Technology firm HP Inc. launched an accelerator program that will invest in local initiatives and partnerships to address challenges in underserved communities around the world as part of its objective of achieving digital equity by 2030. HP PATH (Partnership and Technology for Humanity) hopes to address challenges in education, healthcare, and the creation of economic opportunities.
The program is part of the HP Sustainable Impact strategy which is built around the core pillars of climate action, human rights, and digital equity.
“Our Sustainable Impact strategy is helping to strengthen our communities while spurring innovation and growth across our business,” said Enrique Lores, president and CEO, HP Inc. “Creating technology that inspires progress has always been one of HP’s greatest strengths, and we continue to hold ourselves accountable for achieving the goals we have set.”
HP Sustainable Impact is integral to helping the company become the world’s most sustainable and just technology company. This work is essential for the sustainability of the planet and society, and it is an increasingly important driver of customer purchasing decisions, helping win more than $1 billion in sales in 2020—for the second consecutive year.
The company believes that HP’s PATH accelerator will pave the way for digital equity in underserved communities around the world, through partnerships, activation, innovation, collaborations, and direct communication with local leaders.
HP PATH’s initial phase will be centered on convening conversations to engage, listen and learn from communities around the world to better understand the root-cause issues and what resources and support are needed to create change together. From there, it will influence HP’s product innovation, partnerships, and acceleration of solutions that will drive impact.
As part of this flagship accelerator, HP will also activate a fund that offers bundled, custom solutions.
“HP will continue to develop transformative innovation in HP products and services that accelerate digital equity while focusing on the company’s goal to drive better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025,” the company said.
According to HP, digital inequity, which is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, “is at an all-time high and will only continue to grow if we do not work together to find solutions.”
Quoting data from Unicef, it noted that one-third of the world’s school-age children (or 463 million students) could not access remote learning.
“In the Philippines alone, 74% of public schools cannot make the transition to e-learning and more than 2 million students have no way of going online at all according to an enrollment survey conducted by the Department of Education (DepEd) in 2020,” HP said. “Beyond education, the growing digital divide can stand in the way of accessing modern healthcare and competitive job opportunities as digital transformation continues to accelerate.”
To address this, the company created HP LIFE, a free IT and business skills training program offered by the HP Foundation. It also supports and teams up with organizations like Girl Rising, MIT Solve, and NABU to tackle this challenge.
Building on these efforts, HP commits to develop, launch, and manage a digital equity accelerator that seeks to support the digital equity of disenfranchised communities by activating innovative solutions and services for 150 million people by 2030.
HP’s efforts are designed around four key elements that the company believes are crucial to achieving digital equity. These are hardware, connectivity, quality and relevant content, and digital literacy. Alongside these elements, the company streamlines its focus on four specific communities o experience the digital divide: women and girls, people with disabilities (including aging populations), communities of color or marginalized groups, and educators and practitioners.