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Microsoft Chicago

Microsoft Chicago Microsoft Chicago brings innovative and transformative solutions to Chicago’s civic community. Chicago may be the “Second City,” but we take a backseat to no one when it comes to community-focused innovation.

Microsoft Chicago is partnering with civic leaders and organizations to move our city forward, and you can catch up with it all right here.

Operating as usual

01/04/2019

Thanks for following us! We have retired this page as of 12/31. Please follow @adamhecktman on Twitter to stay up-to-date with our work in Chicago and Cleveland.

A Detroit love story… congratulations to former #CivicTech fellow Ivoire Morrell and The Children's Center of Wayne Coun...
12/07/2018

A Detroit love story… congratulations to former #CivicTech fellow Ivoire Morrell and The Children's Center of Wayne County Director of Corporate Philanthropy Kapria Jenkins, who found each other amid their work in civic tech.

Here's Ivoire's story:
“Back in my superhero days as Microsoft’s Civic Tech Fellow, I attended Detroit’s Broadband Networks event on October 3, 2017. I attended the event in hopes to discover more about the digital divide in the city but ended up discovering, or should I say, meeting someone who would forever change my destiny — Kapria Jenkins. Radiating with beauty, with joy overflowing from her presence, her spirit drew me closer. I approached Kapria, not knowing that she was my neighbor (we lived on the same street, a few houses apart, but were complete strangers). Meeting Kapria that October day would spark a series of miraculous events including me finding my calling as Youth Pastor at Mosaic Midtown Church in Detroit and finding my wife. Kapria and I are a few weeks away from uniting in holy matrimony.”

Our congrats to the happy couple!

12/05/2018

Happy Computer Science Education Week!

This #CSEdWeek, we reached out to local leaders in tech, both at Microsoft and in our community, and asked how computer science education has impacted them from their early education to today.

“My journey into STEM has taken me from a political analyst to a software engineer to now working as a data engineer and budding data scientist at a leading open source technology platform company, GitHub. Along the way I have developed applications that explore deep social justice questions to developing tools that empower technologists to write code and contribute to open source; all of this is possible because of the amount of free and accessible computer science education resources there exist today. As a first-generation Latinx college graduate, I do my best to leave more than I take and in STEM I have been able to give back as an educator, teaching Python through organizations like PyLadies and Girl Develop It, speaking internationally at technical conferences, and blogging beginner friendly technical content on my website at lorenamesa.com.”

— Lorena Mesa, Data Engineer, Software Intelligence Systems

12/03/2018

Happy Computer Science Education Week!

This #CSEdWeek, we reached out to local leaders in tech, both at Microsoft and in our community, and asked how computer science education has impacted them from their early education to today.

“Working with technology (programming in particular) reminds me of playing with Legos as a kid. It is a true outlet for creativity and you can create something that is functional…and even fun to use!”

— Kevin M. Gates, Cloud Solution Architect, Microsoft

Today, we bid a very bittersweet farewell to Shelley Stern Grach as she hits refresh and begins a new chapter.Thank you ...
11/16/2018
Hitting refresh—a farewell from Shelley Stern Grach - Microsoft Chicago

Today, we bid a very bittersweet farewell to Shelley Stern Grach as she hits refresh and begins a new chapter.

Thank you for your dedication to civic engagement and community development in Chicago, Detroit, and beyond. You'll be missed, Shelley!

Saying goodbye to director Shelley Stern Grach as she starts her new chapter after Microsoft. Shelley will be continuing her studies and spending time with family.

Putting Parkman Coders in a box—the code-driven educational program at Detroit Public Library is now available to Detroi...
11/15/2018
Putting Parkman Coders in a box - Microsoft Chicago

Putting Parkman Coders in a box—the code-driven educational program at Detroit Public Library is now available to Detroit educators in a "kit." Learn more:

The Detroit Public Library Foundation is working to provide Parkman Coders' curriculum at every library branch in Detroit, starting with boxed kits.

With Microsoft’s support this past September, Oakland University's GrizzHacks organized its third and largest event to d...
11/12/2018
Empowering and inspiring at Oakland University's GrizzHacks - Microsoft Chicago

With Microsoft’s support this past September, Oakland University's GrizzHacks organized its third and largest event to date, making us the largest student-run hackathon in the metro Detroit area.

This past September, GrizzHacks organized its third and largest event to date, the largest student-run hackathon in the metro Detroit area.

11/12/2018
Detroit Public Library Foundation

Help support Parkman Coders and CODE:GROW!

"Detroit Public Library and Parkman Coders are committed to helping kids learn how to code and introducing them to computational thinking, but we also know that there is a great big world just on the other side of our screens. With the intent to expose our young library patrons to new, creative learning experiences, we are exploring gardening, food nutrition and physical computing." - Librarian "Miss Q" who teaches Parkman Coders and CODE:GROW (featured in this video)

A special thank you to Microsoft Chicago for helping CODE:GROW happen last year.

Military experience is a lesson in leadership, drive, and communication—and no one knows this better than Project RELO, ...
11/11/2018
Growing leadership through military skills at Project RELO - Microsoft Chicago

Military experience is a lesson in leadership, drive, and communication—and no one knows this better than Project RELO, an organization that educates the business community on the value of hiring military veterans.

In their leadership mission, executives spend three days at a US military base to gain basic military training and witness veterans as meticulously trained and highly effective leaders in action.

This year, we were lucky to have Scott Emigh, CTO One Commercial partner at Microsoft, join Project RELO and experience this mission firsthand. #VeteransDay

How Scott Emigh, CTO One Commercial Partner at Microsoft, learned valuable lessons about leadership and management through military-style training.

11/06/2018
Parkman Coders: Empowering students

“To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more” stands at the core of not only Microsoft, but also super librarian “Q” Goss, or simply “Miss Q,” as her students call her. Q is a self-taught coder on a mission to educate the children living in the Detroit neighborhood surrounding the Parkman Branch Library through the power of STEAM-driven programming. Her approach is real, fresh and engaging, and the results have been nothing short of amazing.

The Parkman Coders are in their third year of realizing the power of coding and how it can be applied to all areas of their lives, both now and in the future. Together with the ongoing support of Microsoft and the Detroit Public Library Foundation, “Q” is creating an opportunity of exposure to the future and the success that waits within.

10/17/2018

How do you answer a question like “what do Chicago’s public school principals need?”

This is the challenge that Nelson Gerew, Director of Data, Policy and Reports at The Chicago Public Education Fund, took on.

Learn more in Adam Hecktman's latest episode of Big Shoulders: http://bit.ly/2yNI4Ai

This summer, Chicago students learned coding skills—and the power of representation—at BlackGirlsCode Summer Camp:
10/10/2018
Black Girls CODE Summer Camp teaches teen girls coding - Microsoft Chicago

This summer, Chicago students learned coding skills—and the power of representation—at BlackGirlsCode Summer Camp:

Black Girls CODE provides opportunities to ensure that black girls and girls of color are not only included in tech but are prepared to take on leadership roles within the field.

Earlier this year, digital marketing students from Middlesex University Dubai took part in a graduate exchange program i...
10/04/2018

Earlier this year, digital marketing students from Middlesex University Dubai took part in a graduate exchange program in Chicago which also included a visit to our Microsoft Technology Center. We were thrilled to welcome these students and show them the best that Microsoft and Chicago have to offer!

#DidYouKnow September was Bisexual Awareness Month? We're lucky to work with Center on Halsted to create safe spaces for...
10/01/2018
Embracing LGBTQ Visibility at Center on Halsted - Microsoft Chicago

#DidYouKnow September was Bisexual Awareness Month?

We're lucky to work with Center on Halsted to create safe spaces for inclusion & visibility—and lucky to have team members like Soren Spicknall driving change in tech:

Microsoft Chicago sat down with Center on Halsted leadership to help focus on topics that would help LGBT+ youth and adults across Chicago.

09/27/2018

In her latest Civic Chat: Networking Our Neighborhoods, Shelley Stern Grach sits down with Heather Anichini, President and CEO, The Chicago Public Education Fund to discuss how the fund is helping public schools by investing in the educators who lead the students: http://bit.ly/2Of5g42

Today we are announcing our third AI for Good program, AI for Humanitarian Action, a new $40-million 5-year program aime...
09/25/2018
Using AI to help save lives - Microsoft on the Issues

Today we are announcing our third AI for Good program, AI for Humanitarian Action, a new $40-million 5-year program aimed at leveraging the power of AI to focus on four priorities – helping the world recover from disasters, addressing the needs of children, protecting refugees and displaced people, and promoting respect for human rights. We look forward to working with humanitarian organizations to further their impact in the world.

A young mother and her baby visit the local nutrition center in rural Madagascar to participate in a discussion around children’s nutrition and learn new cooking recipes that promote a varied diet. Photo: Mohamad Al-Arief/The World Bank. Persistent humanitarian crises caused by natural and man-mad...

Meet Akosua Boadi-Agyemang, a Miami University accounting student who became a viral hit after a LinkedIn post requestin...
09/21/2018
Big Shoulders: Akosua Boadi-Agyemang, intern at Microsoft - Microsoft Chicago

Meet Akosua Boadi-Agyemang, a Miami University accounting student who became a viral hit after a LinkedIn post requesting internship opportunities. Akosua has done some remarkable work with Microsoft, starting with an internship in Chicago.

Meet Akosua Boadi-Agyemang, a Miami University accounting student who became a viral hit after a LinkedIn post requesting internship opportunities. Akosua has done some remarkable work with Microsoft, starting with an internship in Chicago. After she was in Chicago, her internship in Seattle went gr...

This summer, the Microsoft Chicago team welcomed a new friend, an urban planner who recently relocated from Boston and w...
09/17/2018
A day’s introduction to Chicago’s civic spaces - Microsoft Chicago

This summer, the Microsoft Chicago team welcomed a new friend, an urban planner who recently relocated from Boston and who was connected to us by our wonderful colleagues there. We’re not ones to waste an opportunity to show off our city to new arrivals, so we gave him the warmest welcome we could think of: with a day-long tour of every inch of Chicago we could cover.

This summer, the Microsoft Chicago team welcomed a new friend, with the warmest welcome we could think of: with a day-long tour of every inch of Chicago.

”I am extremely excited to be able to leverage Microsoft’s vast resources to help empower Detroit residents, whether tha...
09/11/2018
Fellow Profile: Poorvi Modi - Microsoft Chicago

”I am extremely excited to be able to leverage Microsoft’s vast resources to help empower Detroit residents, whether that be through advances in civic tech or increased digital literacy.“

Meet Poorvi Modi, University of Michigan student and Microsoft's #civictech fellow in Detroit:

Meet Poorvi Modi, University of Michigan MBA student and Microsoft's Civic Tech Fellow in Detroit.

We're excited to announce that this fall, University of Michigan School of Information will be expanding its partnership...
09/06/2018
Expanding CUTgroup Detroit - Microsoft Chicago

We're excited to announce that this fall, University of Michigan School of Information will be expanding its partnership with Data Driven Detroit to expand the impact of the Civic User Testing Group (#CUTgroup) Detroit initiative:

The University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) Office of Professional and Community Engagement (OPCE) is excited to announce that this fall we will be expanding our partnership with Data Driven Detroit (D3) to expand the impact of the Civic User Testing Group (CUTgroup) Detroit initiative,....

08/29/2018

Midterm elections are approaching—but how will you stay informed?

BallotReady is providing solutions for voters to complete the ballot… all the way up to the polls: http://bit.ly/2LDjjuT

“As the Civic Tech Fellow for the Cities Team in Detroit, I was given the opportunity to make tangible, positive change ...
08/27/2018
What's Next—Civic Tech Fellow Meghan Urisko - Microsoft Chicago

“As the Civic Tech Fellow for the Cities Team in Detroit, I was given the opportunity to make tangible, positive change in my city while building important skills for my career.”

Bidding farewell to Meghan Urisko, #CivicTech fellow in Detroit:

What's next for Civic Tech Fellow Meghan Urisko? Meghan takes us through her journey at Microsoft and where her career is taking her.

It’s exciting to see Microsoft partnering with WE to empower youth to use technology to create change in their communiti...
08/17/2018
Microsoft - WE

It’s exciting to see Microsoft partnering with WE to empower youth to use technology to create change in their communities. Tune in to the WE Day broadcast on ABC Television Network tonight at 8/7c to hear some amazing stories.

Question: What do Microsoft, Wayne State University, and the Detroit Economic Solutions Corporation (DESC) have in commo...
08/16/2018
Growing Detroit’s Young Talent - Microsoft Chicago

Question: What do Microsoft, Wayne State University, and the Detroit Economic Solutions Corporation (DESC) have in common?

Answer: A dedication to helping young Detroiters enter the workforce with appropriate skills to put them into well-paying careers.

Get an inside look at Grow Detroit's Young Talent:

Microsoft, Wayne State University, and the Detroit Economic Solutions Corporation are joining together this summer to support Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.

08/16/2018
WE

WE

This is brotherly love. Johnny Ciocca built a social network for people with disabilities and their families.

WE and Microsoft believe in the power of technology to help people do more good. See their story - Watch #WEday August 17 at 8/7c on ABC Television Network

People have been talking about #smartcities, or at least the scenarios that they enable, for decades.  Why does it seem ...
08/03/2018
AI and Smart Cities: Why and Why Now? - Microsoft Chicago

People have been talking about #smartcities, or at least the scenarios that they enable, for decades. Why does it seem that only now it is getting significantly more attention, more resources, and more focus? The answer lies in the technology that is needed to bring these scenarios to life, which has finally been realized.

People have been talking about smart cities for decades. Adam Hecktman explores the technology that is needed to bring these scenarios to life.

Fairness, accountability, transparency, and ethics — they’re up to us.We're excited to see organizations and individuals...
08/02/2018
Building Ethical AI in Chicago and Beyond - Microsoft Chicago

Fairness, accountability, transparency, and ethics — they’re up to us.

We're excited to see organizations and individuals in Chicago building the future of AI and keeping ethical standpoints in mind.

AI stands to transform how we approach many civic, social, and business challenges. Its fairness, accountability, transparency, and ethics are up to us.

At Detroit Public Library's Parkman Branch Library, #ParkmanCoders teaches digital natives how to be productive with the...
07/25/2018
Teaching Digital Natives at Detroit Public Library - Microsoft Chicago

At Detroit Public Library's Parkman Branch Library, #ParkmanCoders teaches digital natives how to be productive with the tech they love:

Qumisha Goss, librarian at Detroit Public Library, explores Parkman Coders, a program that teaches digital natives what they can do with technology.

We're proud to support Parkman Coders at Detroit Public Library!
07/12/2018

We're proud to support Parkman Coders at Detroit Public Library!

Parkman Coders are finding their green thumbs! Through a program called Code:GROW kids are learning how to garden, make their own time-lapse cameras and water monitoring sensors using Python coding.

Today the seeds have been planted, next up creating water sensors.

Special thanks to Microsoft Chicago Microsoft for making this project possible at the Detroit Public Library!

How do we empower people to understand that artificial intelligence (#AI) will help create jobs and reduce the fear that...
07/12/2018
Detroit and the Future of Work - Microsoft Chicago

How do we empower people to understand that artificial intelligence (#AI) will help create jobs and reduce the fear that it will take them away? These are some of the questions Microsoft and business, community and education leaders sought to answer on June 13 at a Career Pathways Executive Roundtable in #Detroit.

On June 13, Microsoft hosted a Career Pathways Executive Roundtable. Shelley Stern Grach and Joshua Winter led a conversation about the future of work.

Do you know a social entrepreneur who is innovating around financial inclusion? The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is...
07/12/2018

Do you know a social entrepreneur who is innovating around financial inclusion? The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is seeking applications from early-stage for-profit and nonprofit ventures. They're looking for innovative, scalable ventures that improve financial outcomes, spur economic mobility and prepare families for success in the 21st-century economy.

Nominate a venture at http://bit.ly/2tW71aY and/or apply at http://cvcx.org/fall-2018-civicx/ by Friday, Aug. 24, at 5 p.m. #CivicX

Last month, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce hosted a  Lunch-and-Learn on AI for the Greater Good. We were excited to hav...
07/11/2018

Last month, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce hosted a Lunch-and-Learn on AI for the Greater Good. We were excited to have our very own Adam Hecktman featured on the panel! Some photos from the event:

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Partnerships are at the heart of our work. Through collective learning, students and professionals alike take something transformational away from our programs. The synergy between corporate and academic goals creates an authentic and meaningful experience that enhances both the classroom and the workforce. This year we are excited to announce 2 new partners that believe in student potential just as fiercely as we do. Introducing our Corporate Partners for the 2020-21 Academic Year AbbVie Arity Baxter International Inc. Caterpillar Chicago Caterpillar Decatur Caterpillar Peoria CME Group Dynegy/ Homefield Energy Horizon Therapeutics John Deere Microsoft Chicago Lenovo/ Motorola Mobility Northrop Grumman Corporation #mentorshipmatters #inclusiveSTEMeducation #corporatesocialresponsibility #missionalignment
We are continuing to focus on corporate social responsibility, and taking a look at Microsoft and their mission. 👏 In 2015, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella fine-tuned Microsoft’s mission statement making it more concise and, at the same time, more broadly applicable and aspirational. That mission became “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” We at Microsoft strive to embody this mission through several community empowerment initiatives, mostly centered around STEM education and human achievement. Through Microsoft’s Technology Education and Literacy in Schools program (TEALS https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/teals) we have a multifaceted approach towards raising the STEM competency of educators and students throughout the United States, with the objective of closing the computer science (CS) gap and providing young people with the skills they need to build computer science careers. The TEALS program is a Microsoft Philanthropies program that connects classroom teachers with tech-industry volunteers to create sustainable CS programs. Volunteers support teachers as they learn to teach CS independently over time. This program has been operating since 2009. Within the Chicago area, Microsoft Chicago has been participating in the Illinois Science and Technology Institute STEM Challenge since 2014. Microsoft employees serve as mentors to high school students over the course of several months to solve an industry authentic problem together and, in the process, build professional skills that students take with them beyond the project. During the course of the STEM Challenge, students are exposed to STEM career paths through interaction with their mentors, as they work on product and solution development to problems related to corporate and societal needs. Beyond STEM, Microsoft’s corporate responsibility programs span across the fields of accessibility, privacy & cybersecurity, and environmental responsibility. A recent pledge that Microsoft has made is to become carbon negative by 2030. You can read more about this commitment here: https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/01/16/microsoft-will-be-carbon-negative-by-2030 and find an overview of all of our corporate responsibility initiatives at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility #MicrosoftEdu #inclusiveSTEM #talentpipeline #theISTI
A few week's ago Jessica gave her SMART Money presentation to the Women at Microsoft and GLEAM groups "at" Microsoft Chicago. Due to the COVID-19 situation we held the seminar virtually. Thanks to everyone who joined and participated! If you know of any group or company that could benefit from our SMART Money workshop, share them in the comments or reach out to us: https://www.merinowealth.com/contact-us
Loved being a part of Chicago AI Days hosted at Microsoft Chicago and talking about how we help brands fight #climate change through innovative #AI! Our co-founders Dan Ratner and Melissa A Anderson laid out a plan for creating meaningful action — asking people to pledge to change behavior and then using #artificial_intelligence to serve those people with real content (not ads) that reinforces that behavior to create a strong loop of change and action. Our VP of engineering Eric Kingery talked about what makes that possible with our robust machine learning classifiers — just 3 years ago we classified about 100 articles per day and manually reviewed them, but now we classify over 10K articles per day! That creates incredible opportunities to reach people with relevant content and helps us do even more good.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! - The Joy of brightening our community, specially our youths, becomes for us the magic of the this season. Over 150 families, participants of our programs, celebrated the Holidays at Rincon Family Services during our annual Children’s Holiday Party! During the event, our #CENSUS2020 team, took the opportunity to share very important information regarding the upcoming US CENSUS - #WeMatter #WeCount Thanks to the generous donations from our sponsors and friends, we were able to provide gifts, delicious food and a lot of fun! Special thanks to: DePaul College Prep Microsoft Chicago Maclean Senior Industries Rafael Guzmán Judge Joanne Rosado Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois Tampico María Koikas Feast & Imbibe Angelica Angelica Reyes Garcia Church El Verbo de Dios Cheryl Jackson & Fam. Javier & Lily González Masters Commissions Board of Directors of Rincon Family Services Gloria Ortega Friends & RFS Volunteers Hilda Frontany
MAKE THIS A JOYFUL HOLIDAY FOR OUR YOUTH! Special thanks to Microsoft Chicago for their generous donations, support, and friendship to Rincon Family Services. We appreciate what you have done in the past and everything you still continue to do for this organization. Every year, we host a special holiday celebration for our children and their families and you have been an integral part of this joyful occasion. Santa Claus brings to Rincon over 300 gifts to our youth. We are excited and getting ready for this upcoming event. If you want to support this event, make a donation at: https://www.rinconfamilyservices.org/givingtuesday2019 Eddy Borrayo Hilda Frontany Ruben David Feliciano San Alanis Raul Tinoco G
Killerspin hosted Salesforce, Microsoft Chicago, and EKI Digital for their annual Platform Day. Each team had the opportunity to showcase their platforms and table tennis skills this week and compete against one another on our tables. Here's a quick glimpse of the event! #UnPlugNPlay
Last call for teens to apply for the @impact_familycenter Creative Digital Media & Digital Media Exploration programs. Earn a stipend check for learning #digitalmedia #production Adobe Photoshop Microsoft Chicago Microsoft #producing #podcast #announcing #musicproduction #layout Get #homework help and #college #career planning. MANDATORY MEETING/INTERVIEWS Thursday 9/5 4:30 p.m. 838 W. Marquette Rd. LAST OPPORTUNITY YOU MUST ATTEND. NO EXCUSES.
Those of us who speak, read, inquire... may take for granted the effort it takes for many who are learning or relearning how to communicate, understand, ask questions. Rainbow can now do this and every day brings on new discoveries and delights. This video has many purposes... main one being, technology can support the needs of many who may not realize it can be the case... Yes, reciprocal communication can be achieved - with and without supports- whether you speak or not... Give it a try... Have fun... Change the routine... Be silly, be serious... It is yours to personalize and customize... In our case... this is what was done... and there will be more! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R49teF2Sm2I&t=6s Google Google Developers Google Ads #RainbowMosho can't wait to meet you and share plenty of ideas to keep supporting those who need diverse ways to communicate... Microsoft Chicago Apple Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) @
An organized office space includes both your physical workspace and your digital calendar. Microsoft Chicago shares great tricks to optimize your time, including set check-in reminders and schedule buffer time: http://bit.ly/2XUtrFM #OfficeOrganization
Thank you Microsoft Chicago Volunteers for sprucing up our headquarters today! Shout out to Chicago Cares for coordinating and bringing supplies. CCCS ❤️❤️ YOU!
#RPCCONV2019 PUSH Excel Microsoft Chicago session with students. #Stem #Coding #Website design. #PushForExcellence #Day1