This past week was Denver Startup Week, where we came together as a City to celebrate the awesome tech community that we have been able to cultivate. Startup Weeks are generally trade shows, people are showcasing what’s hot, what’s next, and meeting other folks that work in tech - but there is little time made to reflect on where we’ve come from and how much our day to day lives have changed dramatically over the last 5, 10, 15 years.
Whether you were engaging in Startup Week events around the City, or following along at home, take a moment to think about what your life would be like without all of the technology you currently use and the new things you saw. This new era we’ve welcomed in is not being enjoyed by all. At least 24 million Americans are still without access to the great benefits these breakthroughs have brought us, and this gap continues to widen at an increasing pace (that number only accounts for people who don’t have physical access to quality Internet, no reliable numbers exist for Americans who are being kept off the Internet by the high cost). As policy makers start to assume that “enough” people are connected and begin moving society in a more technological direction, we are quickly forgetting that there are people who still cannot participate with us in this new world.
We’re not all going to be early adopters of the latest and greatest, but we should all be able to bank and pay our bills online. To those of you who left last week inspired to make an impact on the world, we ask you to think about the millions of Americans who are not connected to high speed Internet and don’t have smartphones, and about what you can do for them. When we finally live in a society where everyone has access regardless of where they live or how much they make, this will be a paradigm-shifting improvement that will take technology from a societal afterthought to a foundational base on top of which a new chapter in human history will be written.
The Denver Internet Initiative is working to make sure that no one in Denver is left behind, and to position this great City at the forefront of the next wave of innovation. Join us!
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