How partners can advance 21st century technology policy?

Today I posted a timely edition of my podcast, given the attention to cyber security, digital privacy and jobs creation in the United States. If you believe that technology can be a force for good in society, then you'll enjoy the opportunity presented in this discussion to drive positive change through Civic participation. You can listen here: iTunes or on my website.

My guest, Jonathan Friebert leads External Affairs for Microsoft's US Government Affairs Department and works with Microsoft partners to advocate for positive technology public policies through Microsoft's Voices for Innovation (VFI) initiative.

VFI is a community of more than 90,000 technology leaders in the U.S. who focus on public policy advocacy in the technology sector on issues such as STEM funding, online privacy, software piracy, cloud computing regulations, cybersecurity, IP protection and government procurement mandates.

The conversation focuses on computer science curriculum in schools, why the current legislation is outdated, online privacy and how government and the private sector can partner to deliver 21st century skills to US workers. Jonathan also points to some examples of partners that have engaged in the civic discourse to effect change.

As I do with each of my podcasts, Jonathan and I also discuss his personal journey, role models and recommended books. Jonathan's Book Recommendation is: Rising Strong

In our conversation on job and skills training, Jonathan talks about how "coding" could become the next trade taught in schools. Reference from the discussion are here - Wired The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding

WHEN I ASK people to picture a coder, they usually imagine someone like Mark Zuckerberg: a hoodied college dropout who builds an app in a feverish 72-hour programming jag—with the goal of getting insanely rich and, as they say, “changing the world.” But this Silicon Valley stereotype isn’t even geographically accurate. The Valley employs only 8 percent of the nation’s coders. All the other millions? They’re more like Devon, a programmer I met who helps maintain a ­security-software service in Portland, Oregon. He isn’t going to get fabulously rich, but his job is stable and rewarding: It’s 40 hours a week, well paid, and intellectually challenging. “My dad was a blue-­collar guy,” he tells me—and in many ways, Devon is too.

To learn more about Voices for Innovation, click here. You can contact Jonathan directly at:

For a broader view of the work of Microsoft's Government Affairs organization, see Microsoft President Brad Smith's Blog: HERE.

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