Throughout 2021, I’m working with Cybersalon as co-host for ‘Tales of the Cybersalon’, a series of interdisciplinary technology and policy investigations through science-fiction storytelling.
We want your stories and we want you. Help us imagine the future of our digital revolution in industry and society, and to identify and explore its emerging cultures.
Event #3: A Sense of Community: the Internet’s role as a force for rapidly changing our experience of community was provided some surprise competition this past year, in the form of Covid-19. We’ve met our neighbours clapping for the NHS, sometime for the first time, and stayed in touch through hyper-local, social media and chat. We’ve traded hugs for high-definition video calls and the euphoria of crowds for the endless recycling of cardboard delivery packaging. As we emerge from our lockdowns and self-imposed isolations into the world again, is this our chance to choose our communities anew? Who might they be next? What could they look like? Have we discovered Covid-19 ‘keepers’ or developed ones we should never want again?
In their seminal 1986 study, McMillan and Chavis identified four elements contributing to a “sense of community”: Membership, Influence, Reinforcement, and Shared Emotional Connection. As our territorial and technological landscapes continue to evolve, we invite you to explore that definition with us and to offer new visions of community in our near-future.
The Crunch is the story I wrote for the CyberSalon event on the future of the high street. It’s one of those stories where the more I researched and thought about the future of our communal spaces, our town centres, the more layers I wanted to include in the story.
But, with only six minutes reading time to play with—well, see for yourself.