Microsoft seems to be following the Mark Zuckerberg’s example.
Just days after the Facebook CEO made the controversial announcement that he and his wife would give away 99 per cent of their Facebook shares, Microsoft has announced Philanthropies, a new organization with a similar ring.
“Great technology alone is not enough,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a statement. “Despite global expansion, increased access, and democratization of technology, the benefits of technology are not yet reaching everyone in the world.”
He cited poverty, the lack of education, especially in STEM disciplines, accessibility, and living in remote or displaced situations as key barriers to technology.
The dedicated organization, which reports to Smith, will invest cash and technology in technology-oriented nonprofits. Examples he gave included those providing connectivity to cloud, delivering digital skills training and computer science education for youth. Smith made reference to a $75 million initiative to promote computer science worldwide.
Furthermore, the company plans to encourage its employees in their own efforts in the community and will help them match their skills to specific nonprofits. It will also seek out nonprofit programs to match its Affordable Access Initiative that focuses on remote areas.
“We’ll do this because we recognize that connecting to the cloud is not enough: it takes skills and knowledge to leverage this connection and derive true benefit from it,” Smith said.