Barbara Jordan National Forum on Public Policy

The Digital Divide: Myth, Metaphor and Reality, Feb. 21-23

The digital divide, and discussing how to mend it, was the topic of the Sixth Annual Barbara Jordan National Forum on Public Policy at the University of Texas last weekend. While often referred to as the gap between those with ready access to technology and those without, participants agreed that the digital divide is actually a much more complex issue. The U.S. has taken the reins in shaping the new digital economy, and experts say that this may hinder bridging the digital divide.

"The U.S. thinks the digital economy is the only economy that can exist in the world," said Gary Chapman, LBJ professor and director of the school's 21st Century Project. Dara O'Neil of the Georgia Institute of Technology agreed. "In the U.S., the digital world is always expressed in dollars or as the information economy. In other parts of the world, it's expressed as the information society." The dominant theme to emerge from the conference was that accommodating social, cultural, and economic needs locally and globally is the largest challenge facing those shaping the digital world today.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Screens
Pressing the Flesh
Pressing the Flesh
The world's leading adult toy manufacturer for men wants to take the stigma out of sex

Dan Solomon, May 11, 2012

Get Schooled
Get Schooled
James Franco-produced Web series tracks UT Film students

Kimberley Jones, April 13, 2012

More by Belinda Acosta
Margaret Moser Tribute: Rose Reyes
Rose Reyes
“She was the leadership in Austin journalism that made sure women, Latinos, blacks, and youth weren’t overlooked”

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball
“She’s a music writer who writes to enlighten”

June 30, 2017


Gary Chapman, 21st Century Project, Dara O'Neil, Georgia Institute of Technology, Barbara Jordan National Forum on Public Policy, The Digital Divide

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle