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Microsoft Inspire – The Power of Partnership

If Microsoft Inspire conference was about anything, it was about the fact that we can achieve much more together than we can alone.

Take 30 minutes to watch this powerful keynote about "Our Opportunity for Impact." Brad Smith and Toni Townes-Whitley from Microsoft paint a powerful picture of companies’ ability to enact meaningful change and highlight some great examples from education to public works.

One of the most poignant statements was that it took 25 years to connect 3.3 billion people on this planet. But, it won’t take another 25 years to connect the next 4 billion or more.

Think about that; the pace at which the world is changing is powered not only by physical, biological, and digital technological innovations, but also by changing business and partnership models. And it just so happens that societal advancement and improvement is not mutually exclusive from economic gain (it is estimated that there exists a $2.1 trillion economic opportunity to address and solve the main societal issues that face us globally). Not only this, but by opening these doors to more people, one gives access and opportunity to a whole new and diverse set of individuals who are keen to take it to further improve their communities and the world.

And these are not small problems; they affect a lot of people. Addressing basic human and environmental needs like hunger, health, access to clean water, safety, and environmental health are probably quite obvious, but other less tangible challenges abound: access to quality education, reduction in inequalities, economic growth and access to good work, peace and justice, strong institutions, etc…

These are complex issues faced at a challenging time when ideals, beliefs, and thoughts are widely differing and fractured.

But the further we may seem apart ideologically, the more there exists the opportunity for technology and ingenuity to bring us back together to achieve what we all want: that our basic physiological and safety needs are fulfilled so we can focus on reaching our true individual (or community’s) potential.

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith speaking at Microsoft WPC 2016 in Toronto (Photo: Microsoft)

We at QueryNow believe in Brad and Toni’s message from the keynote: through technology and partnership, we can overcome the complexity, challenges, anxiety, and skepticism that exists in the world and deliver a truly positive impact on 7.4 billion people.

Looking inward, we believe we too have this responsibility to improve the world. Businesses everywhere are in a unique position to affect change, as our reaches and networks transcend borders and bring together cultures; we can use this unique position to help solve some of these challenging societal issues. So where do we start?

  • Improving Communication – most, if not all, challenges between human being occur due to communication: whether lack of or misunderstandings in it. Lowering the barriers needed to start a conversation and share ideas leads to improved communication and more empathy between parties.

  • Promoting Diversity – a lack of understanding of others leads to personal bias and promotes inequality. Understanding starts with exposure: exposure to other people, their way of life, their beliefs, their thoughts, and even the clothes they wear. This extends to increased openness to the opinions and beliefs of others and a mutual respect in spite of differences.

  • Flattening Hierarchies – the more equal people are (or at least feel), the more comfortable they feel to express their thoughts and opinions and contribute to a greater cause. Whether this contribution is to a company’s success or the development a product believed to have a far-reaching affect, it starts with an understanding that opinions are valued, people have individual strengths to help a team, and that the person who is paid the most does not always necessarily know the most.

We believe all of these ultimately result in stronger connections and partnerships: within companies, across borders, and among people. We can do more together than we can apart.

That was our key takeaway from WPC. We are looking for partners to help bring about our vision of a more connected, more diverse, and of course, more productive workplace. Contact us to see how we can work together to make a difference.


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