Our Mission – Making Kansas City a Digital Leader
KC Digital Drive is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to make Kansas City a digital leader and to improve the quality of life for all people in the region.
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:
- Decrease socioeconomic differences in the utilization of new technologies.
- Lead the development of technology solutions for vexing public problems.
- Increase adoption of emerging technology
What does it mean to be a Digital Leader?
We focus on 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 – the intentional process, thoughtfulness, vision, and leadership to ensure new tech is people-focused and sensitive to our most vulnerable; and tech literacy – the 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.
- Closing the Digital Divide – To connect everyone to affordable broadband Internet, and make emerging technology equitably accessible.
- 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
- Building Kansas City’s Reputation – To make Kansas City a capital of civic innovation and thoughtful adopter of technology known the world around.
Director of Operations
Kiley Larson, PhD
Digital Inclusion Coordinator
Board of Directors
Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS Seat – Alan Howze
City of Kansas City, MO Seat – Melissa Kozakiewicz
Greg Elliott, 1623 Farnam
Shawn Etheridge, ECCO Select
Mike Grigsby, MWGrigs LLC
Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive