Physical Spaces as Catalysts for Greater Digital Participation

Join New Tactics, Rising Voices, SMEX, and other practitioners for an online dialogue on “Physical Spaces as Catalysts for Greater Digital Citizen Participation” from August 8-14, 2012.

Across the globe, new physical spaces are emerging that are acting as catalysts for greater citizen participation using digital technologies. Community libraries are rethinking their traditional role, and many are now offering internet access to their users in order to provide opportunities to gather around local issues where they can produce, not simply consume information. Telecenters are going beyond providing computer access to communities, to providing workshops to train citizens on how to use digital technology effectively to promote change. Hacklabs offer a physical space where activists and technologists can come together to find innovative solutions to local problems. These are just a few examples of the innovative use of physical space to encourage and empower greater digital citizen participation!

Beth Kanter and Lena, a master trainer from Yemen, engaging at the E-Mediat Train-the-Trainers intensive workshop in Beirut hosted by SMEX Beirut. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Although the internet has provided new ways for people to work together virtually, people are finding complementary energy from working face-to-face. Mobilizers and mentors for users of these spaces have a commitment to see their local communities become more active through the use of digital tools.

This dialogue is an opportunity to exchange innovative examples of how these physical spaces are being used as catalysts for greater citizen participation. We will explore ways in which these spaces, and the people behind these spaces, are finding ways to gather to solve local issues, and give local residents a greater voice online. Join us online on August 8!

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