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During the World Economic Forum in January, we hosted a roundtable discussion with experts from around the globe to discuss the challenges facing young people around the world.

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Also during the World Economic Forum, representatives of the first teams to win Imagine Cup Grants met with Microsoft Founder and Chairman Bill Gates to discuss their projects. Left to right: Francisco Perez from Ecuador, Dominik Tomičević from Croatia, Bill Gates, Mohammad Lu’ay Alazzam from Jordan, and Jason Mitsuyuki Wakizaka from the United States.

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Mohammad Lu’ay Alazzam from Team OaSys, based in Jordan, discussed their project with Bill. Horizon is a software and hardware system that allows people who do not have use of their hands/arms to use a computer. Specifically, it tracks head movements and translates these movements into mouse movements. Users get full control of a computer and a cellphone, and can browse the internet, type and connect with ease and at a low cost.

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In January, Skype showcased their Disaster Response platform.

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In March we held our first Innovate for Good event on our campus in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft Innovate for Good, a Microsoft YouthSpark program, is a global community enabling youth to collaborate, inspire and support each other while using technology to make a difference in their communities.

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Some of the Microsoft Citizenship team participating in the #CSRChat on Twitter in April.

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In April, Innovate for Good visits Egypt.

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James Rooney shows a Windows tablet at the Microsoft Citizenship booth at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco in April.

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In May, Innovate for Good reached Singapore.

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And then Innovate for Good moved on to Brussels.

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In June we made the Local Impact Map available to nonprofits.

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In August we partnered with National Journal and The Atlantic to host town halls at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions focused on discussing the issues facing America’s young and emerging workforce.

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In June, we held an Innovate For Good event in Beijing.

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On September 20th we announced Microsoft YouthSpark, our companywide initiative to create opportunities for 300 million young people around the world over the next three years. You can find out more about Microsoft YouthSpark here.

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In September we hosted an engaging panel at the Mashable Social Good Summit in New York, focused on helping close the opportunity divide among the world’s young people. Along with Lori Harnick, General Manager or Citizenship & Public Affairs at Microsoft were Mari Kuraishi, co-founder and president of GlobalGiving Foundation, Microsoft Researcher danah boyd, and Mary Mwende and Anthony Carmona, two inspirational young people whose diverse, personal experiences illustrate how together we can help youth succeed.

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On September 27th Microsoft launched a detailed whitepaper documenting ideas for a National Talent Strategy that would help secure U.S. competitiveness and economic growth at an event at the Brookings Institution.

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In September, 5,000 Microsoft employees volunteered for this year’s United Way Day of Caring, supporting over 200 projects. Here’s some of the Citizenship team hard at work.

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October is the month of Giving at Microsoft when our people in the United States show their passion and commitment to the nonprofits and community groups they support. The first large scale event is traditionally the 5K run – this year over just under 3,000 people ran, jogged and strolled along the course raising money for their chosen nonprofit. The youngest participant was Mackenzie Croswell who was just 4 weeks old. Here's Mom (Lorna Croswell) and Mackenzie at the start line (Thanks to Mackenzie’s dad John Croswell for sharing).

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The Cats of Microsoft calendar is just one, albeit a popular one, of thousands of innovative ways Microsoft employees raise funds during our month of Giving every October.

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In October we had a special event with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Chairman and Founder Bill Gates to commemorate Microsoft’s 30th Employee Giving Campaign during a special town hall event. It included the announcement that Microsoft employees have raised $1 billion in cash since 1983 for more than 31,000 nonprofits and community organizations in the U.S. and around the world.

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In October, we released our 2012 Citizenship Report.

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Also in October, Windows 8 launched around the world, and it’s now available to nonprofits via the Microsoft software donations program.

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In November, as part of Microsoft YouthSpark, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron along with Luke Hennerley, David Robertson, Cheyenne Brown, Ben Freeman and Charlie Gilbert announced Get On outside 10 Downing Street. Get On aims to help 300,000 unemployed young people in the UK.

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Also during November, as part of the launch of YouthSpark in Argentina, Microsoft's Brad Smith met with the board of Argentinean nonprofit Fundacion Equidad to witness the great work it is doing providing IT skills and job placement for youth. He also met with beneficiaries Florencia Ordoñez, Jonathan Quaranta, and Marcos Bogarin. The YouthSpark grant to Fundacion Equidad will support 5,000 beneficiaries in Argentina.

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In what will hopefully become a new tradition, November 25th was the very first Giving Tuesday.

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In December, the the second annual Imagine Cup Grant winners were announced at the Social Innovation Summit in Mountain View, California. The teams, which came from Germany, Australia, Egypt, Uganda and Ukraine, spent the week meeting advisors, venture capitalists and social entrepreneurs, while still managing to fit in some sightseeing in San Francisco and Seattle.

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In December, we announced that Windows 8 is now available in the Cherokee language.