Interplay Between the Actual and the Virtual in the Milan Community Network Experience
This chapter presents the story and reflects on the implications of the Opening The Information Society (OTIS) Project undertaken by the Sheffield First partnership between 1999 and 2001. The OTIS project sought to help Sheffield gain an understanding of its information architecture and how it could evolve; to promote information exchange as a critical success factor for partnership working; and to demonstrate how information production, exchange and use could be used to unleash the power of knowledge already present at community level. Informal body supported the development of an application for European Regional Development Funds which formally located the project within Sheffield First. The solution piloted by OTIS was to set up a series of user-groups, each reflecting a particular perspective. By the time OTIS neared the end of its formal funding, its approach, based on developing the existing interests and concerns of stakeholders, had led to much greater interest and awareness of the issues it sought to address.