For a while now, many of us have had a front-row seat to the evolution of technology. From the introduction of the internet to today’s ever-present updates on social media apps, the digital space has transformed how we live and interact in the world. Although technology has continued to advance, not all people have had access to keep up with the digital evolution.

The digital divide regarding who has access to resources continues to grow, leaving those in historically underserved communities without the ability to keep up or develop as the world around them advances. HP recognized this problem, identified the contributing factors to the growing inequity – lack of access to healthcare, education and economic opportunities – and committed itself to a solution that ensures the digital world and economy can be a more equitable and inclusive space.

In partnership with the Aspen Institute, and its subsidiary Aspen Digital, HP launched a new global initiative to accelerate digital equity. The Digital Equity Accelerator will provide support to nonprofit organizations as they work to meet the needs of underserved communities that are most impacted by the digital divide. Led by the Aspen Digital program and backed by HP, organizations will receive mentorship and training, technology and $100,000 in capacity-building grants. These resources will advance HP’s goal to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people by 2030. 

With a pilot launch in the United States, Morocco and India , the goal of the Accelerator is to amplify scalable impact in the areas of health care, education and economic opportunity with a local approach that bolsters community leaders. The new global effort will leverage the subject matter expertise of a network of diverse technologists to lead the connectivity support of the Accelerator.

“We are looking forward to supporting innovators dedicated to improving digital equity for impacted communities in the U.S. and around the world,” said Vivian Schiller, Executive Director of Aspen Digital.

Target populations for the launch include women and girls; people with disabilities; aging populations; historically excluded groups, such as communities of color and ethnic minorities; those who are socio-economically marginalized; refugees and internally displaced persons; and the educators and practitioners who support them. After the pilot period, the Digital Accelerator is expected to expand to more countries and implement key takeaways from the first cohort of program participants.

Paramount to leveling the digital playing field, the Accelerator is being launched at a critical time in history. While the digital divide has existed for decades, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic only widened the margin. This furthered the need for equitable solutions that create opportunities for all individuals to thrive in an increasingly digital economy.

“Digital equity is the path for everyone, everywhere to have equal access to education, health care and economic opportunity,” said Michele Malejki, Global Head of Social Impact at HP Inc. 

Applications for the program are being accepted now through March 28, 2022. Visit here to learn more about the criteria for and process for the Digital Accelerator.