Youth & Opportunity
Engineering , Math
Do you have an idea to help people better track their energy usage? Do you want to help students learn math or science? Have an idea about how to track online donations? Show us how Windows 8 apps can help the world and you can win up to US$15,000.
To celebrate the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft announced a new contest to encourage developers to create apps that positively impact the world around them. From clean energy to improving access to education, developers have the chance to use technology as an agent of change.
For the purposes of the contest, Microsoft Citizenship defines a social good application as “a good or service that provides some sort of benefit to the general public and doesn’t solely exist to provide the maximum possible return to shareholders.” Some examples of social issues include clean water, literacy, food security and a healthy environment. These are all issues that can be aided through the creative use of technology, including apps.
There are 3 key steps to entering the Windows 8 Apps for Good contest:
The contest begins Nov. 5, 2012 and all entries are due by Feb. 28, 2013. After the contest ends, Microsoft Citizenship will open up the entries for public voting, which will end March 15, 2013. The contest winners will be announced March 25, 2013.
Need help? For the purposes of this contest, Microsoft Citizenship recommends the TechSoup Hacker Help Wiki as a reference. You can also find Windows 8 developer tools on MSDN and be sure to check out the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub for additional resources.
Good Luck and Happy Coding!
The US elections are just over and the major concern and worry we all share is the economy and the future of our jobs. With the overall unemployment numbers still very high this anxiety is real. Often when I speak with colleagues about training programs they roll their eyes and ask me why start another training program when there are no jobs available.
If we follow their logic there is nothing we can do. However, as I travel the country and meet people from all walks of life, I hear a different story. People still want new skills that will increase their opportunities for a job. A little while ago Linda Arellano tweeted after we launched our Elevate America program thanking us for this support. She has been unemployed for over two years and believes that training will help her.
While the overall unemployment rate for the U.S. remains steady at 9.6 percent, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars return home to face an unemployment rate 20 percent greater than that of civilians. This got us thinking and just under a year ago Microsoft gathered a group of experts together to start a series of discussions about the issues and challenges facing our nation’s veterans, particularly concerning the transition to civilian employment. We wanted to understand how we could extend our Elevate America program to support them. We saw that in under two years after the introduction of the Elevate America program over 900,000 people signed up for training. We felt that for our veterans we need to have a different program and that there was a lot to learn. We were right on both counts.
Last month, we reconvened this original group, plus six additional organizations at our headquarters in Redmond, Washington, to talk about how we could put what we’ve learned into action. It was both heartwarming to hear how these organizations are facing up to the challenge to support our returning veterans but also concerning when you hear the breadth of challenges they face. The discussion centered on what we could collectively do to support them in a manner whereby the benefits are tangible and real. The result is the Elevate America veterans initiative.
The Elevate America veterans initiative builds on our Elevate America program to address our veterans - a community typically underserved with the support they need to make the leap from the military to civilian workforce. More than half of today’s jobs require some technology skills, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that will reach 77 percent in the next decade.
We have been fortunate to work with an advisory group - the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), The American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, United Service Organizations (USO), and the Wounded Warrior Project – who were able to bring the benefit of their direct experience with veterans across the country into our planning around this program. The veterans initiative goes beyond our existing Elevate America programs because it couples technology skills training with ancillary services such as career counseling, job placement, childcare, transportation, and housing services.
Today, we are proud to announce result of this work. There are six nonprofit recipients of our Elevate America veterans initiative grants who will provide new education, job training and placement programs to help give veterans and their spouses the skills and resources they need to be successful in today’s civilian work force. Through these grants, Microsoft is providing $2 million in cash and up to $6 million in software and information technology (IT) skills training curriculum to the following organizations:
Each of these organizations and their partners represent a unique program and service model, serving veterans and spouses across the country. Together, we hope that we can learn best practices, share models that work well and ultimately help scale these efforts broadly to meet the needs of the thousands of veterans and spouses who could benefit from this type of support.
As we approach Veterans Day we hope that our work with these organizations goes a small way towards recognizing the contributions and sacrifices of our veterans. They deserve all the support we can provide.
More veterans resources:
We share one the best part-time jobs in the world. As co-chairs of the annual Microsoft Giving Campaign, we get the opportunity to see firsthand how our colleagues bring passion, creativity and generosity to raise much needed funds for community organizations around the globe. In 2010, we raised an outstanding $96 million. We wondered if we could go higher in 2011 and we did, knowing our employees would rise to the challenge.
In 2011 Microsoft employees across the United States raised $100.5 million, which includes corporate matching. This marks our biggest year yet, and brings the total amount of money raised by employees to $946 million since our giving program started in 1983.
Each full-time, U.S. based Microsoft employee receives an annual $12,000 benefit that matches donations, dollar-for-dollar, to eligible nonprofits. In 2011, 35,500 employees donated to support more than 18,000 community organizations across the globe. If an employee wishes to volunteer their personal time, we honor that donation, too. Employee volunteer time is matched $17/hour to their chosen organization. In 2011, employees committed 426,671 hours which raised $7.2 million for nonprofits. That brings the total number of volunteering hours to 1.7 million hours since we started tracking in 2006.
While employee giving takes place throughout the year, October is a special month for our offices across the U.S. Over 50 percent of the fundraising takes place during that time. Every year we are amazed by the creativity demonstrated by Microsoft employees. From flocking a colleague’s office with pink flamingos; to running a 5K around the Microsoft campus or virtually around the world; to bidding on a coveted reserved parking space on campus through our online auction, it’s fun to watch it all happen.
Our employees assist thousands of nonprofit organizations through their donations and volunteering. For example, Adnan Mahmud founded Jolkona, a micro-giving nonprofit that supports grassroots organizations and has over a dozen employee volunteers who committed over 2,000 hours to building the technology platform. And then there are employees like Toby Velte who volunteers at his daughter’s school via EduConnect and teaches students about careers in technology. Toby rallied a team of Microsoft parents to raise money to fund a PC lab in their school district to teach students programming via the Kodu Games Labs.
We are so proud to share these results on behalf of Microsoft employees across the US. This $100,000,000 milestone is due to the many volunteers across our organization that worked tirelessly to help make it happen. Motivating and encouraging all of us every step of the way. We want to thank them for their contribution in making 2011 the largest year of employee giving yet!
It is our privilege to work alongside so many people that care so deeply and give so generously.
Kathleen Hogan was co-chair of the 2011 Microsoft Giving Campaign and is Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Services
As corporate vice president of Microsoft Services, Kathleen Hogan leads a global team of more than 19,000 professionals who are dedicated to helping businesses and individual consumers maximize the value of their investment in Microsoft technologies. Under her leadership, Microsoft Services helps customers meet their business and personal objectives by effectively deploying and supporting Microsoft software and services.
S. Somasegar was co-chair of the 2011 Microsoft Giving Campaign and is Corporate Vice President, Developer Division
As corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Somasegar is responsible for engineering and marketing for developer tools and services, programming languages and runtimes designed for a broad base of software developers and development teams, including the Visual Studio and Expression families of products, .NET Framework, and Team Foundation Server. Somasegar also owns developer evangelism efforts spanning the full array of Microsoft platforms. His team also owns MSDN and TechNet online properties to enable a deep connection with the developer and IT professional audiences. In addition, Somasegar is responsible for the Server and Tools Business Global Development Centers in China, India and Israel and is the executive sponsor for the India Development Center and the Israel Research and Development Center for all of Microsoft.
This week Microsoft, in partnership with National Journal and The Atlantic, hosted Conversations with the Next Generation, a youth town hall in Charlotte, N.C. The conversation, convened in the midst of the Democratic National Convention, focused on critical issues for young Americans, including the economy, jobs and education. This followed a similar event at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL last week.
Town hall participants included actors and young leaders such as former White House public outreach aide Kal Penn, Voto Latino leader America Ferrera, The Creative Coalition member Alfre Woodard, StudentsFirst Founder and CEO Michelle Rhee, MTV’s Andrew Jenks, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Young Democrats President Rod Snyder and local education leaders including Johnson C. Smith University President Dr. Ronald Carter and student Charles Hauser. Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President, also participated, offering opening remarks for the town hall.
You can find out more about the event on the ‘Microsoft on the Issues’ blog and we’ve included some video highlights below.
Mayor Kasim Reed at "Conversations with the Next Generation" Charlotte Town Hall
Kal Penn at "Conversations with the Next Generation" Charlotte Town Hall
Michelle Rhee at "Conversations with the Next Generation" Charlotte Town Hall
Today we are making a number of updates to our global software donations program designed to give more nonprofit organizations access to the technology they need, when they need it. We’re currently reaching more than 40,000 organizations around the world each year – translating into over $3.9 billion of donated software since 1998 - but we know there’s a great opportunity to reach even more nonprofits and communities.
The updates to the program are part of our commitment to bring the benefits of software to more nonprofits to support positive social and economic development in local communities around the world. Every day we see first-hand how software is helping nonprofits reduce their costs, boost productivity, raise more funds, and ultimately deliver new and improved services in their local communities.
There are a number of updates we’re announcing today, including:
In addition to these changes which apply to over 100 countries, we are also adding additional changes for the 35 countries who are served by the TechSoup Global Network including Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Rep., Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, and the United States:
These new updates are effective immediately.
If you work in a nonprofit organization, please go to http://www.microsoft.com/nonprofit to review eligibility guidelines and learn how to apply.
You can also read more about the program changes in detail on TechSoup’s site: Overview of Microsoft Software Donations, and you can review our Frequently Asked Questions.
If you don’t work in a nonprofit, take a minute to look at the video below and tell your favorite nonprofit how they can get a software donation from Microsoft. We’ve created some text you can use that makes it simple.
Please help us spread the word, and make your cause, our cause.
Akhtar Badshah, senior director of community affairs, Microsoft.
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