Mareike Meyn - Empowerment Evaluation and Digitization of Rural Germany

Digitization: Status Quo and future trends – a new impact on life in rural areas?

Mareike Meyn visited David Fetterman earlier this year in California. Mareike is a McCloy Fellow on Global Trends by the American Council on Germany.

She interviewed David Fetterman about his book Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard's $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice (Stanford University Press).

She was interested in learning more about the use of empowerment evaluation in rural areas to bridge the digital divide. David's book highlights effective strategies in this area. She is applying what she has learned to rural digital development in Germany. An abstract of her work is provided below:

Digitization: Status Quo and future trends – a new impact on life in rural areas?

Digital possibilities create change. This change is necessary, especially when one looks at rural areas in Germany and their struggle to maintain social services, access to education, possibilities of employment and the like, under the pressure of the demographic development such as aging and exodus of young, qualified citizens. In the U.S. there are many innovative, digital hubs in urban centers such as in Seattle, San Francisco or New York, where people, so it seems, know how to use all the opportunities of the digital age. Not only in urban settings, but also in some rural parts of America such as Mississippi, where some unique strategies on how to transit into the digital age can be found. The paper presents insights on how Americans employ today's digital possibilities regarding the structural framework, dissemination of knowledge, the mindset, and all encompassing community development approaches for digital empowerment. Findings are that the potentials for rural communities are tremendous. Applied in a well-thought of way, digital possibilities can not only create change, but may even create a future leap-frog effect for rural communities.

Contact Information:
Documentary of the Journey:


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