Youth & Opportunity
Engineering , Math
Enter the Tech for Good Contest for Nonprofits and Libraries in WA State
After more than ten years of working in and around the nonprofit sector in Washington State, there is no doubt in my mind that technology is helping organizations to increase their impact in our communities. There is also no doubt in my mind that surfacing and sharing the successful examples of this impact is hard! But sharing examples of your successful use of technology with other nonprofits is so important. It can help others in the sector be inspired and learn from your examples, and can help demonstrate to funders and stakeholders the social return on technology investment.
That’s where the 2011 Tech for Good Contest comes in. Sure, sharing successes takes time and effort… But if you take the time to tell us how you are using Microsoft software to create impact in your communities, we will make it worth your effort!
About the Contest
Together with TechSoup, Microsoft is excited to announce the 2011 Tech for Good Contest for nonprofits and public libraries in Washington State. Submissions open today and are accepted on a rolling basis until just before midnight (Pacific time) on Tuesday, January 18th. Share how you’re using Microsoft software to engage your stakeholders and make a difference in your community, and you could ring in the New Year with some great prizes!
The winners will receive a $5,000 unrestricted cash grant, up to $100,000 worth of donated Microsoft software, consulting services donated by NPower Seattle, and more!
Submissions Open: December 20, 2010, 9 a.m. Pacific time
Submissions Close: January 18, 2011, 12 a.m. Pacific time
Public Winners Announcement: by February 7, 2011, 10 a.m. Pacific time
Shout it from the rooftops!
It’s the time of year for resolutions and new beginnings. Let’s resolve to surface more examples of how Washington’s nonprofits and public libraries are using technology to create meaningful impact in our communities. I hope you’ll enter and shout your tech success from the proverbial rooftop!
Read the full contest rules and prep your contest entry at www.showyourimpact.org/microsoft. I look forward to learning from your tech success!
And don’t forget your nonprofit can avail of software donations from Microsoft. Find out more here.
One of the great things about my job is that I get to regularly talk with students across the country about Corporate Citizenship. Recently I had the opportunity to talk with students a little closer to home when I was at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business to work with a few classes of aspiring MBA scholars.
(Pictured Below: University of Washington's PACCAR Building, Foster School of Business)
I delivered a presentation to Scott Reynolds’ Ethical Leadership classes on the role of business in society and talked about the expectations various countries have related to corporate responsibility in addressing social issues. I always enjoy sharing the work we are doing at Microsoft in the area of corporate citizenship (aka CSR), but more importantly, I get the opportunity to challenge the students to think about ethical leadership within the context of corporate responsibility. Theory is of course one thing, but thinking about these issues in a real-world context presents a more realistic perspective.
Scott gave the students a challenge.
“Divide into teams. Each team will be assigned a country, they will research that country’s local governmental needs and societal challenges, as well as Microsoft’s current local Citizenship efforts. Following that research each team will craft a CSR plan that maps to Microsoft Citizenship’s mission.”
The point of this role playing is to bring these issues and opportunities to life while encouraging students to think through specific issues and solutions on a global and local level. Furthermore, it gives the students freedom to imagine utilizing resources from a major corporation to help solve worldly issues.
(Pictured below: Dan Bross, Scott Reynolds pre-class discussion)
There was a fantastic dynamic in these sessions. Each presenting team was challenged by their classmates. This debating approach created a great environment that forced every student to thoroughly prepare and think through their ideas. The challenging confrontations are a major part of what makes programs like these successful; it brings me great joy in facilitating such a test.
Over the two days of presentations, I listened to, eight teams representing 8 different countries from Europe to Asia and South America. While all of the presentations were well thought out and executed, perhaps one of the most provocative discussions was during the French team’s presentation.
I am not sure if it was the official Microsoft job titles they gave themselves, or the outlandish riot slides, but this team had a sense of humor that kept the class’s attention while they tacked the problem statement: "Tech sector is doing ok, the recession is not nearly as bad, but people are still unhappy, so how we get to a happy place?" Their solutions lead to thought provoking questions and discussions between the students:
Student team France solution:
Provide 500,000 IT Certifications for the unemployed and partner with NGOs to train those people (for reference, you can find Microsoft Citizenship’s workforce development resources here)
Audience: "Do you think certifying 500k people will dilute the credibility of the certification in the eyes of employers looking to hire?"
Presenter Response: "Do you think certifying 500k in a country of 65 million is really diluting credibility?"
Audience: "In the IT sector specifically, it's possible…"
Me: “Do you think we have enough resources to train all of those people?”
Presenter: “Of course, we are Microsoft” (I’m not sure our community affairs team would sign up for this target J)
The conversation continued with both the audience and the presenters bringing valid points to the table and really bringing the issue to life.
Conversations and exercises such as these have the potential to reveal deep seeded problems and further the conversation as to what the roles of corporations in a social setting should be.
It’s both thought provoking and inspiring to hear the the potential leaders of tomorrow evaluating and analyzing solutions to pressing economic and social issues.
So here’s a question for you.
What’s your view of these exercises?
What other scenarios or suggestions do you have?
As I meet with business school students around the country I’d love to expand the conversation and if you’ve any ideas, then let me know!
To learn more about Microsoft Citizenship click here
While the holiday season is a time of joy for many people, it is also a time when we are reminded of the many American families who are struggling – not just during the holidays, but all year long. We were glad to be part of an effort to help one such family today.
The Meyer family of Newton, Iowa, was hit hard by the recession. Todd Meyer, a Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War, is about to be laid off from his job. His wife, Teresa, is working two jobs to be able to keep their daughter Caitlin in college and keep food on the table. They also have two other kids, ages 10 and 17. On today’s episode of “The Talk,” CBS surprised the Meyers with a donation from The Sunshine Lady Foundation to help support Caitlin and her sister’s education. We joined in on the holiday surprise by teaming with the US Communications Sector, OEM, and Entertainment & Devices teams to give the family Microsoft technologies to help them connect, learn, work and play – a 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect sensor bundle, new Windows 7 PCs with Office 2010, and new Windows Phone 7s for the whole family.
Also, we are supporting the Meyers with vouchers for Microsoft trainings and certifications to give the kids new skills to help them succeed in school and help give Todd new technology skills and certifications that can help him be more competitive in the job market. RJ Naugle, who leads Microsoft's Military Veteran Outreach and Recruiting Program, We Still Serve, is volunteering to provide guidance and advice to Todd to help him with his job search.
Unfortunately, the Meyer’s situation is all too common today and veterans, in particular, have been hit hard by the recession. Over the past six months, the average unemployment rate among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has been 16 percent higher than the rate for nonveterans (10.7 percent compared with 9.2 percent). This is one of the reasons Microsoft launched the Elevate America Veterans initiative last month to help provide our country’s veterans and their spouses with the skills and resources needed for success in today’s workplace. We look forward to supporting more veteran families through this program and other families through Microsoft’s Elevate America initiative.
To learn more about resources available to veterans, visit www.microsoft.com/veterans. To learn about Microsoft’s Elevate America tools and resources to build your technology skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow, visit www.microsoft.com/elevateamerica.
Mario Rebello, Citizenship Lead, Microsoft United States Public Sector
2011 marca un año importante para Microsoft Community Technology Skills Program (CTSP) en México. En colaboración con varias ONG locales, el equipo del país está creando nueve Centros Tecnológicos Comunitarios (CTC) para ayudar a mejorar las oportunidades de empleo y aumentar la productividad de más de 11.000 personas en las comunidades marginadas en Chihuahua, Coahuila, Distrito Federal, Estado de México, Guerrero, Oaxaca y Puebla. Estos se suman a los 125 Centros Tecnológicos Microsoft ya existentes en el país.
Este proyecto de colaboración se inició en septiembre con un taller dirigido por Microsoft México, donde Fundemex - CTSP socios sin fines de lucro - y representantes de las organizaciones beneficiadas por CTSP colaboraron para sentar las bases para la creación de los centros. Este proyecto fue único y creó un modelo de trabajo que asegurará que los centros cumplan las metas comunes de los socios de poder proveer ayuda a las comunidades meritorias.
En el mes de Octubre, Microsoft y Fundemex anunciaron a los beneficiarios seleccionados para hacer el proyecto realidad. Además, el gerente general de Microsoft México, Juan Alberto González Esparza, compartió noticias sobre una donación de la empresa de $ 1 millón de pesos en fondos, programas y cursos de alfabetización digital para impulsar el proyecto.
Con la construcción de los centros se creará un recurso comunitario muy necesario en los siete estados seleccionados. Las ONG son socios fundamentales para ayudar a alcanzar a las personas que más necesitan capacitarse en tecnología, pero no tienen mucha oportunidad de participar o beneficiarse de otros programas, especialmente en algunos lugares en las ciudades fronterizas que son difíciles de alcanzar.
Alejandro Ramírez de la "Fundación Ayú", una de las organizaciones que creara un centro tecnológico, describe el impacto de la tecnología en la comunidad: "El desarrollo social es clave para mejorar las oportunidades para las familias y sus comunidades y la capacitación laboral es esencial para ayudar a poder lograr explorar todo su potencial. "
Ramírez agrega que Microsoft ofrece productos fáciles de utilizar y que no sólo ayudan a desarrollar habilidades de tecnología, sino también ayudan a proporcionar herramientas para que las comunidades rurales beneficiadas puedan promover y vender los productos que crean.
Estamos muy contentos de seguir este proyecto hasta su finalización y de proporcionar información actualizada sobre los avances y logros del mismo en el futuro.
Karla Solís, Licenciada en Mercadotecnia y Coordinadora de Asuntos Comunitarios en Microsoft México
Note: English version of this post
2011 will mark an important year for the Microsoft Community Technology Skills Program (CTSP) in Mexico. In collaboration with several local NGOs, the country’s team is busy creating nine Community Technology Centers (CTCs) to help improve job opportunities and increase productivity for more than 11,000 people in underserved communities in Chihuahua, Coahuila, Distrito Federal, Estado de Mexico, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Puebla. This adds to the already existing 125 Microsoft-supported CTs in the country.
This collaborative project kicked off in September with a workshop led by Microsoft Mexico, where Fundemex a CTSP nonprofit partner-- and representatives from organizations that benefit from the CTSP program participated in laying the groundwork for the creation of the centers. This project was unique and created a working model that will ensure that centers comply with the shared goals of partners and make a meaningful use of technology to provide assistance to deserving communities.
In October, Microsoft and Fundemex announced the grant recipients. In addition, Microsoft Mexico’s general manager, Juan Alberto González Esparza, shared news about a company donation of 1 million pesos in funding, software and digital literacy courses to support the project.
Building the centers will create a much needed community resource in the seven selected states. NGOs are critical partners in helping to reach people who need technology training the most, but don’t have the opportunity to participate or benefit from other programs, especially in hard-to-reach border towns.
Alejandro Ramírez from “Fundación Ayú”, one of the organizations who will create a CTC, best describes the impact of technology in helping communities: “social development is key for improved opportunities for families and neighborhoods and skills training are essential for helping them realize their potential.”
Ramírez adds that Microsoft’s easy to use products not only help build technology skills, but also help provide tools so that rural communities like the ones they serve can promote and sell the products they create.
We are very excited to follow this project through completion and will provide updates on progress and achievements.
Karla Solís, is a Marketing Specialist and Community Affairs Coordinator at Microsoft Mexico
Note: Spanish version of this post.
Our mission is to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their
Explore the positive impact of local programs promoted and supported by Microsoft
around the world.
News, perspectives and analysis on legal and policy issues.
© 2013 Microsoft
Privacy Statement |
Connect With Us