Enabling “next generation glocal communicators”
Vast changes are occurring around the world in the ways in which people living in rural and remote areas are communicating within their communities and beyond them. In part, this is driven by emerging information and communication technologies which are often referred to as “nextgen” (next generation implying a transition from Web 1.0 to 5.0, and plausibly, beyond) because the Internet is increasingly weaving human lives with digital devices, applications, data and blended forms of intelligence that involve different levels of human and machine interaction. This ‘internet of things’ is more than a catch-phrase; it is the deepening connection of human beings, networks and machines creating more complex forms of activism across a range of issues from economic austerity to climate change (Juris, 2008, 2012). The problem is that the Internet is largely urbancentric and structured in such a way that it is biased against less populated areas. This situation led to a dualism referred to as a ‘digital divide’ or who had access to the Internet and who did not. Yet, for rural and remote communities, it is not so much a case of having access to the Internet, or not, but rather, what is being done with that access and why that matters to the lives of rural people and the changing relationship between human beings and the natural environment.