ITP Thesis Ideas - Communities

Still considering thesis directions, here are my current thoughts, back in line with communities.

Working with communities is a strong interest of mine. I want to encourage sustainable, resilient networks in my communities and to create a "curriculum" that can guide other communities to do the same.

Some of the groups I've been thinking about:

Oracle, which I discussed in a separate post, is interesting because I have a personal connection to the artistic pursuits of the community, based on my experience as a painter and working with Etsy. Furthermore, Oracle represents what John Robb calls a "resilient community", as far as I can tell. There is creativity not just in the arts, but also in lifestyle, with residents whoa operate by sustainable principles and sometimes even "off the grid". One challenge I've identified is that the group has many fractured sub-groups which all have fuzzy boundaries. I would need to hone in on a smaller, more specific group to take action. Also, there is the obvious challenge of distance. Almost all of my participation would be remote. This could be an interesting issue to examine in itself, how to teach technology using technology, remotely. However, this aspect is less interesting to me.

Carroll Gardens CSA has some of the same qualities as Oracle, though membership is much more clear cut and it is hyper-local to my environment. It has a focus on sustainability and represents the qualities of resilient communities. I am also a member, which gives me more credibility and access to group leaders. I feel the CSA may be a better approach due to proximity and discrete membership. In addition, the CSA coordinator recently made an email appeal for volunteers, so the time is right.

Carroll Gardens small businesses are also hyper local with a clearer membership that the Oracle artists' community, but the intentions of each business are not necessarily aligned with one another. While I know several business owners pretty well, the overhead of organizing communication across business owners could be high enough to supersede other efforts.