So what can this program teach tech giants like Facebook about closing the digital divide on a global scale?
Smart Communities garnered the support of the neighborhoods it would be servicing by partnering with economic development and community organizations that had already built trust with the residents.
“We really asked the community what their goals were,” said Francesca Rodriquez, a director at the City of Chicago's department of innovation and technology. “They didn’t go out and prescribe for the community, the community prescribed for them.”
No matter how beneficial to education and economic welfare an initiative is, companies might see push back from residents if they try to force connectivity down residents' throats. If Facebook and Google want to make an impact in impoverished areas across the globe, it’s imperative to begin building trust within the local communities.