Pivoteer #4 - from Silicon Harlem to the Hudson Valley: The Case for Digital Resilience

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Pivoteers & Pioneers Episode 4 Silicoon Harlem Clayton Banks

On Friday, July 26, 2020, OpenHub livestreamed its 4th episode of its webisode series Pivoteers & Pioneers: Tech-Enabled Recovery in the Age of Social Distancing.

This episode of Pivoteers & Pioneers featured our tech hub neighbor to the south, Silicon Harlem, and its founder, Clayton Banks.  

silicon harlem logo

Silicon Harlem was founded seven years ago with one simple yet revolutionary goal: To transform Harlem and other urban markets into technology and innovation hubs to fully engage in the digital economy.

Mr. Banks has become a mover and shaker in the tech hub world and his prominence is rewarded in large and well-funded projects by New York City and New York State, private partnerships and other public institutions. 


OpenHub decided to use this opportunity to pick his brain about the step beyond Digital Literacy. The episode’s theme was: From Harlem to the Hudson Valley: The Digital Divide in NY-The Case for Digital Resilience. 

Digital Resilience is a new term that makes the case that ‘Digital Literacy’ is just the beginning. Since the pandemic shutdown, everyone can relate to the fact that we all need continual skill-building. Instead of a single training, to bridge the Digital Divide people need advanced technical skills to on-ramp to a stable career.

What follow belows are some excerpts of comments by Mr. Banks. To hear the full episode, please follow the link above. 

Clayton Banks“I had someone come into my office the other day. They heard we were giving computers away and I said, “Great! Here’s a computer!” Then they asked, “How do I use it?” So basic literacy is still important."

“The way I look at the Digital Divide is the way every technological divide works. There are some who know about the tech and can afford it. And there are others who don’t know about it and can’t afford it. That has been my definition for the divide and guess what? It’s going to continue unless we do something about it.”

“How do we make sure people have access and exposure? How do we help everyone have a means to pull themselves up the social ladder? I am optimistic, now that we had the shutdown and everyone saw how important technology is, there is some real momentum to bring some equity back into play. And more importantly we won’t be losing some of the great minds left behind due to these types of divides. “

Take a listen to the episode.

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Please join us for our next episode with Pivoteer #5: TBA.

Friday, July 10, 2020 at 3:00 pm