This is the personal blog and home page of Alex Fink. I call it “(Public) Fragments” because it attempts to draw together the many facets of my process of becoming. This reflects one of my beliefs about how people live and grow: we are always in the process of becoming. The articulation, exploration, and analysis of our many fragments or facets gives us insight into this sometimes visible and often invisible process of change. While there is a great deal of pressure in academia (and, in fact, in the world at large) to build and maintain a particular image or representation of oneself online and in person (now often referred to as a personal “brand”), this blog is part of an experiment in “open scholarship”, and more broadly, “open becoming” — a process of study and self-change that share as many fragments as possible with the world. I write “(Public)” because, of course, some elements of life–perhaps because I don’t feel courageous enough to share them yet, or perhaps because they are difficult or impossible to share over the kinds of communications media I feel more or less competent at using, or simply that I don’t always have time to get them out–aren’t public. Out of necessity, and the ups and downs, possibilities and limitations of my own becoming, you only get some of the fragments.
I am a Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work in Youth Studies and Social Work. I study methods of making research to document injustice and resistance available to young people to create social change. My particular focus at present is on the political economy and ecology of data, including data collection, data use, data access/sharing, data economics and infrastructures, and the ideologies surrounding it. I identify the study of this, and of methods for transforming it, Community Informatics. This practice, and thus also my research and teaching, occur at the intersections of participatory research methods, youth leadership development, the history of social movements, and technology.
My interests also intersect between the disciplines of: Learning (Active, Experiential, Adaptive, Emergent), Youth Studies & Youth Work, Organizational & Leadership Development, Program Evaluation, Technology & Scalability, Community Informatics, Infrastructure, and Participatory Design.
Work & CV available: here (Scribd.com).