Recently, the United Nations General Assembly met for their 76th session to realize their vision of building resilience with hope: helping the world to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people and revitalize the U.N.
As a partner to the U.N., Microsoft deeply supports this vision. We’ve been driving for progress on several fronts, notably by:
- Investing in our global skills initiative, recently expanded with skilling resources for small- to medium-size businesses, to help drive an inclusive skills-based economy.
- Doubling down on accessibility to close the disability divide and scale accessible technology.
- Introducing Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability and Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit to help propel new industry solutions to solve some of the most pressing challenges we face today.
At Microsoft Inspire 2021, I spoke with other leaders about how trust is the foundation of successful business relationships. As Microsoft Channel Chief, I’m committed to empowering our customers and partners with trusted technologies that help create more inclusive, sustainable and resilient communities.
During a protracted pandemic recovery, our partners have been doing just that, coming together to enable our customers to achieve digital transformation at an accelerated pace and to address challenges that have been compounded by humanitarian needs and the climate crisis in some parts of the world.
We’ve showcased some of their work through our Microsoft #BuildFor2030 initiative, which seeks to drive transformational solutions and services together with our partner ecosystem that advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 initiatives focused on creating a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable world by 2030.
I am passionate about engaging our powerful Microsoft partner ecosystem to help transform businesses and drive inclusive market opportunity. Consider that over 4,000 investment institutions have become signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, which has $89 trillion assets under management.
This creates an opportunity for all organizations in a position to lean in and help, and I ask that we keep working together to make a positive impact on communities.
Launching the Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Hackathon
Today, I’m excited to announce that we are launching the Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Hackathon to accelerate our collective impact.
Open to all partners around the world, the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon seeks to increase our collective understanding of the SDGs and help us innovate and unlock new industry solutions and inclusive market opportunity.
I invite our partners to build solutions that address challenge statements around the following #BuildFor2030 Hackathon themes:
- Gender equality: Enable technology that creates equal participation, equitable economic access and opportunities at all levels in work and life for women and girls.
- Climate action and sustainability: Build new solutions to help customers and industries across the globe transition to a net-zero carbon future.
- Digital inclusion and accessibility: Create accessible technology devices and applications with inclusive design for more than 1 billion people living with disabilities.
- Enabling the nonprofit sector: Develop solutions to enable the nonprofit sector to achieve scalable and measurable mission impact.
- Empowering communities: Reimagine solutions that strengthen our institutions, build resilient infrastructure and create equitable access to health, education and social services.
I encourage you to attend live workshops on responsible AI principles, accessibility and inclusive design, the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator, changemaking, researching the SDGs and more — all included as part of this community-building experience.
Cash prizes, technical and go-to-market benefits have been lined up to help winning partners further develop their solutions and bring them to market. I look forward to reading your entries!
Recognizing partner solutions empowering resilient communities
I’m also proud to highlight partners who have delivered impactful solutions empowering resilient communities, featured in our #BuildFor2030 Campaign.
During the pandemic, public sector organizations have been at the heart of global efforts and under heightened pressure to provide emergency response, accelerate recovery and reimagine the way we work and live. As a result, public sector organizations are increasing investments in digital technology. By 2025, 95% of new IT investment made by government agencies will be made as a service solution.
Our partners have been helping governments to operate effectively during a global crisis, building solutions that are strengthening institutions, enhancing critical infrastructure, delivering financial assistance, enabling virtual teaching and learning, and so much more.
Our partners are also helping governments to harness the power of new and emerging technologies, namely cloud, big data and AI, to reshape interactions with citizens, provide more personalized and accessible services, and to reimagine a more resilient future based on inclusive and sustainable economic development.
Partner solutions enabling pandemic response
- uPlanner collaborated with the Ministry of Education in Peru and the Tecnológico of Monterrey and Laspau, affiliated with Harvard, on uPlanning, so that 300,000 students in South America could stay on track with their university education during the pandemic. View their recognition as Partner of the Year Community Response winner.
- MillenniumIT ESP’s telemedicine platform HealthVision powers the disABILITY app, designed with the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation, which offers invaluable teletherapy services for people with cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders.
Partner solutions accelerating recovery with digital technologies
- ai’s Tax Intelligence SystemSmartCloud, Inc. Tax Intelligence System helps confront tax fraud and corruption. By finding potentially noncompliant entities, it helping authorities gain better insight on how tax fraud may be occurring.
- Auror is the Crime Intelligence Platformempowering the retail and law enforcement community to reduce crime, loss and harm.
- KPMG VeloCITY 365delivers the complete citizen service lifecycle and is being used by cities in North America. It enables out-of-the-box integration to common local government applications, enabling governments to track and report on citizen issues with ease while optimizing citizen engagement.
Partner solutions reimagining a more resilient and sustainable future
- Enlighten Designs created a citizen-enabled, data collection process enabled with Power BI Data Journalism, empowering citizens to create change and help preserve New Zealand’s beaches, through groundbreaking AI and data analytics.
- Catalyte discovers, trains and advances apprentice developers from nontraditional backgrounds who have the potential to become high-performing software engineers for public sector clients, including the city of Baltimore and other employers, creating a sustainable pipeline of tech talent. View their recognition as Partner of the Year Inclusion Changemaker winner.
Investing in a diverse and inclusive partner ecosystem
I’m grateful for our partner-led community organizations that are supporting our #BuildFor2030 initiative and working alongside us to enable a diverse and inclusive partner ecosystem. I encourage you to take a first step, or your next step, to learn more about these organizations and help extend their impact:
- Spread the word on The WIT Network’s initiative to train 1,000 women in Azure and AI. With support from Microsoft, this effort aims to help women reskill, upskill and progress their technology careers.
- Register for WICxUNGA. This October event led by Women in Cloud seeks to accelerate the SDGs and is being held in tandem with the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon.
- Enroll in the Black and African American Partner Growth Initiative. In October, we will start offering enrolled partners deeper training and engagement opportunities with the support of the Black Channel Partner AllianceBlack Channel Partner Alliance, which works to scale Black-owned technology businesses in the United States.
- Engage with the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) and their Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Get support from other partners while growing your business.
The #BuildFor2030 Hackathon is open to partner organizations with an active membership with the Microsoft Partner Network. Final entries are due by 11:59 p.m. PT, Nov. 15.
 Gartner: Top Trends in Government for 2021: Anything as a Service. Published March 2021.