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Remembering the Alliance for Digital Equality Newark, NJ Event

Recently, as my firm engaged in some social and mobile campaigns targeting urban consumers (highly successful due to the large adoption rates for advanced mobile devices), I began to wonder if “access to broadband” was still a needed conversation. Between smart phones, iPads, public wifi (starbucks and others commonly offering it free), and personal mobile networks, do individuals still need broadband?

Below, a recollection of the Alliance for Digital Equality event that took place in Newark, NJ.

“Hill Harper and Malik Yoba”Hill Harper and Malik Yoba

Greatly enjoyed time spent at the Alliance for Digital Equality’s summit in Newark, New Jersey at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The ADE “is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization that serves to facilitate and ensure equal access to technology in underserved communities.” The Newark event held April 23rd convened “a mix of policymakers, thought leaders and the media” to discuss “Broadband: Closing The Economic Divide.”

I was at the Bloggers Table with Lindsey C. Holmes of Newark based LCH Business, Bill Grunau of Florida based Circle of One Marketing, and others. Check out what we had to say during and after the event by searching #ADESummitNJ on Twitter. (My blog includes excerpts of posts as well)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, @CoryBooker, gave the opening address. I’ve been seeing a lot of the mayor lately. Hill Harper, @HillHarper, actor, author, activist, was a great moderator of the first panel and RandalPinkett, @RandalPinkett, had sharp insight. Must brag that I was re-tweeted by Hill Harper and feel quite special.

“The Honorable Marc Morial and Honorable Shirley Franklin”The Honorable Marc Morial and Honorable Shirley Franklin

In addition to discussing the need for “real dollars,” not just small handouts, to be in the hands of entrepreneurs, Pinkett called for business owners to “Build the game” and not just play it. The number one indicator of whether someone will own a business? Their parents. So not surprisingly, going into business for oneself is nature and nurture, learned and inherited.

Former mayors of New Orleans and Atlanta respectively, the honorable Marc Morial and Shirley Franklin drew on their executive experience to provide real examples of how they sought to use technology to empower communities. Marc Morial is the current CEO of the National Urban League and Shirley Franklin serves as the Executive Senior Adviser to ADE.

Jacque Reid and Malik Yoba”Jacque Reid and Malik Yoba

The second panel included Cisco, Athena Wireless and Tutor.com among others. Bob Slade reminded the audience that technology is needed to keep the nation’s children competitive. Dr. Jon Gant promoted OpenGov at #ADESummitNJ. Those involved in political social media know about this right? Moderator Jacque Reid, @jacquereid, led lively discussion with poignant questions demanding answers. Lorraine Cortez reminded us whole languages underrepresented on web.

“Stephanie Noble and JD Williams”Stephanie Noble and actor JD Williams

The random surprise of the day was meeting actor JD Williams. Fun stuff.

The entire Paden Noble family looks forward to the next ADE Summit and has already gotten in touch with the organization to take a more active role in bridging the technological divide that exists in some communities. Find more photos of the event on our Facebook page. We’d also like to note our partnership with OpenGov TV affords us the opportunity to offer a broader range of services.

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