In 2022, Aspen Digital joined HP Inc and HP Foundation in launching a first-of-its-kind Digital Equity Accelerator (“Accelerator”). The collaboration was, in part, fueled by HP’s commitment to accelerate digital equity to 150 million people by 2030. Together, we set out with a simple yet radical goal: to reimagine how we elevate global leaders who are at the forefront of solving inequity in their communities. Over the past 2 years, the Digital Equity Accelerator has helped advance the delivery of healthcare, education and employment services to 8.1 million people in 6 countries; 92% of those served are women and girls, participants with disabilities, aging populations, educators, healthcare practitioners and other historically marginalized groups.
Today, we announce that the culmination of the 2023 Digital Equity Accelerator cohort will also mark the transition of the administration and management of the Accelerator to HP Inc, which will continue to run future iterations of the program. As Aspen Digital, we are proud to have designed and established a strong foundation off of which HP can springboard forward.
Since the inception of the Accelerator concept in 2021, Aspen Digital has leaned into social innovation and global expertise to design and implement an Accelerator that transformed the space of digital equity by focusing unrestricted investments for capacity building and leadership development into nonprofit organizations with a proven track record of community-centered program design and implementation. The Accelerator was designed to propel organizations onto a sustainable pathway for scale by providing financial and technological support in addition to a robust education program, hands-on mentorship, tailored technical expertise, and peer-learning opportunities.
To date, under the management and administration of Aspen Digital, the Accelerator has invested into 17 organizations, split into two cohorts, from Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, India, South Africa, and the United States of America. The organizations, selected through a competitive application process, were uniquely positioned to solve complex social, economic and digital inclusion challenges in their communities.
We delivered on our promise to design a high-impact proof-of-concept for accelerating digital equity on a global scale and elevating community-led solutions to drive positive social and economic change onto a global stage. In doing so, we challenged our biases, tested our assumptions, and leaned into the feedback of our cohorts to help us fine-tune our model.
As we look ahead, we are confident in the impact and potential in the model we’ve developed to accelerate digital equity, and invite other global technology companies and philanthropic efforts to rise up to the challenge of centering their investments into the leadership, visions and work of nonprofit organizations who are often overlooked as critical partners in digital transformation and development. We hope that others will follow HP’s bold leadership in ensuring that technology use and access around the world is equitable.
This incredible journey could not have been possible without the generous funding and support of HP Inc. and HP Foundation. We want to acknowledge the hard work and visionary leadership of Aspen Digital’s Global Digital Equity team spearheaded by Hazami Barmada who served as the Lead/Director of the Digital Equity Accelerator, with invaluable contributions from Leana Mayzlina, Elizabeth Vivirto, Andrew Keller, and Jessica Borich. And the support of the broader Aspen Digital team Vivian Schiller, Zaki Barzinji, Carner Derron, and Tricia Kelly. We would also like to thank our global network of 112 Advisors, Mentors, Faculty and Technical Experts. And, of course, most of all, we are grateful to the 17 organizations from around the world for their trust, leadership and commitment to those they serve– they made the Accelerator a true success.
We invite you to stay in touch with HP and Aspen Digital as we continue to forge ahead with a vision of closing the digital divide and accelerating digital equity to global communities who are all too often overlooked.
For Aspen Digital, the next phase of this work will be to share our learnings and approach the wider social impact-minded movements and sustainable development ecosystems. We are always eager to share our experience with institutions interested in developing similar solutions.
For HP, we’re proud to share that the Digital Equity Accelerator will be brought in-house. To learn more or stay engaged with the Accelerator, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazami Barmada is an award-winning public affairs & social impact strategist, social innovator and humanitarian. She is the Executive Producer and Host of the Webby-Award and Anthem-Award winning top rated international affairs and human rights podcast, Finding Humanity. For 17+ years, Hazami has consulted for leading global public, private and nonprofit institutions including the United Nations, United Nations Foundation, Harvard, The Elders, B Lab, The Aspen Institute and the Royal Court of the Sultanate of Oman, to name a few. Most recently she consulted with Aspen Institute to help establish and lead the development and implementation of the Digital Equity Accelerator, a collaboration between HP and the Aspen Institute. She is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, frequent international speaker, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.