The Equity Imperative

Leveraging Technology to Advance Inclusion
A week-long online forum the week of June 1

city skyline

Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock

Technology has changed the way people access services in cities and states across the country, but technological advances don’t always benefit everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that the digital divide is greater than we thought. The public, private, and nonprofit sectors have an opportunity to not only bridge that divide but ensure technological advances can contribute to broader prosperity.

Join the Urban Institute and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth for the Equity Imperative: Leveraging Technology to Advance Inclusion, a week-long online forum exploring a pivotal challenge facing cities: how to achieve equity in the digital age.

The online forum will surface insights on how policymakers, researchers, community members, and private companies can advance innovation for inclusive growth.


Follow the conversation on Twitter: #InnovateForInclusiveGrowth


Event Recordings

Why Technology Matters for Inclusive Cities

Technology and the digital revolution can advance inclusion, or they can leave already vulnerable people further behind. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to life the consequences of technological inequality: access to technology determines access to jobs, services, food and merchandise, and education. How can we create a more equitable future? This discussion with experts in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors will help define equity and elevate new evidence and examples to inform the creation of inclusive cities.

Shared Accountability: The Public-Private Partnership

Equitable advances in technology hinge on the public and private sectors playing vital roles. But proposed technology innovations may not always match the problem they seek to solve, legacy systems may need to be incorporated, and bureaucratic silos may need to be navigated to design and launch technologies effectively. During this conversation, city and business leaders will explore how to ensure mutual accountability between governments and companies advancing new technologies. Speakers will also discuss a partnership in Kansas City at the forefront of delivering cross-sector digital services to residents.

Plan With, Not For: Why Community Engagement Is Essential

When resident voices are placed at the forefront, cities’ innovative technology policies can be more inclusive. What does community engagement look like in practice, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people cannot communicate or convene in traditional ways? Panelists from community and nonprofit organizations and government will highlight effective community engagement strategies in this moment and explain how they’re adapting.

Keeping Inclusive Innovation a Focus During a Pandemic

This conversation will feature two leaders in the effort to advance digital inclusion. In his tenure as mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter leveraged technology and digital services to make city services more readily available to all residents. As the president and founder of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Shamina Singh has championed digital inclusion and supported efforts by cities to leverage technology and public-private partnerships to ensure the digital economy works for everyone, everywhere. Moderated by Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute, Mayor Nutter and Ms. Singh will share their visions for advancing equity during this pandemic and highlight effective strategies for using technological innovation to accelerate inclusion.