[bestbits] Michael Gurstein

Seun Ojedeji seun.ojedeji at gmail.com
Sat Oct 14 15:47:16 EDT 2017

Ah! This is sad. Unfortunately it's a debt we all owe, Michael has paid his.

I pray God's grace for his family during this trying period.

Sent from my mobile
Kindly excuse brevity and typos

On Oct 14, 2017 6:55 PM, "Nnenna Nwakanma" <nnenna75 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Just reading this on Facebook..
> = = =
> 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 regions.
> 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, Natasha.
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