From Mayur Patel at the Knight Foundation this week…
Arthur Goyette knows the value of good neighbors. While his wife Betty was battling cancer, they brought countless meals to the Goyette home. When the neighbors learned that Betty had always wanted to ride in a convertible, they surprised the family with a loaned Chrysler Sebring. The couple drove down the block with the top down, surrounded by people waving and taking pictures.
Arthur marvels that he might never have met these people f it weren’t for the Front Porch Forum, an online network of neighbors.
The forum is a great example of how digital media and technology are changing how we connect to information and each other. The way we engage in public dialogue, coordinate, solve problems—all of it is shifting.
Networks themselves are as old as humanity, used by activists from Mahatma Ghandi to the Tea Party to impact society. Today, though, technology is enabling networks to emerge in new ways.
So Knight Foundation and Monitor Institute set out to look at the impact on communities, and ask, what do these emerging networks mean for community change? And, how can funders leverage them for good?
The result is our new report, Connected Citizens: The Power, Peril and Potential of Networks. Through more than 70 examples, we found networked communities pushing for open government, banding together to care for the elderly, enlisting volunteer coders to make online aid maps for earthquake ravaged Haiti, and more.
The report is a compelling read… lots of excellent examples and points. A couple snapshots…