After his daughter asked how her classmates could do their school homework if they did not have a computer or Internet access at home, Pat Millen's family formed E2D – a nonprofit organization called Eliminate the Digital Divide. This week, Pat and I talk about their strategy, which was created in the footprint of North Carolina's municipal MI-Connection but is now expanding through Charlotte and working with incumbent operators.
E2D has arranged an innovative and replicable program to distribute devices, provide training, and arrange for an affordable connection. Along the way, they developed a sustainable funding model rather than merely asking people with deep pockets for a one-time donation.
An important lesson from E2D is the richness of opportunity when people take action locally. That is often among the hardest steps when success is far from assured – but these local actions are the ones that can be the most successful because they are tuned to local needs, assets, and culture.
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Thanks to Roller Genoa for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Safe and Warm in Hunter's Arms.”