Earlier this year, I found out that Microsoft partner AvePoint was organizing a June conference in Washington DC, called #ShiftHappens. AvePoint’s CMO is Dux Raymond Sy—and Dux is a member of Voices for Innovation’s Advisory Task Force. Dux reached out and invited me to participate.
As the new director of Voices for Innovation, I thought supporting #ShiftHappens would be a great way to jump feet first into engaging with the Microsoft partner community.
A Focus on Innovation and Transformation
The two-day #ShiftHappens conference focused on digital transformation, with an emphasis on government and highly regulated industries. It just so happened that at the same time, the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center in Washington, DC, was hosting a pop-up interactive experience called the “Digital Transformation Showcase” (DTS).
I thought it would be a great idea to give #ShiftHappens attendees a chance to tour the DTS during a reception for the conference. A reception would also give VFI the opportunity to highlight the import role public policy plays in supporting innovation and technology adoption.
A Callout from Toni Townes-Whitley
We ended up having a great reception for #ShiftHappens on June 13—and many conference attendees got to tour the DTS. The Showcase highlighted a range of ways that Microsoft and partners are collaborating on cybersecurity, healthcare, and infrastructure management.
As a special bonus, Microsoft President for U.S. Regulated Industries Toni Townes-Whitley offered welcoming remarks. Toni was kind enough to highlight the importance of Voices for Innovation—and she tweeted her support as well.
The #ShiftHappens conference and reception provided me with the opportunity to meet many partners. Several are now stepping forward to become more active in VFI. It was heartening to hear so much interest in participating in policy advocacy. My hope is that VFI will continue to grow as a vibrant community that enables tech professionals and the broader public to learn about tech policy issues and share their views with government.
David Pryor is the director of Voices for Innovation. He has been a member of Microsoft’s U.S. Government Affairs team for more than a decade.