How Broadband Access Unites and Divides Us

The pandemic revealed the essential role of broadband today. It also exposed as never before the dire consequences of the digital divide and the explosive impact of social media in spreading misinformation, fear and outrage. Panelists discuss what the pandemic has taught them about making broadband access more equitable and managing its downsides.

Speakers include:

  • Clayton Banks, Co-Founder and CEO, Silicon Harlem
  • Vinayak Bharne, Director, My Liveable City; Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Southern California, USA
  • Rob McCann, Founder, Clearcable
  • John Jung, Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum (Moderator)

Clayton Banks
Co-Founder and CEO, Silicon Harlem

Clayton Banks is the Co-Founder and CEO of Silicon Harlem. The mission of Silicon Harlem is to transform Harlem and other urban markets into Innovation and Technology Hubs. Under his leadership, Silicon Harlem has been able to partner with the Department of Education for New York City to establish an after school STEM based startup accelerator, collaborate with the NYC Mayor’s office to assess wireless broadband in upper Manhattan and coordinate a virtual startup incubator for tech based entrepreneurs. Banks has established and produces the only comprehensive technology conference in Harlem, the Silicon Harlem tech conference is focused on next generation internet and its impact on urban markets economic development.

Vinayak Bharne
Director, My Liveable City; Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Southern California, USA

Vinayak Bharne (he/his) is a practicing urban designer and city planner based in Los Angeles; Director of the India-Netherlands-based knowledge platform, My Liveable City; and faculty of urbanism at the University of Southern California. His work, ranging from new towns and downtown revitalizations to community empowerment and urban policies in the United States, India, Egypt, China and Panama, intersects urban design with issues of social and ecological justice. A member of the Board of Directors of the award-winning non-profit organization, Union Station Homeless Services in California, his books include "Affordable Housing, Inclusive Cities"; "Urbanism Beyond 2020"; and the forthcoming "Streets For All: 50 Ideas for Shaping Resilient Cities".

Rob McCann
Founder, Clearcable
Rob McCann is the founder of Clearcable and has been working with advanced broadband service deployments in mid-market and rural cable and telephone systems since 1998. He is responsible for building and maintaining technical, network, and application intelligence. Rob works closely with several carriers, cable systems, municipalities, and network service providers in Canada and the US providing them with the technology, integration, and business practices required to effectively operate voice, video, and data services in the changing broadband service provider industry.

Louis Zacharilla
Co-Founder of the Intelligent Community Forum. Louis Zacharilla helped found the Intelligent Community movement. He is the developer of the Intelligent Community Awards program. He is a frequent keynote speaker and a moderator at conferences and events.
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