UBC Undergraduate Research

Designing a social online network : decreasing fragmentation in the UBC student led sustainability movement Hodgson, Emma; Nyrose, Sarah


The University of British Columbia has recognized sustainability as being a prominent issue over the past decade, and has become a leader in advocating sustainable practices. Although the University has made many admirable steps, due to the size of the campus, the existing communities remain fragmented. This hinders the overall success of the student led sustainability movement. Considering the present time and dire need for change, addressing this issue is of utmost importance. Through careful research of the sustainability movement on campus, we identified the key issues surrounding student groups involved in such initiatives at UBC. Under the overarching issue of fragmentation, a lack of communication, collaboration and consensus, create barriers that prevent groups from reaching their full potential. With these issues, and our target audience in mind, we designed a social online network aimed at bridging these gaps. Built upon the three pillars of sustainability, stressing the social, economic and environmental implications of our actions, this social online network provides an essential core for this decentralized community. The process of designing this site included research into elements of web design and programs that target sustainable behaviour, which translated into the creation of grey box diagrams (illustrations which outline the information layout of the site). We recommend that this design be implemented at the University to address the identified issues. In addition to covering the features and functions of this site, we have provided an outlined agenda regarding the development and implementation of this social online network. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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