Monday, March 30: Anthropology of Networks, Part II: Moving from Consumers to Producers: Community Engagement and Doing-It-Ourselves

Via Pikrepo

In accordance with The New School’s COVID-19 response, we’ll be meeting online through the end of the semester. We are working hard to collaboratively build innovative ways for the class to move forward and explore networked learning in line with the class theme.

We expect your full participation in the online curriculum — please let us know if you have challenges and or special needs.

Here’s our agenda <click the link!> for today’s class meeting; it includes a schedule and all the links we’ll need to coordinate our online collaboration.

Anthropology of Networks Part II: Moving from Consumers to Producers: Community Engagement and Doing-It-Ourselves

The goal of this active and engaged second half of the semester is to help you move forward with your final project ideas. Virtual visits to community network leaders in their local contexts will allow us to take what we’ve learned all semester about the social potential and nature of network infrastructure and use it to think about how network infrastructure concretely affects people and neighborhoods. We will hold conversations with our local hosts to talk about their experiences of building healthy digital communities in NYC, and to strategize about how NYC’s new dynamic planning document could best be used to bring about digital equity in every neighborhood across the city.

Soon, NYC will hold a “Universal Broadband Solicitation,” which will be an invitation for residents and groups to provide recommendations and propose ideas on broadband in NYC. We are invited to send in our ideas and recommendations. These conversations with local broadband leaders, advocates, and community activists can help inform our recommendations. Your final project can be a collective set of recommendations and impact framework, or you can create your own. Remember to sign up for a time here to meet virtually with Shannon and Greta April 13 or 14 to discuss your final project!

UPDATE March 27: Silicon Harlem has had to cancel, so instead on Monday March 30 we will be diving in to explore DIY Networking for Mutual Aid and Community Crisis Response

Today’s Host: Raul Vincent Enriquez, Community Tech NY

Raul will talk about his work building DIY internet kits with NYC communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy and creating communication resources to prepare for future crises. We’ll learn about local internet services and community crisis organizing, and Raul will demo a Portable Network Kit. We’ll discuss community crisis response and talk about how local DIY networking might help communities facing communication challenges due to the pandemic.

To prepare for class please read the excerpts from the Internet Master Plan, as already assigned — this will help you prepare for your final project.

  • Revisit the Master Plan: NYC Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, The Internet Master Plan (2020):
    • Re-read the Executive Summary on pp i-vii.
    • Read pages 60-63, which describe the City’s plan for not only building internet access, but also ensuring that New Yorkers benefit from connectivity. This section also includes a description of the City’s approach to Community Planning for Broadband, which is important for understanding how we craft recommendations for the City.

In addition, please look at the following articles and websites if you can. We can also take some time to discuss Silicon Harlem’s work, and will work on rescheduling with them later in the semester!

  • Before class, please add one or two questions for our discussion on networks for mutual aid and crisis response. Your contributions to this document will count towards your attendance and participation for the week.
  • Remember to sign up for a time here to meet virtually with Shannon and Greta April 13 or 14 to discuss your final project!

We hope to reschedule the following class with Silicon Harlem:

This virtual field trip will take us to Harlem, where tech and social entrepreneurs Silicon Harlem have been building a neighborhood-based tech ecosystem for the last six years with one simple yet revolutionary goal: To transform Harlem and other urban markets into technology and innovation hubs to fully engage in the digital economy. Silicon Harlem’s latest flagship project, a collaboration among the Silicon Harlem, The City of New York, and Rutgers and Columbia Universities, is the Harlem-based next-generation wireless testbed COSMOS. With this project, Silicon Harlem is modeling the potentials for equitable smart-city development.

This is what we would have asked you to prepare for class:

Via Zak Jensen


Explore the philosophy and tools of Community Technology:

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