This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with leading professionals. In this blog, I interview Michael Furdyk. I was asked for a panel/speaker recommendation for the fall OECD conference which Canada is hosting and Michael's name came to mind. He brings an amazing level of energy and insight which is rare today. I first caught Michael presenting at the Informatics Conference in Halifax in May where he shared his entrepreneurial success story starting at a very early age and continuing to this day. Michael spoke about the large youth generation and why it's important to know about this group.
For IT Managers and executives, you to need to factor in the demographic trends that Michael speaks about. It can affect your company's operations and it's ability to grow to a broader customer or consumer base in addition to ensuring continuing productivity with the organization. Michael also has passion to making a contribution to the social fabric of this planet with TakingITGlobal.org and DigitalDivide.net. Take the time to listen to the podcast!
I encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Enjoy! Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., MVP
About Michael Furdyk
Michael Furdyk is the Co-founder and Director of Technology for TakingITGlobal.org, a global online community for young people, engaging hundreds of thousands of youth in over 200 countries and territories. Along with managing the technology team at TakingITGlobal, Michael is involved with the TIGed education program, and has spoken to over 50,000 educators about the importance of engaging students and integrating technology and global perspectives into the classroom.
In the past, he has turned his interest in technology into a series of successful online companies, co-founding MyDesktop.com (later sold to Internet.com) and BuyBuddy.com (which raised $4.5-million of venture capital). Over the last few years, Michael has consulted for many Fortune 500 companies, including a 6-month engagement developing youth strategy with Microsoft in Seattle, Washington.
As one of Teen People's "20 teens that will change the world", Michael has shared his opinions about Youth Engagement and experiences as a member of the Net Generation by speaking at dozens of events, including the World Congress on IT, the US Government's National Youth Summit, Microsoft's Anytime, Anywhere Learning Summits, The Business Council, and TED. He has made numerous media appearances including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Time Magazine, Fast Company, BusinessWeek, CNN, MSNBC, and USA Today. He is a board member and advisor to numerous groups including Microsoft, Pollution Probe, the Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation, and several other national and global organizations.
How do you interact with this youth gen when we know so little?
That's a great question. I think many of us from older generations struggle with relating to those that are coming through the ranks after us. This new generation has grown up with the Internet and has had all this access to information which, I believe, has given them a unique world view. The world is a much smaller place for them and they are more aware of the problems and challenges that the world is facing.
In order to understand them, talk to them. Ask for their opinions and ideas. Don't simply dismiss them as being too young. I think you'll find that they have fresh ideas and viewpoints.
Don Tapscott also talks about this generation and how to engage. There's an interview here where you can get added insights. We at CIPS also did an Academic Youth Forum and webcast where youth attitudes were highlighted to support broader engagement in technology education. You can find out more at www.cips.ca and clicking the News link and looking at the September issues of CIPS Connections--our newsletter.