Molly Hankwitz on Sun, 15 Oct 2017 03:37:46 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> RIP Michael Gurstein

Sad to hear this. He was a very warm and inviting editor - very nice man - who asked  me to peer review articles for the Journal of Communiy Informatics. 

On Sat, Oct 14, 2017 at 4:11 PM t byfield <> wrote:
I'm sad to pass this news on.


< >

Michael Gurstein

October 2, 1944 - October 8, 2017

Michael Gurstein was born on October 2, 1944 in Edmonton, Alberta,
Canada to Emanuel (Manny) and Sylvia Gurstein. While still an infant,
the family moved to Melfort, Saskatchewan where Manny grew up and his
family still lived. In Mike’s youth, Manny and Sylvia ran a successful
retail store. There, the family grew with a younger sister, Penny.
Mike excelled at school. He spent his summers working at a golf club in
Waskesiu and graduated from Melfort Composite Collegiate Institute high
school, and then completed an undergraduate degree in philosophy at the
University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Mike was driven by pragmatism
and curiosity about the wider world that motivated his doctoral studies
in Sociology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. While a student,
he began his life-long exploration of the world, with trips through
North Africa and a long journey from Southeast Asia through Afghanistan
and Iran and back to the U.K.

Upon Mike’s return to Canada, he worked in politics and policy, as a
senior civil servant for the Province of British Columbia under
Barrett’s NDP government (1972-4) and for the Province of Saskatchewan
under Blakeney’s NDP Government (1974-5). While teaching at York
University, he ran unsuccessfully for the NDP in the riding of Parkdale.

Mike moved to Ottawa in the late 1970s where he met his wife, Fernande
Faulkner. Together they had two children, Rachel (1981) and Marc (1983).
He and Fernande established and ran a management consulting firm,
Socioscope, which studied and guided the social aspects of the
introduction of information communication technology. In Ottawa, Mike
also built and managed a real estate portfolio. In 1992 the family moved
to New York, where Mike and Fernande worked for the United Nations.

In 1995, Mike became Associate Chair in the Management of Technological
Change at the University College of Cape Breton. There, he founded the
Centre for Community and Enterprise Networking (C/CEN) as a community
based research laboratory exploring applications of ICT to support
social change in one of Canada's most economically disadvantaged

Grown out of his early experience in rural small town Saskatchewan and
his later experiences in impoverished but culturally and communally rich
Cape Breton, Mike's work provided the conceptual framing for
“community informatics”. He published the first major work in the
field, and introduced the term "community informatics" into wider usage
as referring to the research and praxis discipline underpinning the
social appropriation of ICT. Within the area of community informatics a
major contribution has been Mike's introduction of the notion of
"effective use" as a critical analytical framework for assessing
technology implementation superseding approaches based on the more
commonly accepted frameworks such as that of the "digital divide".

In 1999, the family moved to Vancouver to be closer to Mike’s parents
and sister. In 2000, Mike and Fernande returned to New York, to work at
the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the UN, respectively. Mike
returned to Vancouver in 2006 and established the Center for Community
Informatics Research Development and Training (CCIRDT). With this
platform, he traveled the world to consult with governments and civil
society organisations, present at conferences, and conduct research.

Mike was the founding editor of the Journal of Community Informatics and
was Foundation Chair of the Community Informatics Research Network. He
was at the time of his death the Executive Director of CCIRDT, and
formerly an Adjunct Professor in the School of Library and Information
Studies Vancouver Canada, and as well as Research Professor at the New
Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey, and Research
Professor at the University of Quebec (Outaouais). He was also a member
of the High Level Panel of Advisers of the UN's Global Alliance for ICT
and Development. He has also served on the Board of the Global
Telecentre Alliance, Telecommunities Canada, the Pacific Community
Networking Association and the Vancouver Community Net.

In recent years he was active as a commentator, speaker and
essayist/blogger articulating a community informatics (grassroots ICT
user) perspective in the areas of open government data and internet
governance. Through all of his work, Mike was motivated by his
commitment to democratising access to the tools of information
technology and the advancement of civil society.

Mike passed away peacefully at home on October 8 after a two year battle
with prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife Fernande, his mother
Sylvia, his sister Penny, his children Rachel and Marc, his
step-children Bruno and Nina, his grandchildren Emmanuelle and Daniel,
step grandchildren Patrick, Emilly, Jessica and Erica, and niece,
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