Posted by Lauren WoodmanGeneral Manager of Government and Education Programs, Worldwide Public Sector
This week Microsoft is hosting the Education Leaders Forum in Warsaw, Poland in conjunction with the 2010 Imagine Cup World Finals. Great event – great to bring together education leaders to talk about the role that education plays in building economic competitiveness, and particularly interesting to do so against the backdrop of the Imagine Cup Finals where so many great examples of innovation and the new perspective that students can bring to the world are being celebrated.
While we are inspired by the student projects at Imagine Cup, we can use that inspiration to spark discussion on serious issues with education leaders from all over the world. Nurturing a competitive economy is a challenge that all governments face, and we believe that a combination of information communication technology (ICT) and targeted policy focus will create the best possible environment for education to thrive and improve a country’s economic competitiveness. This morning we all had a chance to hear from President of Microsoft International, Jean-Philippe Courtois about what he believes ICT can do to help people and organizations around the world reach their full potential. One thing that really resonated with me as I think of my work with schools and teachers all over the world as part of Microsoft Partners in Learning is the fact that, in 5 years, more than 90% of all jobs will require ICT skills of some kind. This means that ICT education cannot be just for the traditional Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Design students any more, but for ALL students as they prepare for new careers. You can read a summary of Jean-Philippe’s comments and all of the keynotes from the event at www.ELF2010.org.
Creating the right environment in which innovation and economic growth can occur is challenging and requires that policymakers look broadly at business, research, and workforce development areas. Many times, these discussions are appropriately focused on how to train young people through university or vocational education for productive careers. This is why we are so excited to hear that both in Europe & North America, some of our Microsoft technical certifications are being accredited to count for college credit by HETAC in Ireland and ACE in the US & Canada, as well as the new global availability of some of our most popular stepping stones to these courses, the Microsoft Technology Associate program.
This is important work and cannot be overlooked. But we must also not forget the critically important role of primary and secondary education in laying the best foundation for future success. In my work, I have the privilege of working with teachers from around the world who recognize that their young students need more than just a solid foundation in reading, writing and arithmetic to be prepared for tomorrow. They need new skills, like critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to work collaboratively, for example, to be ready for both the workplace and university.
Posted by David Bowermaster Administrator, Microsoft on
For the past five years Corporate Counsel
magazine has conducted an annual review to identify the country’s
top in-house legal teams. This week, we were pleased to learn that
Corporate Counsel has named Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs the Best Legal Department
Corporate Counsel has published a lengthy
story online that reviews many of the accomplishments and
challenges overcome by Microsoft’s legal team in recent years, many of
which will be familiar to frequent readers of this blog. The online
content package includes a video
interview with Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith, as well as
commentary from Corporate
Counsel Executive Editor Brian Zabcik on the magazine’s selection
process and the editors’ reasons for naming Microsoft this year’s
Folks in Redmond are feeling both honored and humbled by Corporate
Counsel’s accolades and want to congratulate their fellow honorees in
the legal departments at Discover Financial Services, Hewlett-Packard
Company and The Williams Companies.
Posted by Peter Cullen Chief Privacy Strategist
Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce is holding a symposium
in Washington, D.C. to examine the important nexus between privacy and
innovation in the online world. The meeting, hosted by Commerce
Secretary Gary Locke, is part of the department’s recently announced
comprehensive review of Information
Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy.
I have been invited to participate on a panel at today’s event that
will look at how U.S. and international privacy protections and
enforcement are working in practice, and explore how the U.S. legal
system can influence privacy protection in the private sector and
This review is coming at a critical juncture. Social media and
mobile computing are pushing societal boundaries and expectations around
privacy. At the same time, increasing flows and aggregation of data
brought about by cloud computing, ambiguities in domestic privacy laws
and fissures in the global regulatory framework are accelerating the
need for updated online privacy protections. Each of these trends
present challenges for organizations seeking to responsibly manage data
across geographical boundaries while minimizing risk. Microsoft and our
industry partners called on Congress to enact comprehensive federal
privacy legislation four years ago, and the rapid pace of change in the
Internet environment is making our call for baseline privacy protections
even more urgent.
My comments today will focus on Microsoft’s fundamental belief that
the right balance between innovation and privacy protection can indeed
be achieved. To accomplish this goal, baseline privacy legislation needs
to be flexible, applicable across sectors and technology neutral. It
can build upon the current regulatory framework and should operate in
tandem with elements of existing self-regulation, enforcement,
privacy-enhancing technologies and sound business practices. Getting the
balance right will also require close cooperation between industry,
government, advocates and consumers. Today’s event is an important step
in fostering that dialogue.