About

Our Mission – Making Kansas City a Digital Leader Since 2012

KC Digital Drive is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for all people in the region through the establishment of Kansas City as a digital leader.

Through initiatives that grow Kansas City’s presence as a digital leader, we are able to ameliorate equity barriers, increase opportunities for economic prosperity, and elevate the community as a key informant in the innovation process.

In 2011, Kansas City was named the nation’s first Google Fiber Community, thereby launching a period of extreme digital transformation. As implementation moved forward, digital equity issues quickly emerged. KC Digital Drive was established in order to address inequality in this space, and to deliver meaningful use cases and increased economic opportunity using this new technology infrastructure.

Leveraging many of the assets of our for-profit partners, we have built a collaborative business model directed to:

  1. Decrease socioeconomic differences in the utilization of new technologies.
  2. Lead the development of technology solutions for vexing public problems.
  3. Increase adoption of emerging technology

What does it mean to be a Digital Leader?

  • Technology infrastructure: The foundation of hardware, tools, and software needed to function in the digital world
  • Data: Machine-readable information about the infrastructure, environment, and the people that use it
  • Meaningful use cases: How the tech and the data are used to make the world a better place (often trials, pilots, or test cases)
  • New businesses, products and services: How to make these uses sustainable and widespread, with economic development benefits to boot
  • Equity and inclusion: Intentional process, thoughtfulness, vision, and leadership to ensure new tech is people-focused and sensitive to our most vulnerable
  • Tech literacy: Sufficient education from regular citizens to civic leaders to support workforce needs, democratic governance, and good decision-making

In pursuit of these goals, we have developed a diverse portfolio of programs under our three strategic pillars: 1) Solutions Lab, 2) Community Building, and 3) Project Delivery.

Our priorities:

digitalinclusion

1. Closing the Digital Divide

To connect everyone to affordable broadband Internet, and make emerging technology equitably accessible.

 

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2. Driving Digital Innovation

To give everyone the opportunity and resources to create new technology ventures and applications that will improve lives and grow the economy

 

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3. Building Kansas City’s Reputation

To make Kansas City a capital of civic innovation and thoughtful adopter of technology known the world around.

KCDD Process Chart

 The KC Digital Drive Process (click to enlarge)

Our Team

Aaron Deacon

Aaron Deacon

Managing Director

Jim Starcev

Jim Starcev

Solutions Lab Program Manager

Leslie Scott

Leslie Scott

Digital Inclusion Program Manager

John Fitzpatrick

John Fitzpatrick

Community Health Strategist

Anurag Patel

Anurag Patel

Digital Health Strategist

Paul Barham

Paul Barham

Captain, Code for KC

Kari Keefe

Kari Keefe

Strategic Business Consultant

Linda Williams

Linda Williams

Executive Coordinator

Executive Coordinator

William Crumpler

William Crumpler

Digital Inclusion Program Coordinator

Kiley Larson

Kiley Larson

Research Fellow

Board of Directors

Alan Howze, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS

Kate Bender, City of Kansas City, MO

Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive

Greg Elliott, 1623 Farnam

Ellen Suni, UMKC School of Law

Darren Prenger, ECCO Select

Testimonials

“KC Digital Drive helps us help our patients. There’s so much that goes behind delivering excellent care to children that never gets the credit it deserves. KC Digital Drive is an example of that because if I’m not inspired, if I don’t know what’s new in Kansas City, I can’t channel it to our patients for outcomes. So the work KC Digital Drive does ultimately improve the health of our kids because it makes us better leaders.”
Morgan Waller

Director of Telemedicine, Children's Mercy Hospital

“If you’re in an area that can be affected by the digital economy — if you’re in a place where you want to connect with what’s going on relative to creativity or entrepreneuralism in the region, we want to have you at the table, talking with KC Digital Drive and being a part of our effort.”
Joe Reardon

CEO , of KCATA and Former Mayor of Kansas City, Kan.

“KC Digital Drive has been really important to KC’s educators and their ability to innovate, as well as ensuring that all Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri school districts had Google Fiber and were able as a result to lay the groundwork for the online access that every young person will need to be fully prepared for the workforce and post-secondary education.”
Susan Wally

Executive Director, PREP-KC

Let's Start Talking

Interested in supporting KC Digital Drive with a gift, sponsorship or volunteering? Start by sending us an email. You may also give a tax-deductible donation via PayPal.