Digital data: linking rural innovation, access, and resiliency through community hubs

Online Digital Hubs (ODH) have the capacity to promote resiliency and connectivity, countering barriers to accessibility and disruption (Lamport-Lewis & Deacon 2020; McShane 2012; Rundel 2020). This is of particular relevance in rural and peri-rural spaces as traditional third spaces such as churches and community centers are in decline, taking with it opportunity for knowledge sharing and overlooking the lack of resources for new and atypical voices in community planning. In collaboration with the Social Research and Planning Council of United Way Perth Huron, this project will investigate how online forums and databases have the capacity to bridge the divide in communication and digital navigation which can exist in virtual communities. The project will illustrate the benefit, potential, and future application of ODH across Perth Huron through an analysis of existing hubs globally, emphasis on rural and Canadian context. The project deliverable will be a report outlining findings and relevance for future action which the United Way Perth Huron shall use for the planning of future projects and discussions with community partners.

Kaleigh VanBokhorst;Mohammed Jalabi
Faculty Supervisor: 
Leith Deacon
Partner University: