Event Coverage
Microsoft Accelerating Asia Pacific 2011 Summit
By Sharmine Ishak - 6 Dec 2011,6:25pm

Microsoft Accelerating Asia Pacific 2011 Summit

Microsoft recently hosted its second annual Accelerating Asia Pacific summit, which brought together some of its representatives, key non-profit partners and community leaders to discuss how they can rapidly accelerate social, economic and environmental change in the region. Held at the Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur, the event - which takes place from 6-7 December 2011 - saw a series of panels on the first day, highlighting how Microsoft's technology and local partnerships are having a positive impact on addressing pressing societal issues including driving economic growth in Asia, fostering healthy communities and forging sustainable partnership with public, private and people sectors.

Microsoft Research India Manager of Technology for Emerging Markets, Edward Cutrell presenting at the conference. Behind him are Jonathan Tien, Director of Engineering at Microsoft Research Asia (left) and moderator, Oliver Bell, Regional Standards Office at Microsoft Asia Pacific

The crowd at the summit comprising Microsoft representatives and partners

Panelists (from left) Mechai Viravaidya, Founder of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), Thailand; Mike Usmar, CEO of the Computer Clubhouse Trust, New Zealand and Pacific Region; and Veronica Colondam, CEO and Founder of the Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) Foundation, Indonesia discussing the various ways technology can improve realize opportunities for youths, as moderator Akhtar Bashah, Senior Director of Microsoft Global Community Affairs looks on

"Emerging markets in Asia Pacific have the opportunity to become the big winners of a post-recession world if they continue to grow their focus on fostering innovation, developing businesses and increasing labor market efficiency," said Microsoft Asia Pacific's Vice President Alvaro Celis. "Innovation will drive the region's national competitiveness and core to the rise of Asia has been a preparedness to stick to the course when it comes to the development of innovation, talent and infrastructure."

Microsoft Asia Pacific Vice President, Alvaro Celis delivering his speech, "The Asia Pacific Hot Spot"

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Noharuddin Nordin, who officiated at the event, also gave the keynote speech about the importance of developing creativity, as well as knowledge-based tech industries, in order to boost innovation and build a high income nation by 2020.

Datuk Noharuddin Nordin, CEO of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) delivering the keynote speech at the conference

The conference also saw the launch of one of Microsoft's global programs, which provides software to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through TechSoup Asia. This program, which has already been rolled-out in over 38 countries has benefited more than 40,000 NGOs, and will be available for the first time in Malaysia, allowing qualified Malaysian-based NGOs to request a wide range of software product donations including operating system software, Microsoft Office and server products. Besides that, Infoshare, a Microsoft non-profit partner from Sri Lanka also launched Kavakatu, a web-based application for monitoring and evaluating civil society projects.

The conference, which gathered speakers from all over the region including Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand, also featured several student demonstration booths outside of the ballroom where it was held, which offered guests and participants a chance to get up close and personal with the variety of solutions and appliances of Microsoft technology.

A participant tries out a gaming demonstration featuring accessible controls for those with special needs

One of the demonstration booths also included a preview of Windows Phone 7

An enthusiastic participant tests the video game Fruit Ninja for Kinect on the Xbox 360

The summit, which will resume for its second and last day tomorrow, will bring participants on a site visit of the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and Microsoft Innovation Center.

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