What's the Role of Place in a Digital World?

Our experience has been that it’s easier to train—and to learn—when you share physical space. Unfortunately, in Lebanon, sharing physical space with more than a very few people often results in low-bandwidth and shaky connections that limit our ability to share virtual space.

Picture of multilevel interior courtyard with arches at Wellspring.
MADskills participants use the interior courtyard of the Wellspring school to design an activity illustrating what social media means to them.

One way that SMEX has addressed this challenge is since to design training programs that blend physical space and virtual space, by gathering participants together every few weeks at a local school and supporting participants’ learning between gatherings with an online training course, as we did in our 2011 MADskills program, which took place online and on-site at the Wellspring Learning Community school.

Join an Online Dialogue about the Role of Physical Space in Digital Participation

Around the world, organizations are recognizing the power of face-to-face communication and learning together as a catalyst for building better digital literacy and greater civic participation. Starting today and until August 14, you can join a global online dialogue (in English) about the role of physical spaces as meeting and learning places for citizens who want to amplify their voices. Featured practitioners will share their experiences, photos of their spaces, and examples of how they’re being programmed. Topics we’ll be talking about include:

  • What the spaces look like and what technology is needed?
  • How are these spaces used as catalysts for citizen participation?
  • How to bring people into a space and how to extend your work out to the community, and
  • How to sustain these physical spaces

The discussion is the latest in a long-running series of online dialogues for human rights practitioners hosted by New Tactics. SMEX is co-hosting this latest conversation along with Rising Voices and featured resource practitioners from Lebanon (including AltCity.me and N Community Creativity) and all over the world.
To join, you just register on the New Tactics.org website (here’s a guide), go to the dialogue page, and click on the discussion thread(s) that interests you.


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