MAY 01

Connectivity of the Internet NYC: Tech Talk and Film Screening


If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re somewhere in the western hemisphere. How do I know? You have access to the infrastructure necessary to connect to the internet, you speak English, and you probably have data to spare. What I bet you don’t know is that you’re in the minority: 62.1% of the world has no access to the internet, and most who can’t connect either don’t know the value that the web holds, or are content without it.


On Thursday March 26th, 160 Tech in Motion members met at the beautiful Landmark Sunshine Cinema in the Lower East Side for a night of networking, to hear CEO and Co-Founder of Foursquare, Dennis Crowley speak on the implications of a connected world, and a screening of WEB: A Human Right. Despite a rainy morning and afternoon, the evening cleared up as Tech in Motion members arrived at the cinema. They were greeted with a cocktail hour hosted by Minibar Delivery and Cliffton Dry Ciders, and plenty of SkinnyPop Popcorn to set the mood. They mixed and mingled, getting to know one another and even experiencing a virtual reality device that another member brought with him. Meanwhile, Sloane Barbour, Regional Director of Motion Recruitment, and Dennis Crowley, CEO and Co-Founder of Foursquare, got a lay of the theatre and warmed up for their keynote talk.


Taking their cues from the film, the topic of the night was connectivity of the internet. Beginning with Foursquare-inspired questions, Crowley shared that one of the amazing insights that his app has given the world is that many connected individuals “skipped the moment where they got cable. They went straight into mobile.” Adding that when the infrastructure doesn’t exist in a rural area, “the only way to deal with these crazy situations is to come up with crazy solutions, like Google’s Project Loon.”


Mid-way through their discussion, Barbour stopped. “Who in here has checked their phone since we sat down?” It was an interesting question given that we were in New York City. Over half the audience raised their hands—the author of this post included—and other than the obvious breach of decorum, no one thought anything of the fact that we were a room of connected individuals. “There are people who live their whole lives without knowing that the internet exists,” he said.

Talk Two

The evening ended with a screening of WEB: A Human Right, a documentary that tracked one filmmaker’s experience in a remote Peruvian village with the One Laptop Per Child Program. Not only a powerful film in its own right, the screening put faces to Crowley and Barbour’s discussion. As the children on screen became connected to the outside world, the audience became connected to the children. And if the internet is capable of doing one thing, it’s connecting.

If you’d like to connect with us, join our Tech in Motion NYC Meetup group for the latest event announcements.


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