Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International

Storytelling is a time-honored tradition in communities and cultures around the globe. However in today’s world, getting the best stories to break through the “noise” can sometimes be a challenge, considering all the digital means we now have to share information.

In my job, I come across great stories all the time as I travel to roughly 40 countries a year and meet our customers, partners and all the people whose lives are impacted by our technology. I am always very encouraged to see the positive impact technology is having in these communities, and am constantly looking for ways to spread the word on these great stories.

That is one of the reasons I am very proud to blog about our Local Impact Map.  It’s an online application that brings these stories to life, and shows how technology is making a difference in communities everywhere.  It uses the latest Bing Maps technology to enable you to navigate the globe in seconds and find local stories that might be of interest to you. We now have catalogued 1,400 stories from more than 100 countries on the map. To celebrate the launch of the new version of the Local Impact Map, I would like to share three great stories with you: 

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Story #1: A program in Africa helps young women gain IT skills through mentoring and local community support to complete their educational journey. In partnership with Microsoft, the Global Give Back Circle implemented IT Labs to assist these girls with valuable programming, web design, and productivity tools such as Office. Read more about this inspiring program.

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Story #2: Parents want their children to use computers for all of the amazing learning opportunities that technology can enable, but want to ensure that their kids stay safe online. In Japan, we worked with a nonprofit organization to host an after-school club for the youth in the community, and help them learn about computer safety through games. Check out the story.

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Story #3: In Russia, our employees came together to volunteer their time and provide assistance for a local boarding school for blind children. The team provided new hardware for a computer lab and training for the teachers. This is one of the many examples showcasing our employees giving back to our neighbors around the world.

As you explore the Local Impact Map, what is your favorite story and what inspires you?

Please share with us below in the comments, on Twitter, or post it on our Facebook wall. We look forward to hearing how you tell the story. 

 Jean-Philippe Courtois leads global sales, marketing and services for Microsoft International, a territory that spans over 100 subsidiaries operating in over 240 countries outside the United States and Canada. As president of Microsoft International, Courtois drives strategic planning, global operations and key growth initiatives in developed and emerging markets. Outside of Microsoft, Courtois is administrator for PlaNet Finance and Microsoft's official representative at the Institut Montaigne. He has served as co-chairman of the World Economic Forum's Global Digital Divide Initiative Task Force and on the European Commission Information and Communication Technology task force. In 2009, he also served as an EU Ambassador for the Year of Creativity and Innovation, and in 2011 he was named as one of "Tech's Top 25" by The Wall Street Journal Europe. A French national, Courtois obtained his diplôme des études commerciales supérieures (DECS) from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce, Nice (CERAM/Skema).