The campaign aims to inspire 20,000 Thai youth to learn coding and open up new career opportunities in the digital world
BANGKOK, 11 March 2015 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, together with the National Council for Child and Youth Development (NCYD) and Change Fusion, today kicks off the YouthSpark #WeSpeakCode campaign in a region-wide effort to make code a second language in Thailand and Asia Pacific. By 2015, the #WeSpeakCode campaign aims to inspire 20,000 Thai youth to try coding and realize their potential as a creator in the digital world of today.
The #WeSpeakCode campaign is part of the Microsoft YouthSpark program, a global, company-wide initiative to empower young people to do more and achieve more in their lives – by providing access to technology skills and a better education, inspiring youth to imagine and realize a better future, and helping them find jobs or to start their own businesses.
Last year Microsoft Asia Pacific launched the successful YouthSpark #WeSpeakCode campaign that saw thousands of enthusiastic young people across the region including Thailand getting their first taste of learning basic coding skills, while many others took up more advanced challenges through hackathons and coding for social good.
This year, the campaign encompasses a series of coding activities including the #WeSpeakCode ThunderClap initiative, Social Media Contest and Thailand’s major coding event on March 21, 2015.
Haresh Khoobchandani, Managing Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, said, “Not only does having basic coding skills expand employment options, it also presents entrepreneurial opportunities for many. With knowledge and understanding of coding, there are endless innovative business ideas that could be turned into reality. At Microsoft, we believe that digital literacy, like coding, is an essential skillset in the 21st Century and should be taught in all schools to drive innovation and real impact for Thailand. For example, a group of student participants who received advanced IT training from Microsoft launched a smartphone application that uses augmented reality to provide information about accessibility and wheelchair facilities in Bangkok and surrounding areas. This demonstrates how technology can help enable innovation and bring great ideas to life.”
Srisak Thaiarry, Executive Director of the National Council for Child and Youth Development, said, “We are delighted to be entering the third year of our partnership with Microsoft Thailand to empower Thai youth and this speaks volume of what we seek to mutually achieve in the area of youth development here in Thailand. By promoting and teaching coding among the youth, we are also nurturing their critical thinking and logical problem-solving skills, as well as encouraging creativity and innovation. These are skillsets that are fundamental regardless of sectors or industries.”
Klaikong Vaidhayakarn, Deputy Director of Change Fusion, said, “The mission of Change Fusion is to grow social entrepreneurs and coding skills will help young social entrepreneurs understand how to use and work with technology to add value to their products and services in the Internet era. This is the first year we are partnering Microsoft and we believe that the collaboration between world-leading technology enterprise and social enterprises will encourage creativity among young social entrepreneurs to generate more social impact for Thailand.”
To rally support for #WeSpeakCode in Thailand and Asia Pacific, Microsoft is calling on all Thais to participate in the #WeSpeakCode ThunderClap (https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/21629-wespeakcode-in-asia-pacific?locale=en) initiative with just a simple click of a button. Leveraging social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, the ThunderClap initiative aims to spread the #WeSpeakCode message and actively engage supporters across Asia Pacific.
Similarly, to encourage Thais to discover the excitement, fun and ease of learning to code, this year’s #WeSpeakCode campaign challenges participants to submit creative, funny or interesting photos of their coding activities with friends or families via Instagram or Facebook. Participants of the #WeSpeakCode Social Media Contest stand a chance to win attractive prizes which include a Nokia Lumia 830 and Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse among others. The #WeSpeakCode Social Media Contest is now open to all Thais and ends March 31, 2015. Results will be announced on April 15, 2015 via the contest site (http://www.wespeakcode.net/contestdetails-th.aspx) and/or the Microsoft Asia Pacific Citizenship Blog (http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_citizenship_asia_pacific/)
The #WeSpeakCode campaign will culminate in the #WeSpeakCode Thailand Coding Event on March 21, 2015, where more than 150 Thai youth will participate to learn and do coding. Members of the public, regardless of experience or knowledge in coding, are encouraged to be a part of this event by joining the ‘live’ video conference via Microsoft Lync at https://join.microsoft.com/meet/v-sujura/9fhqg38s.
To find out more about #WeSpeakCode, please visit our official website at http://www.wespeakcode.net/.
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About Microsoft Thailand
Established in 1993, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited aims to Make 70 Million Lives Better by enabling Thai people and businesses to realize their full potential through technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We offer software, services, and devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. Working with communities and the Thai government, Microsoft and its partners are committed to working closely with organizations and people across Thailand to fully harness the power of technology and innovation.
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