Our collective opportunity for a more inclusive economy
This blog was bylined by Gavriella Schuster in her former role as Microsoft Channel Chief.
This month, the UN General Assembly opened its historic 75th session, with member states reaffirming their commitment to global partnership and health. It has never been clearer to me that technology will play a critical role in the sustainability of our planet and global society. It already does.
Many of our Microsoft partners have become digital first responders to support those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as people and organizations around the world impacted by the health crisis. It’s been inspiring to see our partner ecosystem lead with purpose, driving tech innovation to help the world respond and recover.
As Satya Nadella noted at Microsoft Inspire, we are at a unique moment in time where we have the opportunity to reimagine our future—a future that is more inclusive, sustainable and equitable. Designing innovative solutions and services on technology that can be trusted, and built with inclusion in mind, are crucial to that effort.
It’s estimated that delivering on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals could unlock $12 trillion in market opportunity annually by 2030. Sustainability solutions around climate change alone could net $26 trillion in economic gain within the next 10 years.
Microsoft partner organizations are in a unique position to power inclusive economic recovery and growth, making the future better for more of us. Because of that, we believe that Microsoft and our partners can become a force for systemic change.
Our vision and guiding principles
Together we can build and sell intelligent edge and intelligent cloud solutions that will strengthen communities and drive inclusive economic recovery and growth, truly empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. To achieve this bold vision, we at Microsoft are guided by the following principles:
1. Build for impact: Empower partners with the technology, digital skilling, and enablement to build technology that is inclusive, trusted, and sustainable.
2. Drive inclusive economic growth: Work with partners to capture market opportunities that drive inclusive economic growth in the solution areas, industries and customer segments they serve.
3. Differentiate with purpose: Enable partners to lead with purpose and seize the competitive advantage that purpose-driven solutions and services can help create.
4. Enable a diverse and inclusive partner ecosystem: Enable a diverse and inclusive partner ecosystem that amplifies diverse voices and represents the world.
5. Harness collective action: Work with all of our partner-led communities, to join in collective action to realize this vision.
This is a journey that requires listening and learning. At Microsoft, we are committed to this journey and are open to new perspectives and approaches to accelerate progress in building a more inclusive economy.
Building for impact
I believe we are on the cusp of a new era. Together, we can speed the pace of growth by building for impact—by making business decisions that prioritize purpose.
Through our #BuildFor2030 campaign, we’ve been highlighting technology solutions that enable a more inclusive economy by creating opportunities and positive business outcomes that align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We launched the campaign in March, in conjunction with International Women’s Day, featuring female-founded partner organizations. In May, with Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we recognized partners using Microsoft technology to create a more accessible world and empower people with disabilities. In August, we celebrated National Nonprofit Day by recognizing partners enabling nonprofits to innovate and transform and deliver on their missions.
This month, in conjunction with the UN General Assembly and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being, we are recognizing Microsoft partners that have been supporting our first responders, healthcare workers and institutions.
Differentiating with purpose
At Microsoft Inspire, I led a panel discussion with purpose-driven leaders.
These partners spoke about being on a journey of internal transformation. They’re shifting the way they lead to be more collaborative. They’re working with unlikely partners to open new opportunities for under-served communities. They’re differentiating with purpose to unlock the opportunity of an inclusive economy. We must learn from them and from each other.
To broaden our connections and points of reference, we are looking to the frameworks and perspectives of the social impact sector. We’re learning from social enterprises and social entrepreneurs who enable a changemaking culture to accelerate and deepen business impact.
Enabling a diverse and inclusive partner ecosystem
We’re also expanding our efforts to enable a diverse and inclusive partner ecosystem. We continue to deepen our partnerships with global and regional partner-led communities—such as the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), The WIT Network, Women In Cloud, and Male Champions of Change—as they extend their programming and outreach in support of diverse communities within our ecosystem.
Additionally, in June, Microsoft announced its commitment to increase partnerships with African American and Black-owned organizations in the US partner community by 20 percent over the next three years. We are working on a three pronged approach to build community, provide training & technical support, and provide access to capital to support existing and new partners from the African American and Black community.
Toward a better future
Together, we can forge new paths toward inclusive economic recovery and growth. The sustainability and prosperity of our planet depend on renewed partnership and commitment.
We are excited to continue learning, enabling, and partnering with you to help everyone achieve more.