Posted by Jacqueline BeauchereDirector, Trustworthy Computing Communications, Microsoft
Unlike their parents who went back to school with new notebooks, pens, pencils, and binders, today’s young people are likely readying for the coming academic year with laptops, tablets and mobile phones. But, before parents arm kids with the latest Internet-enabled devices, it’s a good idea to share some do’s and don’ts about online safety.
Whether it’s a new laptop for research and writing, a tablet for reading, or a mobile phone to get in touch with mom or dad in the event of an emergency, kids are using mobile technology more than ever. Data show that 52 percent of kids ages eight to 12, and 77 percent between 12 and 17, own mobile phones, with teenagers 14 to 17 sending an average of 100 text messages a day.
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
A good deal of discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week has focused on “The Great Transformation” and how technology, leadership and innovation can improve the state of the world for future generations. It’s a vital discussion. Young people represent our collective future. They will be our leaders, our doctors, our scientists, our teachers, innovators and entrepreneurs. But today young people face enormous challenges. While specific challenges vary around the world, it is clear that a fundamental challenge is emerging everywhere – an opportunity divide for young people. While some young people are prospering, others are struggling because they lack the education, skills or opportunities they need to succeed.
More than 100 million youth worldwide lack access to any sort of education and more than 77 million young people are unemployed. Unemployment rates are consistently higher for young people than any other group. There has been unprecedented change in recent years, from a surge in international trade that has fundamentally changed the global economy to major breakthroughs in science that have transformed the way we live. Technology has been a major driving force behind this change, and a major force for good in our economies and societies. But these forces have also created new challenges and caused new dislocations. And the rate of change isn’t slowing.
Posted by Pamela Passman Corporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs
Today we are announcing the latest expansion of our Elevate America program, which aims to provide people across the United States with the technology skills they need to find employment. The Elevate America community initiative will focus on partnering with nonprofits to support job training programs and initiatives in local communities across the country.
Elevate America was launched in February 2009 and since that time we have worked with 32 states and the District of Columbia to distribute over 800,000 training and certification vouchers. In March we announced the Elevate America Veterans initiative which is focusing on building a nationwide coalition to help U.S. veterans and their spouses transition from military to civilian employment. Through this work we have already learned a lot about the complexity of the unemployment issue and the importance of technology skills to those trying to enter or renter the workforce.
The consistent theme across all our Elevate America programs is the necessity for partnership to be at the very core of addressing what is a complex and difficult issue. We acknowledge that while we can bring resources and expertise to bear, ultimately, to be successful, we need the knowledge, reach and skills of partner organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Our Elevate America community initiative builds on a long standing commitment to working with nonprofits on the provision of technology skills training. Since 2003 we have worked in partnership with thousands of nonprofit organizations and reached more than 27 million people.
Today we are issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for nonprofits that have demonstrated expertise in providing employment services with a focus on technology skills training, job placement and related support to connect individuals to sustainable jobs and careers. Following the selection process we are committing $4 million in cash, $6 million worth of software and training curriculum to support the successful applicants over the next two years.
Posted by Claire BonillaSenior Director of Disaster Management
In recognition of World Humanitarian Day on August 19, Microsoft commends the thousands of aid workers who have devoted their lives to bringing assistance to others. The international humanitarian community is facing new challenges spawned by climate change, chronic poverty, food crisis, water and energy scarcity, migration, population growth, urbanization, pandemics, and natural disasters. While much has been achieved, the challenges faced by many millions of people around the world are still daunting and the need for effective humanitarian action is greater than ever.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is leading the UN’s efforts around the world commemorating World Humanitarian Day. Microsoft has been working with UNOCHA to develop OneResponse, a collaborative inter-agency web portal which has been used to enhance humanitarian coordination during disasters like the devastating Haiti earthquake and recent floods in Pakistan.
Personally, I would like to pay tribute to the humanitarian community which has improved the capability to respond rapidly and effectively beyond all recognition in the last 20 years. This is largely due to the dedication of all who have worked tirelessly and contributed their ideas and actions to support the people in need.
As a technology leader, Microsoft is committed to helping humanitarian workers and agencies with the important work they do around the world by providing technology that makes collaboration and communication easier, faster and more efficient. We believe technology has and will continue to transform the way organizations operate to help in the world both in times of disaster and in ongoing humanitarian and development work.
Posted by Curt KolcunVice President, U.S. Public Sector, Microsoft
Today, I had the honor of representing Microsoft as President Barack Obama discussed the administration’s ongoing commitment to fostering opportunities to help prepare the nation’s veterans for their transition to the civilian workforce.
We applaud the President for continuing to draw attention to this very important issue, supporting veterans, as they move from the military to civilian life, and ensuring they are fully supported and see great success along the way.
Microsoft also understands the need in this area. In response, we will step up our existing efforts. We will expand our Elevate America veterans initiative by partnering with the U.S. Department of Labor to distribute 10,000 technology training and certification packages to veterans.