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…


A Commentary: The Role of Research in Corporate Social Responsibility

By Christopher T. Coward Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School Since 2005, the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School has been working with Microsoft’s Community Affairs group to study the impact and effectiveness of the company’s Community Skills Technology Program (CTSP). Microsoft’s commitment to…


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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Sharing the Microsoft 2011 Citizenship Report

I’m pleased to share with you the Microsoft 2011 Citizenship Report. The report provides an overview and assessment of our work over the past fiscal year (July 2010 to June 2011) to serve communities and work responsibly. We release our Citizenship Report at the same time as our Annual Financial Report to give our broad…

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Just four of 170 million stories

Microsoft’s Community Technology Skills Program began in 2003.  Since then, 170 million individuals have been touched by the program around the world – individuals who used the Community Technology Centers to brush up on their skills; others who took a more intensive training course and ultimately received their Digital Literacy certificate; those who learned at…

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Getting Europe online

Guest post by Sylvie Laffarge, Director Community Affairs, Europe Get Online Week starts today across Europe, running from the 28th February – 5th March 2011. As the name suggests, the awareness week aims to get people using the Internet and gaining the skills needed to participate in the new information-based economy. Even in this age…