kingston in London, peer to peerlearning, using volunteers trained by experts
  17. 17. Wellbeing and resilience in Poplar, East London
  18. 18. From UK national statistics, what influences our resilience1.  Friends/family around for drink or meal +2.  Ability to face problems +3.  Regular savings +4.  Regularly stop and talk with people in my neighbourhood +5.  Felt you could not overcome difficulties -6.  Felt downhearted and depressed -7.  Subjective financial situation – current -8.  Level of education +9.  Enjoy day-to-day activities +10.  Unemployed or long term sick or disabled -11.  Subjective financial situation – future -12.  Employed +From Young Foundation analysis of UK Understanding Society survey (unpublished)
  19. 19. From UK national statistics, what influences our resilience1.  Friends/family around for drink or meal +2.  Ability to face problems +3.  Regular savings +4.  Regularly stop and talk with people in my neighbourhood +5.  Felt you could not overcome difficulties -6.  Felt downhearted and depressed -7.  Subjective financial situation – current -8.  Level of education +9.  Enjoy day-to-day activities +10.  Unemployed or long term sick or disabled -11.  Subjective financial situation – future -12.  Employed +From Young Foundation analysis of UK Understanding Society survey (unpublished)
  20. 20. Structural* Level of education* Unemployed or long term sick or disabled* Employed Social * Friends/family around for drink or meal * Regularly stop and talk with people in my neighborhood Emotional * Enjoy day-to-day activities * Ability to face problems * Regular savings * Felt you could not overcome difficulties * Felt downhearted & depressed * Subjective financial situation
  21. 21. How do we build community resilience?
  22. 22. StructuralWhat canwe change? Social Emotional
  23. 23. StructuralOpen up opportunities,increase confidence Social Emotional Increase wellbeing, hope, optimism, reduce isolation, depression
  24. 24. Structural Open up opportunities, increase confidenceWe increase resiliencethrough:•  Increasing access to Social opportunity•  Boosting local leadership•  Building identity and Emotional belonging•  Creating and Increase wellbeing, isolation, hope, optimism strengthening local social networks and neighborliness
  25. 25. Digital Technology & Resilience
  26. 26. Structural Open up opportunities, increase confidence Social EmotionalHow cantechnology Increase wellbeing,help build hope, optimism, reduce isolation, depressioncommunityresilience?
  27. 27. We know technology can•  Increase access to opportunity•  Boost local leadership•  Build identity and belonging•  Create and strengthen local social networks and neighborliness•  And that these can all boost community resilience
  28. 28. But it is a tool, not anend in itself•  It can support community development – but•  It relies on people to connect other people (time, resources, support) to the opportunities technology can create•  It needs to be integrated into place- based strategies for improving opportunities and quality of life in communities
  29. 29. What works?•  Many community technology projects fail because they lack people to make them accessible & relevant•  They need to be part of a wider strategy about addressing community development•  But also respond to a specific local need•  Some of the most effective examples involve community, intermediary and city stakeholders
  30. 30. How is digital technology being usedto boost resilience?
  31. 31. Expanding access to technology centers,broadband, training and digital literacy.
  32. 32. Everyday digital skills training, family net centers,business resource networks, community portals,youth engagement & youth.
  33. 33. Online/mobile access to information aboutopportunities (jobs, training, welfare services).
  34. 34. Local news and information and discussionforums.
  35. 35. Spaces to discuss local needs and generatenew ideas.
  36. 36. Tools for placemaking and communityengagement.
  37. 37. Citizen reporting and accountability.
  38. 38. Tools for mapping issues and local problems.
  39. 39. Voting on issues1.  Violence2.  Reviving the Main Street3.  Social isolation4.  Empty spaces5.  Leadership and unity
  40. 40. Next steps1.  Second workshop: July 192.  Presentation shared with workshop teams: July 203.  Summary of feedback from workshops 1 & 2 shared with workshop teams: early August4.  Progress on how ideas are to be developed shared with workshop teams: on-going
  41. 41. social-life.conicola.bacon@social-life.cosaffron.woodcraft@social-life.co

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