On behalf of the Community Affairs team welcome to the tech4Good archive. We believe community organizations do amazing work and with the help of technology your work can be even more impactful. This archive houses our past electronic newsletters, a resource for you, our community organization partners.

The newsletters showcase technology solutions specifically for community organizations that provide opportunities to help you work more effectively and efficiently - so you can focus on your core mission. Each issue contains links to articles, success stories and free software solutions, based on themes pertinent to your work such as learning new skills, accessibility, mobile technology and green IT. Each issue contains links to articles, success stories and free software solutions. We welcome your feedback.

  • Nonprofits' Use of Social Media in Asia Pacific: Interview with Heather Mansfield, Part 2 of 3

    This is the 2nd part of 3-part interview series on social media, nonprofits and Asia Pacific. Microsoft Corporate Citizenship caught up with Heather Mansfield, Principal Blogger of Nonprofit Tech for Good, while in Melbourne, Australia, to get her perspectives on social media and advice for nonprofits in Asia Pacific.

    As part of our Technology for Good programming in Asia Pacific, Microsoft provides social media training for the nonprofit sector through workshops, webinars and articles. Take a look at these articles you might have missed about social media and nonprofits: 

    To find out more about Microsoft's resources for the nonprofit sector and upcoming events in your country, subscribe to the Tech4Good e-newsletter.

    Stay tuned for the final part in this interview series with Heather Mansfield and visit the Nonprofit Tech for Good blog for valuable resources about nonprofits and social media.  

  • Incubating High-tech Talent in New Zealand

    This post is part of a series spotlighting Asia Pacific nonprofit organisations that have incorporated a thorough understanding of technology and education into their learning programmes for youth. These organisations attended Microsoft’s Tech4Good Summit (12-13 February 2014) in Singapore.

    In 2012, New Zealand’s high-tech industry contributed more than US$2 billion in exports, and is seen as a promising drive behind the nation’s economic growth. Despite this and having a population of young people ranked among the most tech savvy in the world, Kiwi employers are still struggling to fill positions in the IT sector, attributing this to inadequate skills among candidates.

     Participants with their tools at one of the High Tech Youth Studios

    It is for such opportunities that learning and development nonprofit organisation (NPO) High Tech Youth Network implements skills training for underserved young people in the Oceania region. Their main programmes, the Studio and the Academy, provide training in 3D engineering, animation, robotics and video game development.


    At the six High Tech Youth Studios across New Zealand, young people, ranging from age eight to 25, work closely with volunteer industry mentors, using state-of-the-art facilities that are kitted out with 3D printers, a music recording studio and even a green screen area and film editing studio. Here, participants can also utilise professional software, such as Microsoft Kodu, Adobe Creative Suite and Sony Vegas to learn and create.

    The High Tech Youth Academy, formally launched by Prime Minister John Key and Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand Paul Muckleston, will open its doors to students aged 17 to 24 years old in March 2014 to steer them towards different pathways in the high-tech and creative sector—with a stronger emphasis on current and future technology concepts in hardware, application and creative fields. The Microsoft IT Academy programme will be incorporated in the offerings to link participants to employment opportunities in tech industries.

    imageFilemoni Timoteo, the organisation’s Chief Operating Officer, believes in social-cultural constructivism as the ideal pedagogy. The theory posits that people learn best through doing, allowing participants to construct personal meaning from their experience. “We see our programmes as providing a solid foundation for learning—with flexible parameters,” he said, and added that “the only limits come from the learner’s own ambitions and dreams.”

    To date, Studio members have successfully had their stories selected for the media arts conference biennial Adobe Youth Voices Summit, a week-long gathering of young people and educators from around the world to celebrate the creativity and promise of the next generation.

    “The beauty of technology is that it doesn’t discriminate. It enables anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity or gender, who has the access, to create—anything,” said Filemoni.

  • Engaging Youth, Empowering Minds, Enriching Lives

    This post is part of a series spotlighting Asia Pacific nonprofit organisations that have incorporated a thorough understanding of technology and education into their learning programmes for youth. These organisations attended Microsoft’s Tech4Good Summit (12-13 February 2014) in Singapore.

    In Hong Kong, you can get the world’s best technological infrastructure, however, there is a considerable number of disadvantaged and deprived people who remain on the sidelines. Digitally excluded groups are mired in a vicious cycle as they continue to be socially and financially disadvantaged, and closing the gap has become a priority for the Hong Kong government and civil society.

    One such nonprofit is The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong (BCGA), which has been promoting the well-being of children and youth since 1936, through direct services, advocacy and research on issues such as the mental well-being, special needs and resource needs of vulnerable families, children and youth.

     Children trying out sound recording.

    Ida Lim, Assistant Supervisor at BGCA, said, “We’re constantly following changes in society. For instance, the new government cabinet, new secondary qualifications and widening income inequality all affect the young people we work with. We have seen technology help vulnerable groups in certain ways, but we are also seeing low-income families finding it harder and harder to catch up.”

    BGCA is now spearheading a chain of educational programmes on digital technologies that aim to do more than simply impart awareness and basic knowledge. These new courses have a heavy focus on coaching participants to solve problems, collaborate and create, effectively training young people to go beyond being mere consumers of technology to being content producers.

    One programme, the Digital Creativity Project (DC@7), has monthly workshops to provide hands-on experience with the latest technology such as animation, programming, photo-editing and QR code generation. Children have an avenue to express and explore their creativity through trial and error. This approach not only empowers them with digital literacy, it also drives them to innovate, as well as reinforce their critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills.

    A boy tries his hand at drawing with a stylus during DC@7.

    Hard and soft skills empowerment is only the first step, as underprivileged youth still need support in accessing opportunities. BGCA and Microsoft have partnered on the ‘Excelling Microsoft Training Programme for Youth’ project to provide 640 underprivileged youth participants with computer skills training, and more importantly, career guidance and entrepreneurship referrals to BizSpark, a Microsoft programme that provides free software, support and visibility to help startups succeed.

  • Part 1 of 3: Social Media and Nonprofits - Interview with Heather Mansfield

    Microsoft Corporate Citizenship caught up with Heather Mansfield, Principal Blogger of Nonprofit Tech For Good in Melbourne, Australia to get her perspectives on social media and advice for nonprofits in Asia Pacific. 

    As part of its Technology for Good programming in Asia Pacific, Microsoft hosts social media workshops for the nonprofit sector.  To read about past events, see the event summaries on Storify here.  To find out more about Microsoft's resources for the nonprofit sector and upcoming events in your country, subscribe to the Tech4Good e-newsletter.

    Stay tuned for the next two parts in this three-part interview series with Heather Mansfield and visit the Nonprofit Tech for Good blog for valuable resources about nonprofits and social media.   

  • Tech4Good Webinar Series :: Women, Girls & Tech

    Join us for this FREE webinar on "Women, Girls & Tech", Thursday, 20 March 2014, at 12:00 pm (Singapore time).

    Register today!

    In honour of International Women's Day on 8 March, this month’s webinar will focus on women and girls, showcasing technology solutions and programmes that have impacted their lives. Our panellists come from non-profit organisations that promote women’s rights, health and employment opportunities and women in leadership roles. They will share stories about the role technology plays in their organisations and how it helps to advance their programmes in Bangladesh, Hong Kong and the Philippines.     

     

    Our panelists this month are:

    ·       Su-Mei Thompson: Chief Executive Officer, The Women’s Foundation (TWF), Hong Kong

    ·      Dr Ananya Raihan:  Executive Director, Dnet, Bangladesh  

    ·      Sam Raras:  Secretary, Boart of Trustees, WeDpro, Philippines

    About our panellists: 

    Su-Mei Thompson: Su-Mei is the CEO of The Women’s Foundation (TWF), a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission of Hong Kong and the founder of the 30% Club HK, a group of chairmen championing more women on corporate boards. She previously worked at Linklaters, The Walt Disney Company, the Financial Times and Christie’s. TWF is a leading NGO dedicated to the advancement of women in Hong Kong and recently partnered with Microsoft to launch GirlSpark, a new programme to encourage girls to consider careers in tech.

    Dr Ananya Raihan:  Ananya, an Ashoka Fellow, is the Executive Director of Dnet, a social enterprise for promoting access to information and knowledge for all citizens through interactive digital media. He works to promote the concept of social entrepreneurship to link bottom-of-the pyramid markets with national and global markets. His new concept ‘Infolady’ opens employment opportunities to thousands of women in rural Bangladesh with the power of ICT. Dr Raihan has also been instrumental in launching the first of its kind globally national scale mHealth service ‘Aponjon’ for expecting and new mothers.

    Sam Raras: Sam, Secretary of WeDpro’s Board of Trustees, has extensive experience in the areas of Knowledge Management, Gender and Development, Information and Communications Technology and Data Analysis. She has been volunteering for WeDpro since 2005 and has served the organisation in different capacities. Sam has also volunteered in other international development organisations such as GIZ and is a United Nations Volunteer. WeDpro is a nonprofit collective in the Philippines that works in the area of human rights by defending the rights of women, children, youth and their communities through gender responsive development programmes.

    We look forward to having you join us for this FREE webinar on Thursday, 20 March 2014, at 12:00 pm (Singapore time).