Developing an Arctic Framework for Tracking Socio-Economic Change through Internet Connectivity
December 11 - December 15
Over the past several years, there has been considerable investment, research, and implementation of broadband internet in the Arctic region, perhaps best showcased at the Arctic Boradband Forum in May 2017 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Broadband will address critical needs for Arctic communities to support a diversified economy, education, public safety, and healthcare services.
And yet, while there has been much progress over the past several years in physically connecting remote areas of the Arctic, there has been less movement on developing an evaluation matrix to benchmark and track the socio–economic improvements, or lack thereof, that come with connectivity. This session seeks to address that need by inviting presenters to share research, ideas, and case studies on trackingArctic connectivity. Specifically, this session will seek to answer:
What hard and soft infrastructure is needed to optimize socio–economic and health co-benefits of fiber-optic connectivity? (i.e. a communal space for entrepreneurs; courses on Etsy for selling artwork and crafts; a safe space for online mental health counseling).
-How can we measure the role of broadband and digital technologies in cultural preservation, empowerment, and self-determination of indigenous peoples across the Arctic, so that we can create supportive programming to buttress its organic benefits?
What qualitative and quantitative metrics can be developed to measure the economic, education, and health benefits of connectivity specific to the Arctic? And at what level should that focus, community, state, region?
How can we effectively document (1) technical (2) financial (3) community engagement and (4) policy best practices and lessons learned from connectivity for villages looking to connect in the future?
We invite researchers from all disciplines, educators, community champions, financiers, industry, and government officials from across the region to join our session for a set of presentations and multidisciplinary dialogue on creating metrics for measurement of trackingconnectivity’s benefits. The intent of this session is to create a whitepaper for circulation and the potential of a special peer-review journal issue, which will be open to everyone but will focus on submissions from early career scholars and Indigenous participants.