Seeking Interest & Ideas for Community-Centred Interventions

Seeking Interest & Ideas for Community-Centred Interventions

My name is Gulsen and I am a resident in Southend, working as a data literacy consultant. I am a trained social worker and I have worked with young people from marginalized groups in society. My social worker identity is also what has pushed me to understand and critique the ways data, technology and digitalization are affecting our society, for good and for bad.

Living in the digital age means, the solutions to the problems communities face are centring technology. This was especially the case as we witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic. These digital interventions often aim to increase efficiency however things do not always go as planned. We see that (digital) solutions designed for people do not address the core of problems. If we want to truly make use of the benefits technology brings, we have to centre the voices of the people who are affected by these problems and see how technology can help us.

I want to address this problem and change the narrative from being “tech-centred solutions designed for people” to “community-centred interventions designed with people, collaboratively”. As residents and communities of Southend, I would love to see what we can create together as we come together, and imagine what futures we want to live in and see how technology can help us get there.

I think about an event (or more like a series of events/ workshop sessions) where we as communities, data experts, social workers, librarians, teachers, computer science students etc. come together and

  • identify and define the major problems and needs of Southend in collaboration with the communities who are marginalized the most
  • Create imaginaries for a better, more equal Southend and replace the problem statements with vision statements
  • Look how technology can help us get there and design solutions collaboratively.

 

I will stop here for now before it gets too complicated but I’d love to hear from those who are interested in this idea and see what is possible. If this sounds interesting to you, please email me at gulsenguler157@yahoo.com. Realistically speaking, this also means we have to think about how to make this idea happen (funding, space, design etc.) So I would love to hear any ideas on these matters as well!

Jamie Langstone
JLangstone@savs-southend.co.uk