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OCTO Hosts Dynamic Discussion on Bridging the Digital Divide in the District of Columbia

Thursday, September 18, 2014
More than 150 community leaders, residents, experts expected to attend forum


More than 150 community and business leaders, policymakers, residents, program administrators, educators, researchers and other stakeholders in the DC area.

Connect.DC program at the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) with support from Digital DC, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)
Hear from community innovators from these leading organizations

  • Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Rob Mancini, Chief Technology Officer, DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO)
  • Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director, DC Public Library
  • Harry Wingo, President and CEO, DC Chamber of Commerce
  • Marla Bilonick, Interim Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)
  • Kelley Ellsworth, Executive Director, Byte Back
  • Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Research Center Internet Project
  • Patrick Gusman, Cofounder, Startup Middle School Program
  • Obinna Ukwuani, Founder and CEO, Exposure Robotics Academy
  • Michelle Fox, Managing Director, Code for Progress

With moderators

  • Nancy Scola, The Washington Post
  • Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, Ph.D., National Institute for Civil Discourse


A forum for the exchange of ideas and information on digital inclusion


The Washington Post | 1150 15th Street, NW, WDC 20005


Monday, September 22, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Media Contact

For questions about this event or to RSVP as media, please contact Jill Melnicki at [email protected] or 202-442-3201.


Access to the Internet has changed the way we communicate, work, learn, access essential services, and get our news and information. Yet, approximately 150,000 District households are not connected to broadband Internet. Those who don’t have access to the Internet, don't know how to use it, or don’t see why it’s important are at a great disadvantage in an increasingly digital age.

Fortunately, we’re witnessing a growing movement of change makers who are working collaboratively across public, private and nonprofit sectors to solve this local challenge. How can we close the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” in the District of Columbia? Meet the people and organizations at the center of this work and learn where we’ve been and where we’re headed and contribute to a dynamic discussion about what works.

In an informal, intimate setting, we will discuss:

  • Models for community value: How to foster community growth and economic development through technology, social innovation and partnerships
  • Making technology accessible and understandable: What real-world strategies are working for innovators on the front lines in companies, District government agencies, community-based organizations, social enterprises, academia and foundations
  • Accelerating digital inclusion ecosystems: How to engage and mobilize citizens toward digital adoption and organizations toward digital inclusion

About Connect.DC
Created by The DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) in 2010, Connect.DC works to bridge the digital divide by making technology easier to use, more accessible, more affordable, and more relevant to the everyday lives of District residents.

Twitter:  @ConnectdotDC
Instagram: connectdotdc
Event hashtag:  #roadforwardDC