December 2015 – Partnership Conference Report

IMG_2458Partnership for Progress on the Digital Divide highlights:

  • Mix of academics, non-profits and policymakers from around the world.
  • Emphasis on broad-band adoption.


Partnership for Progress on the Digital Divide 2015 Conference Report

Board member Maryanna Milton attended the conference in Phoenix, Arizona in October. She was part of a panel on ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Bridging the Digital Divide in Communities’ with a presentation entitled, “Practical Experience from Two Illinois Non-profits Bridging the Digital Divide,” describing the activities of PBDD and People’s Resource Center.

She connected with many people including Bill Callahan from  Connect Your Community and Tom Koutsky from Connected Nation. Her presentation went well with 20 people which was a good number especially being the last presentation on the last day.

As an international conference, there was a report on the status of the digital divide around the world. The theme was that while identifying barriers and solutions to bridging the digital divide, there is also a need to also identify gaps in understanding and research. The gaps found were discussed followed by moderated discussion amongst the panelists and the audience.

Session topics included:

  1. Brief summary introduction to the current status of the digital divide around the world
  2. Anchor institutions bridging the digital divide
  3. Digital divide research and federal policy in North America
  4. Digital divide and text messaging, social media and apps
  5. Students and digital inequality
  6. Gaps in digital divide understanding and research
  7. Youths, the digital divide and the impact of ICT
  8. Practitioners speak: what we know works
  9. Digital divide research from around the world
  10. Digital divide and age, location and health
  11. New longitudinal data on Internet use and inequality across US cities and counties, 1997-2013
  12. Digital inclusion policy and practice in the US
  13. Participation, political knowledge, democracy, resistance and the digital divide
  14. Digital disparities, the wealth gap and racial inequality
  15. Possible research collaborations with broadband adoption practitioners
  16. Problematizing current conceptualizations
  17. North American indigenous populations and the digital divide: challenges and opportunities
  18. The challenges and opportunities of data for the digital divide
  19. New perspective and strategies on the digital divide
  20. Challenges and opportunities of bridging the digital divide in communities
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