Gow

Gordon Gow is Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the Graduate Program in Communication and Technology (MACT) in the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. From 2003-2006 he was lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, where he was Director of the Graduate Programme in Media and Communications Regulation and Policy. Dr. Gow is also affiliated with the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology (CPROST) at Simon Fraser University. His research projects typically involve close collaboration with community stakeholders, and he has organized several workshops around the theme of communications technology and public safety. Participation at these events has included representatives from community and industry organizations, as well municipal, provincial, and federal agencies.

 

2011 Research Cluster Grant, Cycle One

Environmentally sustainable farming practices through a technology-enhanced community of practice approach: Establishing a Research Partnership between the University of Alberta and Sri Lanka

The University of Alberta is playing a lead role in bringing together a small team of researchers from Canada and Sri Lanka to explore how low cost, ubiquitous information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can contribute to food security objectives in developing countries by enhancing or cultivating local agricultural communities of practice. The team has begun to explore this community of practice approach with three cross-cutting objectives in sight: (1) Understand the current state of knowledge mobilization among local farming communities in Sri Lanka by studying the informal and formal interactions between knowledge producers and consumers, and especially the role of women in these networks; (2) Articulate how communities of practices (involving farmers, extension officers and other relevant stakeholders) may be developed or enhanced so as to increase information and knowledge sharing across the three identified problem areas whilst ensuring that women can access and reap a fair share of the benefits of these communities of practice; (3) Evaluate the utility of low cost and widely available communication technologies for enhancing the capacity of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women in agrarian communities, in achieving sustainable agricultural practices and long term food security.