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The Roundtable: Bridging the Digital Divide

Creating opportunity in impoverished communities begins with access to the Internet.

Despite the rapid technological advancements our world has seen over the past several decades, billions of people worldwide still live in conditions of poverty. It's not a simple question of self-efficacy and bootstraps: many lack access to basic tools that could alleviate their situations, from WiFi to dignified work. A panel of experts joined Roundtable to discuss a range of projects that seek to build wealth and economic inclusion in the U.S. and abroad. In this segment, they discuss how to bring resources and opportunities to the people who need them.

Patrick Robinson is the co-founder and CEO of Pashko, a direct-to-consumer clothing company that hires workers in underserved communities in the United States.

"We look at them as people who are hungry for work. It's in every state of America. In Alabama, if you talk about having bootstraps, they don't have basic sales service. They don't have wifi," he says. "We're going into these communities and bringing dignified jobs and training people to actually make clothes in America again. And we're doing it in a very disruptive way because we're actually putting these, these facilities in people's neighborhoods, in their community."

Philanthropist Robert Chapman notes that he sees a similar lack of dignified employment in his home country of Zimbabwe.

"We need to put people into a place that allows them to not only be self-sustaining, but also start to create generational wealth. That is a major conversation," he says. 

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He observes that brain drain, and sustaining wealth-building projects, also presents an issue: "What's missing from this is the financial aspect to really keep the talent in the country. A lot of folks are coming to the United States from countries like Zimbabwe, where we need that talent resource to stay in our country to develop it."

Watch the full discussion below:

Patrick Robinson, CEO and Co-Founder, Pashko

Robert Chapman, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur

Jon Najarian, Co-Founder, Market Rebellion