Q: What is the inspiration behind Comcast NBCUniversal's corporate citizenship programs?
David: We always want to be a respected corporate leader that makes our communities better while providing world-class media and technology to educate, empower, connect, and inspire our audiences and customers.
For more than half a century, our company has played a defining role in shaping the future of media and technology, and we maintain an unwavering commitment to pursue transformative ways to enrich people’s lives and create stronger communities for generations to come. Our achievements in making our technology more accessible to blind and visually impaired customers is a perfect example of the impact we aspire to make. We're proud that our accessibility innovations have been recognized by Associated Services for the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, the American Association of People with Disabilities, and the FCC, among others.
We also deeply believe in making technology more accessible to people regardless of income, so that everyone has equal access to the opportunities that can empower them to improve their lives. Closing the digital divide is imperative in the 21st century, and while our Internet Essentials program has connected more than 2.4 million low-income Americans to the Internet at home, we recognize much more needs to be done and are committed to doing so.
Q: As technology evolves, how does that change the way Comcast NBCUniversal helps communities connect?
David: While innovation is good for our business and our customers, we also believe it’s good for our communities. In the past year, we’ve put tremendous effort into supporting entrepreneurship in cities like Denver, Nashville, New Haven, and Philadelphia as we put a new emphasis on how communities experience our company.
One of our goals is to help build entrepreneurial ecosystems outside of traditional tech cities like San Francisco and Seattle so that other communities and cities can reap the social and economic benefits of a vibrant startup culture.
Q: How do you see Comcast NBCUniversal’s corporate citizenship role evolving on a wider scale?
David: We’re always looking for ways to use technology to benefit our customers and audiences and the communities we share. We have an amazing storytelling platform, including film, television, news media, digital, and theme parks. And from the top down, we’re committed to using the full power of that platform to improve lives around the world. We can use it to entertain, but we can also use it to inform and educate. We can tell compelling stories that touch on important social issues and inspire our viewers to take action.
Last May, we teamed up with Comic Relief, Walgreens, and several other partners to bring Red Nose Day from the U.K. to the United States. The star-studded three-hour event was fun and funny and moving, and it raised more than $23 million to help lift young people out of poverty worldwide, including here in the U.S.
This year, we are amplifying our efforts with Red Nose Day and also Global Citizen, which encourages ordinary citizens to get involved in the fight against global poverty and other critical issues. Joining together epitomizes our company’s commitment to use the strength of the entire Comcast NBCUniversal platform to take on big and important issues.
Q: You’ve said that Comcast NBCUniversal is committed to being the model company for diversity and inclusion. What 2015 diversity initiatives best represent that mission?
David: We were the first media and technology company to become a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, which recognizes companies that spend more than $1 billion annually with minority- and women-owned suppliers. We’re passionate about advancing supply chain opportunities for diverse businesses and believe it’s important to share best practices and thought leadership with others in our industry.
We also announced our goal of hiring 10,000 veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses by year-end 2017. People in the military community bring valuable leadership, technology, and problem-solving skills to the table, and their diverse experiences enrich our business.