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Detroit Future: A Media Based Economy
    When they built the interstate highways through Detroit, they divided neighborhoods and paved a path to the suburbs. When we look at the digital divide, we see the information superhighway is doing the same thing: setting communities apart and giving the more affluent a path to abandon the city. For all of the Internet’s power to unite those of us who use it, how can we ensure that it does not divide us from those who don’t?
    Since 2009 the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition has been using media and technology for community organizing and development. We won a federal grant of $2 million to support this effort. We have learned from our experience with the auto industry that getting trained to wait for corporate investment will not put everyone to work. Encouraging poor people to give their money to Comcast and AT&T does not create wealth. And there is no use in telling people to go online if their local businesses and organizations aren’t there, and instead all they find are news articles about how hopeless Detroit is.
    Instead of trying to fit our communities to existing technology, we are trying to reshape technology to fit to our communities. We are building our offline communities, then going online together with new sites for their most important institutions and conversations. We are teaching people to teach, as well as learn; to be entrepreneurs, and not just consumers; to build their own communications networks that match to the social networks in their neighborhoods.

    Co-Dir | Allied Media Projects

    Co-Director | Allied Media Projects | Diana Nucera, teaching...

    Program Coord | Allied Media Projects

    Co-Director | Allied Media Projects | Mike Medow is a Co-Director...

    Principle | The Work Department | Nina Bianchi's passion for...

    Organizer | Detroit Environmental Justice Project of the Sierra...

    Type Interactive, Panel
    Hashtag #sxsw #Detroit
    Theme Better Tomorrow
    Level Beginner
    Website http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP10696

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