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Talking about social change in a digital age
TC advocates for control of open broadband networks as a local
responsibility. But, in thinking about how to support public
dialogue about that responsibility, we are lead to raise a broader
question first - a very basic question that Canadians generally seem
to be avoiding:
IN OUR DIGITAL AGE, WHAT KIND OF SOCIETY DO WE WANT?
Nolan Bowie, in an article titled Education for the long term, states:
"The critical question is not just an issue of technology,
but raises the underlying issue, What kind of society do we want?
When the question is phrased in this manner, it becomes clear that
long-term public policy about information technology inherently
involves society's core values concerning power and politics,
philosophy, sociology, economics and justice. Therefore, the answer
ought to come from "we the people " ourselves, after necessary public
discussions, debates, teach-ins, arguments, and democratic
conversations in open, public arenas and forums."
The Boston Globe, July 2, 2007.
Although still rare, participatory forums to address this question
are beginning to occur at the community-level. In the hope of seeding
more of them, we intend to use these web pages to share some examples:
GETTING TO DIALOGUE ON ONTARIO BROADBAND STRATEGY
ACHIEVING DIGITAL EXCELLENCE IN CHICAGO
A DIGITAL INCLUSION ADVOCACY TOOLKIT: Bridging the Digital Divide
by Winning Community Benefits in Municipal Broadband Projects.
Oakland, California, Media Alliance, August 2007. This toolkit is a
resource for community members who want to advance digital inclusion
in their city, town, or county that is exploring a broadband/ high-
speed Internet initiative.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PARTNERSHIPS IN
ICTS FOR DEVELOPMENT: A GUIDE FOR NATIONAL ICT POLICY ANIMATORS.
Association for Progressive Communications (APC), September 2007.
This guide seeks to contribute to the existing body of knowledge and
experience on multi-stakeholder processes in ICT policy. Drawing on
the practical experiences encountered during the three-year CATIA
(Catalyzing Access to ICTs in Africa) programme on ICT policy
advocacy, it presents guidelines that may assist national ICT policy
facilitators in coming to grips with the complexities of multi-stake-
holder relationships and the attainment of common goals and
objectives. It also considers practical issues for the establishment
of a multi-stakeholder process for ICT policy and looks at how multi-
stakeholder partnerships work, what has been successful and what has
not, and offers some practical suggestions on how to make them more
Partnerships between the public sector, the private sector and
particularly civil society in promoting information and communication
technology (ICT) policy are still relatively new and not always fully
understood. Because of this guide´s insistence on engaging with the
"voices of the commons" in developing ICT use policy, it is a useful
compendium in addressing a significant gap in conventional Public -
Private Partnerships (P3's). In effect, it takes P3s and makes them
"P4's" (Public - Private - People Partnerships). It notes, "civil
society-driven partnership models fair better than public sector
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