Our interconnected world requires collective action | Microsoft On The Issues

Our interconnected world requires collective action | Microsoft On The Issues

Microsoft announced earlier this year the launch of a new United Nations representation office to deepen our support for the UN’s mission and work, and I am thrilled to be leading this initiative. Until March, I was based in Brussels leading Microsoft’s European Union government affairs team. That role instilled a passion for working with multilateral institutions and participating in multi-stakeholder projects such as the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. It has been a few years since I was a law student in New York City studying international legal and policy issues, but it’s great to be returning to NYC to learn and participate in today’s issues…

Our Mission

Many of the big challenges facing society can only be addressed effectively through multi-stakeholder action. Whether it’s public health, environmental sustainability, cybersecurity, terrorist content online or the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, we at Microsoft have found that progress requires two elements. We need both international cooperation among governments and inclusive initiatives that bring in civil society and private sector organizations to collaborate on solutions…

Our Activities For UNGA75

In the midst of a pandemic and economic shock, the UN opened its 75th General Assembly this week. Meetings and conferences will be conducted online, with a socially distanced hybrid General Assembly. “High-level week” won’t be the same without the heads of state and governments convening in person, but the UN’s agenda, and the global challenges facing all of us, are no less pressing and urgent…

UN Affairs Team

This is a great opportunity to introduce our UN Affairs team. Lani Cossette, Senior Director and Chief of Staff, comes to New York from her previous role in Brussels with our European Government Affairs team, and Jamal Edwards, Senior Program Manager, is joining us from our Digital Diplomacy team. Jean-Yves Art, Senior Director, and Daniel Akinmade Emejulu, Program Manager, remain in Geneva where they will continue their engagements with the UN offices in Geneva and the OECD. Our human rights specialists, Steve Crown, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, and Bernard Shen, Assistant General Counsel, remain in Seattle, while Michael Karimian, Senior Manager, is based in New York.

UNGA high-level week comes around only once each year. The UN’s work around the world continues 365 days each year. Let’s work together not only this month but all year to make a difference.

UN team headshots

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Could Fintech Play A Role In Undermining Systemic Racism Or Will It Exacerbate It? | Hacker Noon

As with most everything else in society, TPTB discovers new ways of inflicting old pain points. Finally, attention is being placed on this sore subject and it takes techies to make it happen. A.Good.Thing.

Fintech is often proclaimed as the great leveller. The WEF proclaimed it as financially key in uplifting Muslim businesswomen and fintech lending algorithms have been found to discriminate less than traditional in-person lenders.

Is fintech really the great leveller? 

Yet despite these great promises of financial inclusivity, in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent global protest, the fintech industry was slow to put out a statement supporting the black lives matter movement. Some, such as app banks Revolut and Monese, have yet to release public statements as of the time of publication…

The rest of the post’s Source: Could Fintech Play A Role In Undermining Systemic Racism Or Will It Exacerbate It? | Hacker Noon

Microsoft launches initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed in a COVID-19 economy | Microsoft On The Issues

Microsoft launches initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed in a COVID-19 economy | Microsoft On The Issues

Around the world, 2020 has emerged as one of the most challenging years in many of our lifetimes. In six months, the world has endured multiple challenges, including a pandemic that has spurred a global economic crisis. As societies reopen, it’s apparent that the economy in July will not be what it was in January. Increasingly, one of the key steps needed to foster a safe and successful economic recovery is expanded access to the digital skills needed to fill new jobs. And one of the keys to a genuinely inclusive recovery are programs to provide easier access to digital skills for people hardest hit by job losses, including those with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities.

To help address this need, today Microsoft is launching a global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year. This initiative will bring together every part of our company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft.

Read more about the initiative on the Official Microsoft Blog and at https://aka.ms/skills.

Official Microsoft On The Issues Content | The Old Fire Hose

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My city represents… | AJ+

My city represents… | AJ+

How tech is catering to the elderly and caregivers | Venture Beat

This is very much worth some time to read. As this blogger is approaching elderly status, this needs to begin now, so when the market matures a bit, the price will come down enough to reach the maximum number of clients that could use these technical innovations, devices, and software.


At CES 2020, tech’s biggest trade show, the tech industry showed it is paying attention to the needs of the elderly and their caregivers.

Source: How tech is catering to the elderly and caregivers

Hear, Hear

Now This News Exclusive

I thought this was important enough of a topic that flies below the radar to not just retweet it, but to shed some more bright light on the subject. Our community and similar groups bear the brunt of the (insert institution) to criminal pipeline. Here is a positive act from a “Squad” member to address this.

Microsoft study: Teens are better than adults at finding help with online issues | Microsoft on the Issues

Microsoft study: Teens are better than adults at finding help with online issues | Microsoft on the Issues

It’s World Kindness Day – and we’re calling on teens across the globe to assist adults with online issues. That’s because, according to our latest research conducted in 25 countries, teens are considerably better than adults at tracking down useful resources to help resolve digital difficulties…

Confidence in facing online risks

While two-thirds of teens say they know where to find help with online risks, their self-assuredness in managing online risk exposure is slightly lower than that of adults. Just under half of the teens surveyed (48%) said they were confident in handling online risks versus just over half of the adults (52%). To help build those confidence levels, check out our resources guide, which offers primary and secondary sources for all 21 risks covered in our survey. Additional information about a wide  range of online activities and potential risks and harm can be found on the resources page of our website

Chart showing online safety

Microsoft’s Digital Civility Challenge

We’re making this preliminary research available on World Kindness Day to again call attention to Microsoft’s Digital Civility Challenge – four basic tenets for life online to encourage kinder, more empathetic and more respectful interactions. We’d never want to thwart debate, discussion or the free flow of ideas; it’s just important that those interactions take place free of name-calling and abuse. Specifically, we’re encouraging people to:

  • Live the “Golden Rule” and treat others as you would like to be treated by leading with empathy, compassion and kindness, and affording everyone respect and dignity both online and off.
  • Respect differences by honoring diverse opinions and perspectives and, when disagreements surface, engage thoughtfully by avoiding name-calling and abusive
  • Pause before replying to comments or posts you disagree with and refrain from posting or sending anything that could hurt someone, damage a reputation or threaten someone’s safety.
  • Stand up for yourself and others if it’s safe and prudent to do so; report illegal and abusive content and behavior, and preserve evidence.

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Microsoft will honor California’s new privacy rights throughout the United States | Microsoft on the Issues

Microsoft will honor California’s new privacy rights throughout the United States | Microsoft on the Issues

As digital technology becomes more and more essential in our day-to-day lives, the lack of action by the United States Congress to pass comprehensive privacy legislation continues to be a serious issue for people who are concerned about how their data is collected, used and shared. There is good news, however. In the absence of strong national legislation, California has enacted a landmark privacy law, known as the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

CCPA marks an important step toward providing people with more robust control over their data in the United States. It also shows that we can make progress to strengthen privacy protections in this country at the state level even when Congress can’t or won’t act.

We are strong supporters of California’s new law and the expansion of privacy protections in the United States that it represents. Our approach to privacy starts with the belief that privacy is a fundamental human right and includes our commitment to provide robust protection for every individual. This is why, in 2018, we were the first company to voluntarily extend the core data privacy rights included in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to customers around the world, not just to those in the EU who are covered by the regulation. Similarly, we will extend CCPA’s core rights for people to control their data to all our customers in the U.S.

We continue to put these principles into practice every day through ongoing investments in tools that give people greater control over their personal information. More than 25 million people around the world – including over 10 million people in the U.S. – have used our privacy dashboard to understand and control their personal data. By being transparent about the data we collect and how we use it, and by providing solutions that empower businesses to safeguard personal data and comply with privacy laws, we can demonstrate our commitment in the absence of Congressional action…

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Microsoft and Veteran Hires, A Great and Welcome Change

It is Veterans Day (observed and actual) in the United States plus Canada and it’s more than just a day for no mail delivery and closed office buildings. The requisite veteran human interest stories abound the timeline, Facebook, Media in general. Here is my favorite tech company with a real solution.

Microsoft owned LinkedIn blog post.

Melinda Gates commits $1B to ‘expanding women’s power and influence in the United States’ | GeekWire

publicity photo of Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates, Pivotal Ventures (GeekWire photo)

Melinda Gates, whose book this year documented the systemic and societal challenges that continue to face women around the world, this morning pledged $1 billion over the next 10 years to initiatives designed to accelerate gender equity in the United States…

In the announcement on Tuesday, October 2, Gates cited three priorities for the funds: 1) “dismantling the barriers to women’s professional advancement;” 2) “fast-tracking women in sectors with outsized impact on our society—like technology, media, and public office; and 3) “mobilizing shareholders, consumers, and employees to amplify external pressure on companies and organizations in need of reform.”…

A Pivotal Ventures representative says the firm will make both investments and philanthropic grants with the $1 billion in funds over the next decade…

Source: Melinda Gates commits $1B to ‘expanding women’s power and influence in the United States’

French tiny house gives chef room to get creative in the kitchen | New Atlas

French tiny house firm Baluchon recently completed a new model named the Solaris. Despite its country’s strict towing laws that require tiny houses to be small and light, the firm managed to shoehorn in a relatively spacious kitchen and dining room.

Source: French tiny house gives chef room to get creative in the kitchen

You want diversity, then make it happen by supporting candidates who will…

#justsayin

In what is assumed to be one of the greatest countries on earth, this shouldn’t be necessary…

However it is and in a city like Chicago, to have this wide of a gap between Trauma Centers is unacceptable. 💯

This is not to discount the importance of rural situations in the same vein. Where I live, I’m fortunate to be in a major city with a Level 1 trauma center nearby in a relatively compact space. The new Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot, needs to make this a priority.

The Green New Deal from AJ+

Though I’ve been to Detroit in my younger years and still have family in the area, this also applies to the greater Charlotte area, where I live, and other communities throughout North America and beyond. I’m heartened to see a group address this, though getting through to some will be next to impossible. H/T AJ+, who does great work in their storytelling.

What will it take?

What is needed in 2019…

In these times that are as troubled as any in American history and Worldwide, for that matter, here comes a young lady who gets it.

Also a shameless plug for the great weekly newsletter from CNN, The Good Stuff.