We live in a world of always-on connectivity; in a moment where more than half of the world’s population resides in cities. We live in the digital as much as the physical, where opportunities to create and sustain vibrant communities have never been greater. Yet, in this very togetherness, MIT technologist Sherry Turkle says that our relationships have devolved—though they are wider, they are weaker, more simulated than strong, less meaningful and more mediated. We turn to technology instead of to each other.
We live in a world where we are alone, together. But what does it mean to be a part of a neighbourhood? To be a part of a social or cultural community? To be a citizen of a nation and of the world? How do we balance individuality with the sort of community-building necessary to give individual lives meaning in the first place? How can we re-imagine a civic life that is as engaging as it is promising for the 21st century?