Microsoft Mobilises To Create Youth Citizenship
25 September 2012 at 12:30 pm
Computing software giant Microsoft has unveiled a new initiative it says will create citizenship opportunities for millions of young people around the global using programs delivered in partnership with Not for Profits, governments and businesses.
Microsoft says the new global initiative, Microsoft YouthSpark, aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries during the next three years.
It says the initiative includes citizenship and other company programs that empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer says that through Microsoft YouthSpark, the company will dedicate the majority of its cash contributions to Not for Profits that serve the youth population around the world.
In addition, Microsoft YouthSpark will include Office 365 for education, free technology tools for all teachers and students to power learning and collaboration, and Skype in the classroom, a free global community for teachers to connect their students with others around the world.
As part of the initiative, Microsoft is also launching a range of new citizenship programs:
- Give for Youth, a global microgiving marketplace focused on raising funds for Not for Profits that support youth causes around the world.
- Microsoft YouthSpark Hub, an online space where people can explore and access all the youth services, programs and resources provided by Microsoft and its NFP partners.
- Microsoft Innovate for Good, a global online community enabling youth to collaborate, inspire and support one another while using technology to make a difference in their communities.
“We believe that working with our partners we can help empower young people to change their world, and we are committed to using our technology, talent, time and resources to do that.”
Ballmer says the company’s youth-focused philanthropy will be conducted in close collaboration with Not for Profits around the world. These include worldwide organizations such as GlobalGiving Foundation, TakingITGlobal, Telecentre.org Foundation and the International Youth Foundation, as well as regional Not for Profits such as Silatech in the Middle East, The Trust for Americas in Latin America, AIESEC International in Europe, and the ASEAN Foundation in Asia.
“Our next generation of citizenship will focus on the next generation of people,” Brad Smith, the general counsel and executive vice president, Microsoft said.
“The global unemployment rate for workers younger than 25 is 12.7 percent, which is double the rate for the world as a whole. This is indicative of a growing opportunity divide between young people who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not. We must work together to close the opportunity divide for youth and help secure the future of this generation and the future of our global economy.”
“Microsoft YouthSpark goes beyond philanthropy and brings together a range of global programs that empower young people with access to technology and a better education and inspire young people to imagine the opportunities they have to realize their potential.
A full list of Microsoft YouthSpark programs can be found at the YouthSpark Hub.