WASHINGTON DC, JANUARY 13, 2023 – The People-Centered Internet (“PCI”) is launching “Puerto Rico Prosperity Initiative” (“PRPI”), an initiative designed to bring businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies together with the people of Puerto Rico to provide increased digital access to key resources and services from the government for future prosperity.
PCI, who developed the Digital Recovery Plan for Puerto Rico, under FEMA, is engaging with partners from the U.S. government, Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce (“DEDC”), the private sector, and local communities to act on four key mandates:
- Future-proof the energy and communications infrastructure to provide stable services
- Innovate access to capital to fund small and mid-sized businesses to fuel job creation
- Update digital commercial regulation to foster growth
- Establish Community Learning Living Labs for feedback & participation by the people
The Federal Government has allocated $120 billion to Puerto Rico’s recovery, infrastructure, and economic growth through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), American Rescue Plan (ARP) and other funding mechanisms. The Federal Plan for Equitable Long Term Recovery and Resilience “All people and places, thriving. No Exceptions” to improve individual and community resilience and well-being, is an inclusive government-wide approach.
“PRPI will serve as a model for effective and iterative cross-sector collaboration with a data-driven approach,” said Dr. Carlos Rivera-Velez, the Leader of Puerto Rico’s Sustainability Development Council. “By bringing officials, local businesses, and the communities they serve, into this process, we can deliver outcomes that the people are committed to achieving.”
Led by PCI’s Chief Strategy Officer Jascha Stein, PRPI will begin in March 2023 with a series of three-month sprints with work streams identified and selected for the foundational impact that they can have on the Puerto Rican economy, which can have wider benefit across the island. The program is modeled after The Opportunity Project (TOP) and builds upon the success of the first-ever TOP Puerto Rico sprint cycle in 2022.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are recognized as the largest creators of jobs and also the hardest hit in times of crisis,” said Eileen Murray, former Chair of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates, who is also advising PRPI. “Providing increased digital access to key resources and services can ensure that these businesses have the funding they need to generate jobs and provide stability to their communities.”
“Create success in ways that can scale – that was the early model of how the Internet spread,” said Vint Cerf, Co-Founder of PCI and co-creator of the Internet protocol suite, TCP/IP. “Puerto Rico is well positioned to establish green, resilient digital value chains that can succeed on the island and scale out globally, allowing us all to learn together and share best practices.”
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY PROJECT
A program of Census Open Innovation Labs to use government data to build digital tools with, by and for the people, the Opportunity Project (“TOP”) offers a framework for Federal Agencies to facilitate collaboration between technologists and community advocates to rapidly design digital solutions for the public good. For more information, please visit the TOP website at https://opportunity.census.gov/
ABOUT PEOPLE-CENTERED INTERNET
Founded in 2018, the People-Centered Internet is a nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure that communities realize the full benefit that digital tools can provide when implemented in open, united, and resilient ways. For more information, please visit the PCI website at www.peoplecentered.net.