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2021: Your purpose in action

Over the past year, people and organizations in every part of the world have applied technology to help address their own challenges and opportunities, as well as those of their communities and society at-large. Here are some of their stories.

Support inclusive economic opportunity

We must ensure that economic opportunity is inclusive—for every country, developed and developing; every community, urban and rural; every business, small and large; and every person, including the 1 billion plus people with disabilities.

Man sits and types on computer

Watch: Mars Ingenuity Helicopter, United States

NASA’s Mars mission achieved a milestone in space exploration when Ingenuity completed the first powered flight on another planet—a feat that would not have been possible without developers on GitHub, including Ahmad Awais, who contributed code to the software that powered the flight.

Four people walk with tablets

Watch: Rebecca Sackett, United States

Rebecca Sackett developed more than 80 apps using Power Apps to help Custom Air Products in Houston, Texas, deliver superior customer service to its customers.

Woman uses a tablet

Watch: uPlanner, Peru 

uPlanner, one of our Partner of the Year winners, successfully helped keep more than 300,000 university students across South America connected and learning when schools shut down because of the pandemic.

Watch: Government of Nunavut, Canada

Government agencies used Windows 365 to help deliver critical technology solutions that kept residents and companies connected across the vast and remote region in northern Canada. Read more

Man teaching a class of kids in rural India

Read: AirJaldi, India

In partnership with our Airband Initiative, AirJaldi provides broadband and connectivity to some of the most rural parts of India to help improve livelihoods and help increase access to education, telemedicine services and more.

Woman stands in a factory

Watch: Toyota 4T Academy, United States

Toyota’s 4T Academy used HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 to teach students new skills, preparing them for highly skilled jobs right out of high school.

A person types on a keyboard

Read: Surface Adaptive Kit

We partnered with the disability community to design this kit which makes our devices more accessible for everyone.

Watch: Lindsey Almeida, United States (Xbox Copilot)

Xbox Copilot enables people like Lindsey Almeida, who has limited mobility, to play the video games she loves with help from others by linking two controllers to work as one.

Three students stand in a room

Read: Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS), Juarez, Mexico

The program, which has now expanded to Mexico, helps build sustainable programs to give students equitable access to computer science education. TEALS also helps educators learn to teach computer science by pairing them with industry volunteers and proven curricula. Learn more

Protect fundamental rights

We unequivocally support the fundamental rights of people, from defending democracy, to addressing systemic racial injustice and inequity, to protecting human rights.

Several people add supplies to bags

Read: Team Rubicon, United States

The nonprofit set up 169 COVID-19 response sites across the United States in just 30 days, using Dynamics 365 to manage the deployment of thousands of volunteers.

Woman gives a presentation using a whiteboard

Learn more: i.c.stars, United States

The nonprofit works within Black and African American communities to offer digital skills and workforce development for those wanting a career in technology.

Three people standing and talking

Read: King County Community Vaccination Site, United States

Across the country, nonprofits and local governments relied on the power of volunteers and technology like our Microsoft Vaccination Management platform to expand access to vaccines. Read more

Screenshot of the global vaccine dashboard

Learn more: Global Vaccine Dashboard

This interactive Power BI dashboard featuring publicly available data on vaccinations, testing and more helps provide a view into COVID-19 trends around the world.

Four people hold up a trophy

Read: Team REWEBA, Kenya

Students created an IoT-based infant monitoring solution to reduce barriers to crucial infant health care for marginalized communities in Kenya, earning them top honors in our 2021 Imagine Cup competition.

Two surgeons smiling

Read: Mount Sinai Health System, United States/Kyabirwa Surgical Centre, Uganda

Surgeons at both hospitals have used mixed reality technology to help communicate during more than 500 surgeries while thousands of miles apart.

Commit to a more sustainable future

We must address climate change for a more sustainable future. That’s why we’ve set ambitious climate goals and have detailed plans to achieve them, while enabling others to use technology to create and achieve their own goals.

BeachBot on the boardwalk at Scheveningen Beach

Read: BeachBot, Netherlands

This AI-enabled rover uses computer vision, built with our Trove app, to remove cigarette butts, which can poison beach animals and marine life, from beaches in the Netherlands.

Grupo Bimbo building

Watch: Grupo Bimbo, Mexico

The global prepared foods company is using Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability to manage its massive worldwide distribution chain in a sustainable way.

Feral buffalo moving across land

Read: SpaceCows, Australia

This multi-agency partnership is using AI, space technology and indigenous-led knowledge to help solve complex environmental management problems across northern Australia.

Dozens of baby turtles emerge from a nest in the sand

Read: APN Cape York/CSIRO, Australia

As part of Microsoft’s AI for Earth program, these agencies are using AI and cloud computing to help protect tens of thousands of baby turtles each year.

Earn trust

Every day, we strive to earn the trust of our customers, employees, the communities we serve and the governments that represent them through a commitment to privacy, security, the responsible use of AI and transparency.

Read: O2matic, Denmark

The company created an AI automated oxygen solution, now available to COPD and COVID-19 patients in their homes, to help reduce the risk for this vulnerable patient group and ease stress on hospital respiratory departments.

A patient sits with a caregiver

Read: Mobile Mentor, New Zealand

One of our Partner of the Year winners, the organization uses telemedicine so hospice workers can better serve their patients and support those patients’ families.

A woman drives a car

Read: Western Lakes Fire District, United States

This fire district used Microsoft Teams to securely share real-time drone footage with first responders, allowing them to gain critical situational awareness and respond more quickly to emergencies.

Crisis Text Line graphic

Read: Crisis Text Line, United States

Through a partnership between Xbox and the nonprofit Crisis Text Line, free mental health support with a trained counselor is only a text message away for gamers experiencing an emotional crisis.