Michael Gurstein 1944-2017, Community Informatics visionary

Michael Gurstein at Round Table on Inclusion in the Network Society, Bengaluru, India, 2014
Michael Gurstein at Round Table on Inclusion in the Network Society, Bengaluru, India, 2014

We note with sadness the death of Michael Gurstein at the age of 73.

Michael Gurstein was an inspirational and visionary Canadian, the ‘father’ of Community Informatics, and a friend of the 20/20 Trust and other community organisations all over the world who share the Community Informatics goal of Effective use of the Internet to benefit everyone.

For 17 years Michael guided Community Informatics, establishing it as an academically recognised area of applied research, analysis and practice about enabling and empowering communities through the use of information and communications technology. Throughout, he kept focus on applying the research to using technology to better the daily lives of everyone including (and especially) the disadvantaged.

Community Informatics Achievements

Visit to New Zealand

Michael Gurstein talking to students at an East Coast school 2006
Michael Gurstein talking to students at an East Coast school, 2006

In 2006, the 20/20 Trust, with help from InternetNZ, brought Michael to Wellington as an honoured guest and speaker at the 20/20 Trust’s 10th anniversary celebrations,  hosted by Luamanuvao Laban, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

During his visit Michael advised the Government on the New Zealand Digital Strategy,  spoke at the Victoria University of Wellington and spent time with Trustees. He also accompanied 20/20 researcher Barbara Craig to Gisborne and the East Coast, as he wanted to visit some Maori ‘First Nations’ communities and Computers in Homes families.

There are now 1,870,000 references to Community Informatics on Google. The application of Community Informatics to benefit people everywhere is his best memorial.

We celebrate his life and his achievements, and offer our condolences to his family and friends.

 

 

More information

Minister Luamanuvao Laban opens 2020 Trust 10th Anniversary celebration

Michael Gurstein Obituary, The Globe and Mail, Toronto

Listen to Michael talking at the University of British Columbia