'Windows' Of Opportunity For Students, Teachers, Social Entrepreneurs As They Meet Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Rajesh, a class tenth student of National Public School, Koramangala, Bengaluru, later described those cherished moments with Microsoft top honcho, as "once in a lifetime" experience, both "thrilling" and "inspiring"
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

For Rishi Rajesh and four of his classmates, all from Bengaluru's National Public School, the cold Wednesday morning in the national capital offered a memorable 'window' of opportunity.
These students got a chance to interact with Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, and the team presented to him their brainchild, Bloombox app, a conceptual-stage project that seeks to bridge the communication gap with the hearing-impaired through a tech solution that facilitates voice to sign language and sign language to voice interactions.
Rajesh, a class tenth student of National Public School, Koramangala, Bengaluru, later described those cherished moments with Microsoft top honcho, as "once in a lifetime" experience, both "thrilling" and "inspiring".
Nadella did a walk through, interacting with students, teachers, and social entrepreneurs, who are making a difference in the society, by leveraging various Microsoft programmes, initiatives and tools.
Microsoft's Tech for Good and Education showcase was an event that highlighted the impact of technology in the areas of philanthropic work and education.
Currently in Delhi as part of his four-day multi-city tour to India, Hyderabad-born Nadella shared his vision on the role technology can play in achieving the mission of empowering every person and every organisation to achieve more.
The showcase saw Nadella chatting with participants on initiatives ranging from skilling of female STEM graduates from smaller towns in the field of cybersecurity (CyberShikshaa), AI models for disaster resilience (SEEDS), and Project VICT (developing computational thinking in visually impaired children using play based or Ludic design approaches). Nadella also interacted with a government primary school teacher from Maharashtra, Mrunal Ganjale, who told him how she is innovating her teaching style with latest ICT tools.
"Looking at what you all have done, your passion, imagination and ingenuity is truly inspiring. One of the things that keeps me grounded is seeing our mission in action," Nadella told the participants.
During these 30 minutes at the event, Nadella enquired about various projects being showcased, even made suggestions, and at the end of it patiently answered questions from some of the participants.
The questions from the floor ranged from Microsoft's focus on making societal impact, to Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the next disruptor, and whether social and business objectives can truly converge.
"By design, any technology that doesn't have social impact that is ultimately good, is not worth it," Nadella advocated while adding that for far too long technology has been celebrated for technology's sake, and not for the impact desired on communities.
The technology narrative is not just about economic growth alone but also about whether the outcomes are inclusive, sustainable, trustworthy, protecting fundamental rights.
"Those are the ways to really, ultimately test ourselves," he said lauding the projects showcased as glowing examples of how AI and technology are being used for more inclusion.
Technologies will have unintended consequences, he said but added in the same breath that it is, in fact, yielding fresh opportunities, and creating new jobs and greater skill-sets.
He underlined the importance of human ability to synthesize, and added that strong development and products teams are really "fusion teams".
"You have anthropologists, designers, software developers. It is a combination of skills that are required to create great product, and so cultivating it is very important at the very early stage," Nadella advised them.

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