Tech and the City: Digital Equity in San Francisco: What is it? Why is it Important? | Mechanics' Institute

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Tech and the City: Digital Equity in San Francisco: What is it? Why is it Important?

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 6:30pm

As our digital world matures, connected technologies are woven into the very fabric of our lives: the way we communicate, the way we work, and the way we learn.  Individuals and families without access to digital tools and robust broadband face compounding challenges that limit their ability to get an education, build a career, and access health care as well as the opportunity to engage in such commonplace activities as sharing a ride or streaming a movie. 

Even in tech-savvy San Francisco – home to some of the most innovative tech companies in the world – issues surrounding digital equity persist.  In this significant panel presentation, we will hear from leaders in the city (and state)  who are working to improve digital equity through investments in infrastructure and digital inclusion. 



Alex Banh is the Digital Equity Manager for the City and County of San Francisco's Office of Digital Equity. In this role, he is tasked with managing citywide efforts to improve technology access and digital skills among underserved populations. His responsibilities include conducting research, piloting programs, and developing partnerships with public, private, and community-based stakeholders to close the digital divide.  Alex is committed to digital inclusion to empower individuals and communities. Prior to working at the City, he led the Asia Foundation’s global IT team, overseeing IT projects and training programs for the organization’s local staff and partners throughout developing Asia. He also previously co-managed San Francisco’s federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant at the Department of Technology, funding a variety of digital skills programs for audiences from youth to seniors.


Brian Roberts is the Policy Advisor with the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Technology, where he advises the City’s Chief Information Officer on connectivity and information technology policy. Mr. Roberts has worked for the past 20 years as the City’s lead on a variety of initiatives, including implementing the City’s dig once program, securing and managing a Broadband Technology Opportunity Program Grant, negotiating right-of-way and fiber agreements; community broadband feasibility studies, and overseeing community media agreements. Mr. Roberts haad served as one of Mayor Edwin Lee’s designees on the Federal Communication Commission’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee.  Brian currently is the President Elect of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA).  In 2017 he was named San Francisco Digital Leaders Awards “Digital Champion”. Prior to joining the City of San Francisco, Brian worked as a regulatory analyst for the California Public Utilities Commission.

 Other panelists to be announced. Watch for details!


MI Members Free
Public $15
Register now ›
4th Floor Meeting Room
Pam Troy - 415-393-0116
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0101.

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