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Morino Institute From Access to Outcomes: Digital Divide Report and Dialogue

Report Supplement
Using the Report



From Access to Outcomes

In October 2000, Morino Institute Chairman Mario Morino gave a keynote address at the Department of Commerceís "Networks for People" conference. In his address, Morino asked the audience to reconsider some of the fundamental premises underlying the nationís digital divide efforts.

While Morino offered praise for those who had rallied to the cause of bringing new technologies to low-income communities, he also challenged the audience to raise its aspirations and refocus its goals. He asked them to ask themselves: "To what end?"

"For the most part, todayís movement remains focused on closing the gap in access to technology as an end in itself," Morino said.

Report Supplement
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"But isnít the real promise more profound and far more important? Isnít the real challenge about what people and institutions do with the technology once they have access to it? Isnít the ultimate possibility to apply the technologyís potential to address the underlying challenges that are the true source of fundamental social divides in America?"

Morinoís central message, developed over the course of many years of observations in both the business and nonprofit worlds, was well received. He was encouraged to develop the speech further, to test its premises, to create a paper that could be of use to a wide range of people working to harness the power of new technology to strengthen low-income communities.

So, in early November 2000, we at the Morino Institute invited a large and impressive group of outside thinkers and practitioners to join an online discussion to help us turn the speech into a final report. In some cases, the comments of participants crystallized our premises. In others, their insights illustrated just how much we still had to learn.

We have now (July 2001) completed the final report called From Access to Outcomes. We encourage you to print it, excerpt from it, or link to it for noncommercial use.

As a supplement to the report, we also have presented some of the original material from the online discussion. Of course, wading through a long list of old messages is, at best, difficult and tedious. So we have created summaries of each of the major discussion themes, complete with excerpts from the messages offered by the participants.

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