As we watch Greta Thunberg in New York this week, and the emerging movement #FridaysforFuture, there are constant reminders that the world is now in what Manzini (2016a) calls the long transition towards sustainability, where the way we live our lives will need to be reinvented. Nowhere is this more evident than in rural communities, whose populations have slowly declined due to urbanisation, and economic policy. As a result, there is a corresponding decline in services, and an aging population. Community survival is a matter of urgency for rural communities.
Together with the decline in services, we see a decline in community media across the world, decreasing the spaces for communities to deliberate about their futures and to find sustainable ways to navigate this transition. Research shows that when communities have a space to share local news and deliberate on issues important to them, this can lead to social change (Csíkszentmihályi & Mukundane, 2016). While novel information platforms have been co-designed with communities in the developing world and have been successful in supporting community needs, very little is known about what types of technology could support sustainable information platforms in the global north. This blog post will explain more about the design and implementation of community media platforms on the West Cork islands.Read more