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Community Informatics (CI) in Vienna

Community Informatics (CI) in Vienna published on No Comments on Community Informatics (CI) in Vienna

Michael Gurstein held a lecture yesterday about “what is community informatics and why does it matter?” at the Austrian Computer Society in Vienna.

Gurstein states that one of the important aspects of CI is to bring researchers, practitioners, and policy makers together to work within a processual structure.

CI aims to solve real live problems of communities by integrating information and communication technologies (ICT) in different community processes. Thus, the community becomes the “user” of ICT and not the individual. This bottom-up approach should ideally lead to the empowerment of the community through ICT.

In contrary to the concept of the “digital divide”, CI is about “effective use of ICT” and not about access to ICT. Within the context of CI, ICT is to enable people to e.g. decentralize institutions or distribute local knowledge. A good example of such a decentralized institution is the Keewaytinook Internet High School (KIHS) of the KO Tribal Council in Northwestern Ontario, which enables First Nations’ students to stay in their remote communities while attending school.

Jana Herwig wrote a nice report in German about Gurstein’s lecture and the follow-up discussion for her blog.

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