Community technology centers can provide critical emergency infrastructure

Guest post by Maria Garrido, Research Assistant Professor, Information School, University of Washington The two-year anniversary of the devastating, magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile offers a unique vantage for grasping the value of investing in community technology. The earthquake revealed that community technology centers – telecenters and libraries – played a critical role as information…


Partners with Deep Local Roots Can Make the Difference

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts reflecting on the evolution and impact of Microsoft’s Community Technology Skills Program you can find links to the previous entries at the end of this post. When I think of Ren Xuping, I think about rabbits, and the importance of deep local roots…

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Effective Community Investments Require Strong Local Partners and Leaders

A lot of factors determine whether a community technology skills program is successful. One of the most important is identifying strong community leaders with a deep understanding of community needs, a vision for how those needs can be met, and a willingness to take risks and innovate. Whether it’s a political leader, a community leader,…

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Meeting Local Needs is Key to Success of Community Investment Programs

When Microsoft first began working on strategies to increase access to technology in underserved communities, we assumed that the most successful programs would be those run by nonprofits with a track record of success operating community technology centers and ICT skills training programs. It was a logical assumption, but, as we learned, not necessarily a…

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Reflecting on Eight Years of Community Investment Worldwide

As Microsoft approaches the eighth anniversary of its Community Technology Skills Program (CTSP), I have been taking some time to reflect on the opportunities imagined and realized, the amazing things we’ve learned about running a global community investment program, and how all of that will guide our work in the years ahead. Since CTSP was…

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“Tvoy Kurs” Gives the People What They Want!

Guest post by Melissa Pailthorp, Senior Manager Community Affairs, Central and Eastern Europe Tvoy Kurs (“Your Course”) celebrated its first year in Moscow last week, convening project coordinators from the  140+ centers in 82 cities across all of Russia’s 20 regions to discuss progress and share learning.  Above are just three recent examples of the…


Celebrating Technology for Good in Washington State

After years of working to build the technology capacity of nonprofits, I have to admit: great examples of technology for good can be elusive. I often hear nonprofit organizations say, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” They want great examples from their peers for both inspiration and to share in the lessons learned. They…

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The importance of technology leadership for nonprofits

Last week, Microsoft Community Affairs hosted a Nonprofit Technology Leaders Summit on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington. The summit brought together leaders from a variety of our nonprofit partners, including NetHope, NPower, NTEN, and others. We spent two days discussing the role technology plays in the work of nonprofits around the world. This included looking…

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Assistive technology provides access to jobs

Maria Nicolacoudis, executive director at TransAccess TransAccess, a Bay Area nonprofit organization, helps youth and adults with disabilities to achieve their goals. In partnership with local schools, government agencies, and businesses, we provide individualized assessments, career and job placement assistance, adaptive technology, and more. Since 1997, TransAccess has served 10,800 youth and adults with disabilities…