On 9 April, more than 120 young people gathered in Beijing to participate in the second ever Microsoft Innovate for Good event to be held in China. The event was jointly organised by Microsoft and the Tsinghua University Student Club, and provided the platform for participants to discuss how to leverage innovative technologies to solve emerging social issues.

Part of the global Microsoft YouthSpark programme, the objective of the Innovate for Good event is to aid young people in collaborating, inspiring and supporting one another through technology. The main participants consisted of beneficiaries from the various Microsoft youth programmes, non-governmental organisation (NGO) representatives and young Microsoft employees.

In his keynote speech, David Chen, Vice President and General Manager of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Greater China Region, highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to fostering greater opportunities for young people in China through partnerships with leading NGOs in the country and the recently launched China YouthSpark programme.

“Through our initiatives, we hope to provide young people in China with improved access to innovative technology and advanced learning resources to support their new ideas, which will contribute to the development of China’s knowledge-driven economy. Our aim is to empower the next generation of young people through the transformative power of technology,” Mr Chen said.

Jingyang Han, Vice President of Tsinghua University Council, spoke highly of the contributions Microsoft has made towards changing people’s lives and inspiring youth with advanced technologies and products.

Ms Han said, “Tsinghua University is honoured to be working with an organisation that shares the same values. The youth development and social entrepreneurship programmes initiated by Microsoft in China are a demonstration of its strong commitment to social responsibility.”

During the event, Ji Dong, the CEO of Protection & Ease, shared his experience of how the YouthSpark initiative and the Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Programme supported his social entrepreneurship venture, aimed at helping visually impaired people utilise smartphones and other technologies to communicate effectively.

Other event highlights included a showcase of Kinect® for Windows® in Sign Language Recognition & Translation for people with hearing difficulties, as well as a technology demonstration for Windows AzureTM 3D Scan in Windows Phone 8.

“The youth development and social entrepreneurship programmes initiated by Microsoft in China are a demonstration of its strong commitment to social responsibility.”

- Jingyang Han, Vice President, Tsinghua University Council