That’s why the tech giant is lending its forces to a new initiative with Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute that works at the intersection of technology and equity. The Digital Equity Accelerator supports nonprofits who are using innovation to serve communities affected by the digital divide.
With applications open through March 21, the Accelerator will give nonprofits in the United States, India, and Morocco a chance to receive not only technology solutions tailored to their needs and more than $100,000 in cash awards, but also hands-on mentorship, comprehensive programming, and access to senior advisors and their networks.
The initiative brings HP closer to achieving its commitment to accelerating digital equity for 150 million people around the world by 2030, focusing on women and girls; people with disabilities and aging populations; historically excluded groups, including those who are socio-economically marginalized; refugees and internally displaced persons; ethnic, racial, and religious minority populations; and the educators and practitioners who support them. Up to six nonprofits who support these communities in the areas of healthcare, education, and economic opportunity will be selected for the pilot program.
The Garage sat down with two of the leaders behind this initiative, Vivian Schiller, executive director of Aspen Digital, and Michele Malejki, global head of social impact at HP, to talk about this groundbreaking collaboration, its goals, and what digital equity means in 2022.
What is the Digital Equity Accelerator and why are Aspen Digital and HP working together?
VS: We’re really excited to work with HP on this venture to provide mentorship and expertise, and to scale strategies for organizations advancing digital equity in their regions. We’re bringing together a common sensibility and complementary resources and skills that makes this potentially very special. Year one is a pilot year. We'll see what happens, but it will be about learning a lot through investment. Our top priority is making sure we are supporting efforts that directly serve and are led by the impacted communities themselves.