Digital technology is revolutionizing our world. It is changing the way we do business, the way we learn, the way we buy, and the way we interact with each other. It is creating a world in which the manufacturing of ideas is as important as the manufacturing of goods. It is diminishing the supremacy of traditional economic assets—such as natural resources, proximity to marketplaces, and weather—and increasing the importance of an evolving telecommunications infrastructure that better connects people and businesses to the information and opportunities they seek wherever they may be.
Currently, 39% of Chicagoans lack the broadband connections required to fully participate in this digital revolution. This is most common among low-income families, minorities, people with disabilities, and seniors. In an increasingly competitive world, all Chicagoans have a stake in closing this divide. Achieving digital excellence—universal, meaningful participation in technology— is vital to maintaining Chicago’s position as a leading global city.
In 2006, the City created the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Closing the Digital Divide to help develop a long-term strategy for achieving digital excellence in Chicago. Drawing on their recommendations in The City That NetWorks, the City and its partners launched the Digital Excellence Initiative, with several programs currently underway to advance technology access and use across Chicago.
This Digital Excellence website provides up-to-date information about the City’s digital excellence efforts, programs, and projects and is a gateway for residents, businesses, community organizations, and educational institutions to come together and collaborate to make Chicago a global technology leader.