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Microsoft CEO challenges students on MDGs using technology

By Emeka Aginam, in New York

While most talented global students gather for the 2011 Imagine Cup  series in New York, the United States of America, the  Chief Executive Officer of the global software giant, Steve Ballmer  has challenged  over 400  software incubators   currently participating in the  competition  to solve the Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs) including  poverty, education, disease, environmental sustainability among others with technology.

Steve Ballmer

Ballmer who was speaking   yesterday  at the opening ceremony of the world’s premier student technology competition in in New York, the United States of America   said that technology can make the world a better place to live.

“You are here because you have done well. You guys have done well for being here. We at Microsoft are transforming the world through technology. Iam excited for kicking this event off. You are here because have creative ideas. Take your ideas to the next level. Use your software applications to solve the world toughest problems” he said.

According to Ballmer who is passionate about creativity among the youths,  technology if well applied can change the world. Let us begin the journey right here, he told the gathering.

“Technology has an exponential path in front of it, meaning it has the ability to propel science, medicine, business, social issues and personal interactions in ways that are increasingly important to society and our own everyday lives” he said.

For John Perera, General Manager Microsoft Academic who also spoke during the opening ceremony told the students that the survival of the 21st century lies in use of technology.

“We challenge you to solve the world toughest problem with technology. We can change the world with technology. Let Imagine Cup be your beginning. It is going to be challenging. It is going to be tough. But do not give up. You are the future leaders.

“You are the center of innovation. Show passion in your work. I thank you for demonstrating your creativity. I thank you for representing your country, your schools and regions” he said, adding that software incubation has the capacity to fight head on the MDGs as set out by the United Nation.

Excited by the creative works of the participating students at the Imagine Cup finals, Jeffrey D. Sachs, the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University said that the students have a lot of work to do using technology.

“The world is facing real challenges. The homework for you is saving the planet with technology. This is a wakeup call for you who represent the most talented students in the world. ICT is at the center of solving the MDGs. With the creativity in your head, we can save the environment for the future generation with technology.”  Sachs who is also the also Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary, General Ban Ki-moon said.

It would be recalled that more than 3,500 students registered for the event from 183 countries around the world. With 124 total projects from 70 finalist countries,  $215,000 will be awarded to the winners at the end of the competition.

Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems is the theme of the 2011 edition holding for the first time in the United States of America.


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