We are focused on: a) connecting people to high-quality broadband and then b) making the most of those digital connections through technology innovation which drives impact. Impact is anything that advances a person's health, wealth, or emotional well-being. We also include environmental sustainability, because there is no replacement for a healthy relationship between humanity and its environment.
The principals of Centri formerly founded One Economy Corporation (2000 to 2013), a global nonprofit focused on broadband adoption and technology services for those in need. In 2009, One Economy received $51.5M to implement technology access and adoption programs as part of President Obama's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, half of which was public capital and half of which was private.
The initiative helped more than 180,000 people start using broadband via programs that included wiring 27,000 units with broadband, training 235,000 people in technology skills; as well as adoption-related activities such as literacy campaigns reaching 20,000,000 people. The Digital Connectors program alone, trained 2,500 youth in tech skills who then provided more than 50,000 hours of community service.
About Centri Tech
Building and managing broadband networks, creating content and applications for a social purpose. These activities require financial capital but also human capital — the energy and effort of America's talent. That's why everything we create involves connecting the workforce of today (unemployed and underemployed) and the workforce of tomorrow (K-12 youth) to the expanding digital economy.
We also believe in the importance of culture. Communities are cultures with norms, beliefs, histories, and ways of reflecting the world and making choices. Individuals are cultural actors, creating and reflecting contemporary and historical influences. Getting this right is the difference between connecting with a person or not. And a lack of attention to culture is why so many community development resources don’t get used.
Centri Tech is designed to support this movement. We are a new intermediary born of an impact investment mindset, aligning a for-profit (Centri Tech) and nonprofit (Centri Tech Foundation) platform around a social impact mission to actively pursue solutions that will help communities be resilient and thrive.
So that's us. Back to work.
In addition to this national impact, One Economy worked in 17 countries, and collaborated with a variety of corporate entities including AT&T, Ebay, Cisco, Comcast, Google, Microsoft, and others on innovative technology impact strategies. In 2012, a unique program created with Walmart helped more than 50,000 Americans file their income tax returns for free, which returned $63 million to those filers.
One Economy also was a pioneer of public purpose media. Among their many web and mobile properties, their flagship site, the Beehive, helped more than 20 million people learn and act to improve their finances, healthcare, education, employment, and more. With its Public Internet Channel website, One Economy partnered with Hollywood legends—including director Robert Townsend—to create original web series as well as one feature film, In the Hive, based on a real-life school One Economy created in rural North Carolina. One Economy received a Webby award, two Telly awards, and an NAACP Image Award nomination, among many others for their original content.
We are an organization advancing people through technology.