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Policymakers have long struggled to close a digital divide that leaves millions without access to broadband internet service. In recent years, another digital divide has emerged that involves the unevenness of cyber capacity-building and retention between regions. For the United States to remain the most dynamic and innovative tech powerhouse in the world, it is imperative for all its regions, and not merely a few rarefied clusters such as Silicon Valley, to foster and sustain research and development of cyber technologies for a 21st-century knowledge economy.
The challenge of redressing geographic disparities will require creativity and determination on the part of policymakers and business, perhaps even a 21st-century analogue to the Morrill Land Grant Act of the 19th Century that did so much to consolidate the role of universities as engines of economic development across America.
On February 5, 2020, New America’s Education Policy Program, Cybersecurity Initiative, Issues in Science and Technology, and Future Tense considered what we can do as a nation to ensure that all Americans, regardless of geography, can participate in the ongoing digital revolution.
Panelists included: Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America; Mark R. Hagerott, Ph.D, Chancellor, North Dakota University System; Tracy Van Grack, Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Policy, Revolution LLC' Rodney Petersen, Director, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and Carrie Billy, President & CEO, American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). Moderated by Kevin Carey, Vice President Education Policy and Knowledge Management, New America.