by Jonathan Friebert, Director, External Affairs and Director of Voices for Innovation
Voices for Innovation (VFI) couldn’t be more excited that the 2014 Worldwide Partner Conference is in our proverbial back yard—Washington, DC. After all, VFI is the Microsoft community of partners who stay informed of—and directly engaged in—public policy decisions that impact the technology sector. Hosting the conference in the nation’s capital enables us to bring together a rare cadre of policy experts and influencers who not only can tell us where tech policy is headed in this country, but who can also learn from our partners about the great innovations they’re pursuing.
What this means for you as a WPC 2014 attendee is that you’ll have unparalleled opportunities to meet with some key players shaping our nation’s tech policy strategy—and forge rich connections that could be a boon to your business.
VFI sessions and engagement opportunities
We’ve planned a broad program of sessions and activities to help partners understand the link between government policy and procurement, their businesses, and the ability to innovate on the whole. A full list is below, but I want to draw your attention to three sessions in particular:
- Monday, July 14, 4:00PM–5:00PM: LS141 Procurement Reform at the Federal Level: What Changes Are Coming?
- Wednesday, July 16, 1:00PM–2:00PM: LS118 Growing Your Business through Civic Engagement Wednesday, July 16, 2:30PM–3:30PM: LS126 Catalysts for Innovation in Federal Government
I want to especially emphasize the Wednesday session on business growth through civic engagement. This session features several very active VFI members who share their experiences about getting involved with government policy—and how this helped their businesses and provided an opportunity for professional and personal growth as well.
In the other highlighted sessions, we’ve pulled together an impressive list of panelists who have all risen to high levels in the federal government by pursuing innovative ideas and concepts. The speakers will discuss specific examples of how their leading-edge approaches have had positive impacts in government. And they’ll show you how this type of renaissance approach within the federal space presents myriad growth opportunities for partners who get onboard in these early stages.
Look for us in the VFI T-shirts and help us “Fix the Talent Gap”
Rather than having a standalone booth this year, VFI team members will be circulating around the Expo in The Commons and at several events so we can meet as many partners as possible. A big initiative for us this year is getting Congress to act to fix the high-tech talent gap in the United States. So when you see one of us, you can take your first VFI action by getting your badge scanned, which adds your name to our “Fix the Talent Gap” petition to Congress. If you want to take action before WPC, you can also sign our petition online at www.fixthetalentgap.com.
VFI-sponsored sessions and activities
|Monday, July 14
VFI WPC 2014 Reception at the US People for Innovation event
|Tuesday, July 15|
LS121 IP Theft and Cybersecurity
|Wednesday, July 16|
LS118 Growing Your Business through Civic Engagement
Looking forward to seeing you in DC next week for a fantastic, one-of-a-kind WPC!
Jonathan Friebert is Director of External Affairs and is part of the U.S. Government Affairs team in Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs Division. Connect with Jonathan via email and stay connected to VFI through Twitter, Facebook, and the VFI newsletter.