Events

A Conversation on Civic Tech: Urban Infrastructures for Public Health

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In October, Microsoft was honored to host the second annual Hacking Pediatrics event. The range of innovative ideas that came out of the event was inspiring: from end-to-end childhood vaccine management to accurate, rapid fabrication of custom tracheostomy tubes for children to better ways to manage asthma and monitor use of inhalers. How can we apply the creativity, collaboration and innovation that all come together at a hackathon to public health?

While data and technology play a key role in tracking the flu and assisting collaboration among researchers and physicians, technology can also be a useful tool in driving wellness and even economic growth in Boston. Hosted by Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center – New England and the Venture Café Foundation at District Hall on December 3 (5:30PM – 7:30PM), this conversation on civic technology aims to explore how a city can take an innovative look at public health.

At the fourth in the series of conversations on civic tech, we plan to address the following issues:

  • What role does public health play in the innovation economy in Boston through job creation and industry innovation?
  • How can collection and analysis of data improve services for citizens and patients?
  • What technology exists today to collect, analyze or visualize public health data? And what other technologies do we need?
  • How does city infrastructure – signage and bike paths – enable public health and wellness?

We are bringing together people from various parts of the public and private communities to spark the conversation and then invite the attendees to engage in the discussion. Panelists include:

  • Maia Majumder, Engineering Systems PhD Student – MIT & Computational Epidemiology Research Fellow – HealthMap.org
  • Dr. Snehal Shah, Director of Research and Evaluation – Boston Public Health Commission & Pediatrician – Boston Medical Center
  • Ann Polaneczky, Project Engineer & Project Manager, Hopital Universitaire de Mirebalais, Haiti – Partners in Health
  • Dr. Anne Lusk, Research Scientist – Harvard School of Public Health
  • Nicole Fichera, General Manager – District Hall (moderator)

Register today!

3 Not-To-Miss Events This Week at Microsoft New England

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Photo via @carl_4As from @4As #CreateTech conference last week.

Fall is officially here! And with the changing leaves and cooler temps comes our biggest season for events here at Microsoft New England.

Here are three not to miss this week:

1) API Management in the Cloud – Boston Azure Cloud User Group
Monday, November 17, 2014, 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Twitter: @BostonAzure #BostonAzure

The API Management helps protect your mission critical systems with authentication, rate limiting, quotas and caching to ease load under pressure. Rest easy knowing that only the partners, developers and applications you’ve authorized have access to your APIs and that those groups are acting in accordance with your policies. In this session Bob Familiar will show you how easy it is to get started with API Management.

2) Science Club for Girls Media Team
Wednesday, November 19, 3:30pm – 6:30pm
Twitter: @SCFG

The Science Club for Girls Media Team explores the field of science journalism. All participants are staff members of the Media Team blog, MadSciMag, and learn how to research and report on science topics through field trips and guest speakers. The team will learn how to write for the web, create infographics, and learn to record and edit photo, audio, and video.

Greater Boston Startup Culture3) Working Well: Secrets Behind FitBit, RunKeeper, Next Jump & More
Wednesday, November 19, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Twitter: @fitbit @RunKeeper @nextjump @maxwellhealth @DillanDiGi #workwell

You don’t have to be a startup to have a startup culture. Startup culture is about cohesive, high-impact, high-energy, rapidly growing teams. Many of the area’s startup cultures incorporate health and wellness and this event is the ideal place to learn about what innovative things they’re doing, so you can adopt some of these practices too! This event will feature breakout presentations lead by 5 local companies, an exposition area for companies to showcase their health and wellness initiatives, and a snacking area for everyone to sample some of the area’s healthy food and beverage startups’ goods. if you’ve been trying to improve the health and wellbeing of your workplace, are interested in meeting the leaders in this space, or looking to learn how you can personally make your workday more active and productive, this is for you!

Read more about the event and schedule of speakers via the Meetup Page!

 

Our Takeaways from “Privacy, Surveillance, and Rebuilding #TrustInTech” with Brad Smith & Professor Jonathan Zittrain

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The technology ecosystem is evolving at a remarkable rate, both in terms of how the technology is changing and how individuals are leveraging that technology in their personal and professional lives. With the rapid global advance of innovations like cloud-based services and increasingly powerful mobile devices, governments are grappling with how the legal and regulatory frameworks appropriately address this technical evolution in a timely fashion.

As a result, striking the balance between technology innovation and the legal implications of said innovation is challenging. Nowhere is this more evident in today’s ecosystem than in the juxtaposition of personal privacy and national security in a post-9/11 and post-Snowden world. Our General Counsel, Brad Smith, joined Professor Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society to discuss these challenges and potential ways forward, in an event entitled: “Privacy, Surveillance, and Rebuilding Trust in Tech.”

It is a complex topic, touching on international law, cultural expectations of privacy, and the distributed nature of cloud-based technology, with many other nuances in the space. At the risk of grossly oversimplifying the discussion, I wanted to call out three thoughts—or rather, questions—I took away from the discussion:

  1. With the globalization and extreme interconnectedness of the internet and cloud-based services comes the need to re-think the concept of legal jurisdiction. It’s easy today for an individual to use a service that may be physically located outside of the country in which they reside. Which nation’s (or jurisdiction’s) law applies to that individual using that service, and who gets to enforce that law?
  2. How does government find a way to deliberatively make decisions regarding technology law, given the rapid rate of innovation change? How do we ensure there is time to be thoughtful and critical about potential changes to law, when technology moves so quickly?
  3. Who needs to be at the table when the intersection of law and technology is discussed? Is it policymakers? The tech industry? How are an individual’s rights represented in this discussion? How does this conversation change when technology spans international borders?

It is a fascinating time to be working at the confluence of technology, law and business, and I’m very proud that Microsoft has decided to take a leadership role in raising these crucial issues for discussion.

3 Not-To-Miss Events This Week at Microsoft New England

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Fall is officially here! And with the changing leaves and cooler temps comes our biggest season for events here at Microsoft New England.

Here are three not to miss this week:

Vboston1) The Virtualization User Group November Meeting
Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Twitter: @nutanix

The Virtualization group meeting, providing the user community an opportunity to learn about new technologies and other virtualization topics of interest.

Presentations by vendors who provide details and background on different areas e.g. Storage with virtualization, Hyper-V, Cloud Computing etc.

learnlaunch2) Edtech Pitch Night
Wednesday, November 12, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Twitter: @LearnLaunch 

LearnLaunch Institute and YEP-Boston are excited to co-host an Edtech Pitch Night! Six early stage edtech startups will have the chance to pitch their products to a live audience. A panel of judges will offer the companies feedback and vote on the best pitch. The audience will also get to participate by voting for a crowd favorite. There will be plenty of time to mingle with the edtech community as well as the companies that are pitching.

MIT3) Path of Professorship
Friday November 14, 1:00pm – 7:30pm – Saturday November 15, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Twitter: @MIT

This workshop is for graduate and postdoctoral women at MIT who are considering a tenure-track position in the fields of science, engineering, and technology. The one-and-a-half day workshop focuses on skills, strategies, and “insider information” necessary to obtain a tenure-track position, to succeed in one, and advance to other positions of leadership. This is also an opportunity to network and meet peers.

Attendees learn:

  • Key strategies for applying and interviewing for academic positions
  • The importance of networking and how to manage networking with peers and superiors
  • Insights from deans and department chairs about what to negotiate for once you have the offer
  • Advice from faculty on things you can do now and during your hire to make your tenure-track years as smooth and successful as possible
  • Characteristics of different types of universities
  • Advice on balancing work and life in the 24/7 world of academia

Example Event Agenda from 2013: http://odge.mit.edu/development/pop/rogram/

Congrats to the winners of the first MassChallenge Civic Tech Sidecar prize sponsored by Microsoft: Lengio and Kinems

Congrats to the winners of the first MassChallenge Civic Tech Sidecar prize sponsored by Microsoft: Lengio and Kinems

MassChallenge once again delivered a night of inspiration and innovation at the 2014 Awards Ceremony. Alongside A ceremony honoring Governor Deval Patrick for his commitment to innovation, MassChallenge showcased some of the best innovative minds in Boston and beyond that are truly making a mark in the entrepreneurial scene.

With plenty of startups embracing technology and the innovative spirit, the night was filled with entrepreneurs making a difference. That’s why Microsoft was pleased to introduce the first annual Civic Tech Sidecar Prize, a $50,000 prize for the startup or startups that solve civic challenges through technology. Our own Cathy Wissink was thrilled to announce the winners of the sidecar prize to two organizations paving the way of civic tech through the startup scene: Lengio and Kinems

About Lengio
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Lengio revolutionizes English learning with software that offers personalized English courses built from users’ content: docs, movies, etc. By uploading personal content, users are able to experience language learning through real-life applications, basing learning on the user’s own knowledge and interests. This way, users are learning what they need for their own careers or personal lives, making the transition into English easy.

About Kinems

Founded in 2013, Kinems’ vision is to make special education engaging by proposing innovative games designed based on well proven educational practices using just the Microsoft Kinect camera. At Kinems we know that every child is unique, each with a different set of skills and academic needs. This is why we offer games that can be easily adapted by the teacher, health care professional and parent to the individual needs of each child.

Congrats to the winners of MassIT Government Innovation Competition as well – These companies also get to pilot their products with MassIT.
$25,000 – Astra IDentity, Inc. – High Tech – USA – Mass.
$25,000 – CarKnow LLC – High Tech – USA – Mass.

Thinking Outside the Box: STEM Summit and MassCUE Address How to Bring CS to Public Schools in MA

The technology industry’s demand for graduates with CS skills continues to grow but only .7% of graduates enter the job world with a CS degree. We need to close this gap.

Computer Science education helps students build skills to make them more employable to companies across the state. We continually strive to inspire and encourage both teachers and students to embrace STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) due to this statement. MassCAN has launched fantastic professional development opportunities for teachers, but it will take a few years for each school district to receive the benefits of that development. In the meantime, many schools are using creative methods to bring computer science to their students. The panel I moderated at MassCUE called ‘The Computer Science Gap: Building Teacher Capacity’ was a view into some of the existing successful programs taking place in Massachusetts schools.

Each panelist shared ideas on how to bring computer science to schools, including:

  • Adam Newall, Computer Programming/Math Applications at Pembroke Community Middle SchoolBootstrap World is a curriculum that weaves computer science concepts and game programming skills into Algebra thereby teaching students Algebra and CS at the same time.
  • Doug McGlathery, Computer Science Teacher at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School – TEALS, Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (link: http://www.tealsk12.org/) is a program supported by Microsoft that places industry professionals alongside teachers to deliver the content while the teacher helps with classroom management and over time transition the teaching to the teacher.
  • John Souther, Math Content Director at Mass Insight Education – Advanced Placement computer science as a method to encourage students to pursue academic excellence. http://www.massinsight.org/mmsi/
  • Jim Stanton, Executive Director of MassCAN – Extensive professional development available to MA teachers on Exploring Computer Science, CS Principles, K-5 PD to integrate common core content with CS and more.

On the same day as MassCUE, I, and our General Manager of Technology & Civic Engagement, Annmarie Levins, were excited to participate in the #MASTEMSummit as well.

Annmarie’s intro to the event focused on Massachusetts as a national leader, on need for computer science education, and on the need for collaboration between the business community and the education community to make this happen. In addition to MassCAN, Annmarie talked about the MassTLC Ed Foundation. The Ed Foundation’s mission is to increase the number of students pursuing computing education and careers. Their vision is for all students in Massachusetts to have access to meaningful computing education and understand the principles of computer science and how it applies in the world.

So how can you personally contribute to the efforts to make computer science more pervasive in Massachusetts public schools? You have a HUGE chance to participate in December when Code.org’s Hour of Code events take up the whole month. Hour of Code is during CS Ed Week, December 8 – 14. We are partnering with the MassTLC Ed Foundation and code.org to recruit over 500 teachers and industry volunteers to teach students an Hour of Code. Volunteer here.

Stay tuned to our blog and follow us on Twitter at @MSNewEngland; we’ll be tweeting and blogging about all of the local Hour of Code events coming up!

3 Not-To-Miss Events This Week at Microsoft New England

Events

Fall is officially here! And with the changing leaves and cooler temps comes our biggest season for events here at Microsoft New England.

Here are three not to miss this week:

healthcamp1) HealthCamp Boston 2014
Monday, November 3, 8:00am – 4:30pm
Twitter: @healthblawg #hcBos

HealthCamp Boston is an unconference that is designed to provide a creative environment to bring together diverse groups of people who otherwise might not meet at traditional health or medical events. Participants themselves provide the content, with break-out sessions they develop themselves and plug into a schedule grid on the day of the event. Anyone can present and host a session in nearly any format. The agenda for the day grows organically as the conversations and ideas develop. Discussions cover topics such as participatory healthcare, the use of social media in healthcare and mHealth. Multiple sessions run in parallel. Participants will hear and network with some of the extraordinary and innovative people transforming health care.

The Boston area is a center of innovation for all aspects of healthcare, so you can be certain that people at HealthCamp Boston will be discussing things like:

– Big Data in healthcare
– Improving engagement and outcomes through mobile devices and social media
– Personalized medicine and translational medicine
– Empowered patients
– Practical impacts of healthcare reform
– and more…

HealthCamps are often scheduled adjacent to other conferences to increase the opportunities for synergy. This year’s HealthCamp Boston will be held the day before the Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit. So come a day early and turbocharge your conference experience by joining other passionate healthcare innovation people at Health Care’s leading unconference – HealthCamp.s

Brad_Smith_22) Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith Talks Online Privacy, Surveillance with Harvard Law’s Jonathan Zittrain at the Berkman Center
Tuesday, November 4, 12:00pm
Twitter: @BradSmi @zittrain @berkmancenter

The Berkman Center and the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology (JOLT) are hosting Microsoft’s General Counsel, Brad Smith, in conversation with Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain this Tuesday, November 4th. The afternoon luncheon discussion may fall right after Halloween weekend, but it tackles a scary notion to many: that governments are watching us online, and the threat of overreaching government surveillance. From the other side, governments want to have a certain level of access to our online info to enforce their laws.

This discussion will explore the role of law in protecting our rights in the physical world online, as well as the complementary roles that law and technology play to protect us, and the need for governments to come together so that companies (and customers) don’t face conflicting legal obligations—another scary thought.

Read our blog post about the event here. You can RSVP to the event here, or watch the livestream on this page at noon on Tuesday, November 4th.

Targetcancer3) A Night to TargetCancer: The 5th Annual TargetCancer Gala
Thursday, November 6, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Twitter: @targetcancer

A Night to TargetCancer: The 5th Annual TargetCancer Gala is the annual fundraiser for TargetCancer, a Cambridge not-for-profit dedicated to funding innovative research into rare cancers. This event brings the scientific community, patients, patient families, and supporters together to raise funds for TargetCancer’s rare cancer research initiatives. The gala, which features a cocktail reception, silent and live auction, speeches, and music, was held at Microsoft New England in 2013 and attracted 225 guests, raising $125,000. TargetCancer was founded by Cambridge resident Paul Poth after he was diagnosed with a rare cancer at age 38. Paul passed away in 2009, but his family is continuing his mission by providing specific, targeted grants supporting rare cancer research.

TargetCancer promotes the development of lifesaving treatment protocols for rare cancers. TargetCancer directly supports initiatives at the forefront of cancer treatment by funding innovative research, fostering collaborations, and raising awareness among scientists, clinicians, and patients.

Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith to Talk Online Privacy, Surveillance with Harvard Law’s Jonathan Zittrain at the Berkman Center

Brad_Smith

The Berkman Center and the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology (JOLT) are hosting Microsoft’s General Counsel, Brad Smith, in conversation with Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain this Tuesday, November 4th. The afternoon luncheon discussion may fall right after Halloween weekend, but it tackles a scary notion to many: that governments are watching us online, and the threat of overreaching government surveillance. From the other side, governments want to have a certain level of access to our online info to enforce their laws.

This discussion will explore the role of law in protecting our rights in the physical world online, as well as the complementary roles that law and technology play to protect us, and the need for governments to come together so that companies (and customers) don’t face conflicting legal obligations—another scary thought.

Brad Smith is Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs. He leads the company’s Legal and Corporate Affairs Group, which has approximately 1,100 employees located in 55 countries, and is responsible for the company’s legal work, its intellectual property portfolio and patent licensing business, and its government affairs, public policy and corporate citizenship and philanthropic work. Read more about Brad Smith here.

Jonathan Zittrain is the George Bemis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at the Harvard Law School Library, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education. Read more about Jonathan Zittrain here.

RSVP is required for those attending the event in person. You can RSVP here. There will also be a livestream of the discussion for anyone interested, beginning at 12:00pm ET on Tuesday, November 4th on this page.

3 Not-To-Miss Events This Week at Microsoft New England

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Fall is officially here! And with the changing leaves and cool temps comes our biggest season for events here at Microsoft New England.

Here are three not to miss this week:

logo1) Women in Tech: A Story Slam
Monday, October 27, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Twitter: @cynthiabreazeal @JessIandiorio 

Join a group of the top women in Boston’s tech community for an evening of storytelling to inspire the next generation of leaders. In a similar format to The Moth Radio Hour’s “Story Slams,” female engineers, product managers, researchers, investors and company leaders will share 15-minute, personal stories about the transformative people, places and moments that led them to pursue their careers in technology. On the other side of the negative headlines around female engagement in STEM careers, there’s plenty of positive female role models in Boston changing the equation. Let’s shine a spotlight on them!

Current speakers include:

  • Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, founder of “family robot” Jibo, and director of Personal Robots Group at MIT Media Lab
  • Jessica Iandiorio, VP of product at Acquia, one of the fastest-growing private tech companies in the U.S.

And more!

All proceeds from this event will go to Science Club for Girls, a Cambridge-based organization that pairs students with female science mentors.

2) Code for America Summit Recap + Mixer
Tuesday, October 28, 6:30pm
Twitter: @CodeForBoston @MSNewEngland #cfasummit

Please join Code for Boston and Microsoft for a special evening of discussion as we recap the 2014 annual Code for America Summit.

In case you missed it, Code for America’s Annual Summit was held in San Francisco on September 23-25th and – as you might imagine – the Boston area was well-represented by a number of local civic technologists, including representatives from the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, MassIT, and more.

In order to share what we all learned at Summit with the larger community and to build on the great momentum from that event, we invite you to join us for an informal evening at NERD featuring a “flash panel” and Q&A with Summit attendees, breakout sessions with members of the Boston civic technology community including representatives from the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, 2015 Code for America Fellowship City Somerville, Government Innovation Fellows, the City of Cambridge, Microsoft New England, the City of Boston, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and of course, your Code for Boston core team.

MC-awards3) MassChallenge Awards 2014
Wednesday, October 29
Finalist Showcase: 
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Awards Ceremony: 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Twitter: @MassChallenge #MCAwards14

Join us as one of the 1,000+ world class entrepreneurs, lead investors, corporate executives, philanthropists, media, and startup enthusiasts that attend this phenomenal evening. Over $1.75 million in cash and over $10 million in in-kind deals awarded with no strings attached!

  • Engage with all 128 startups showcasing.
  • Hear inspiring pitches from the Top 26 startups.
  • Be the first to know who will win!

Microsoft New England will be presenting our $50k Civic Tech Sidecar Prize at the MassChallenge Awards! Here are the startups in the running to win. Find out the big winner this Wednesday!