Microsoft Ability Summit 2020
May 27, 2020, New York, USA
Microsoft Ability Summit 2020
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Ability Summit 2020: Satya Nadella Interview
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Satya Nadella
Chief Executive Officer at Microsoft

Satya Nadella is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. Before being named CEO in February 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company.Joining Microsoft in 1992, he quickly became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings.Most recently, Nadella was executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. In this role he led the transformation to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took share from competition. Previously, Nadella led R&D for the Online Services Division and was vice president of the Microsoft Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella lives in Bellevue, Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella serves on the board of trustees to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and his alma mater the University of Chicago, as well as the Starbucks Board of Directors.

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Excerpt from the Ability Summit 2020 Day 1 Keynote

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Thank you, Jenny for that beautiful introduction and thank you Satya for taking the time to be here with us today. Is a big honor to interview you and discuss a topic that is personally important to both of us as a person who is deaf. I use ASL American Sign Language to communicate I'll be asking you a series of questions it is you see me signing on the screen. My ASL interpreter is voicing what I'm saying now, I remember when I first arrived at Microsoft as a new employee and you made the time to stop by my office and learn the sign for welcome. Thank you for doing that.

Thank you. You've been passionate really very passionate about accessibility for a long time. You've been the executive sponsor for our disability employee Resource Group and you spoke at this event many times. Can you share with us what accessibility means to you and thank you so much for being at Microsoft being such an inspiration and doing what you do. I really admire the work you do and it's great to be working alongside you that I came to both from both a

personal experience. And of course now working alongside a talented people like yourself are all trod Microsoft in my case. The first time I immersed myself around accessibility the needs of the community as well as the technology was because of my son Zane who has cerebral palsy and as he was experiencing all of what he needed to get done and that's how I got got to know what a empowering a force technology can be to give an ability to empower everyone who has it needs it on. Accessibility and so that's how I

came to it. But quite honestly the last whatever 10 years or so that I've been very actively World accessibility Community. I've learned so much learned so much about what universality that is in the needs of the community here because the more we understand deeply how to empower everyone weekend in fact advanced technology and benefit everyone on that much more and so that's the thing being one of the blessings for me to be involved in this and it's just been a great learning experience and a great experience of impact. Wow.

Thank you. Empathy has been core to embedding accessibility into the DNA of Microsoft. What would you say are the core tenants that have powered Microsoft accessibility Journey first work on a house chopped that truly gives importance to alcohol it that universality in the design aesthetic of a company like Microsoft, I mean don't get me wrong. One of the cool things is we have a responsibility. In fact, there are laws out there that we need to confirm do when building a platform the tools so as a platform in the tool provide us we needed to make sure we are doing everything to make a

sauce for accessible. But really we have to go One Step Beyond that to truly do that. We have to First Wok on a culture and the culture start by looking around right? I mean to be able to take everyone who comes to Microsoft irrespective of You know Dad needs how do we Empower them so that they can fully participate in our culture fully participate in a company and our Innovation and I work and that's what I think has been the market change in Microsoft that deep empathy for people we work with deep empathy for the needs out there in the marketplace

that's being translated into this cultural and opinion quite frankly right now. We have for example an assessment tool which any one of our own teams can go run through and see how ready they are you on board an employee who needs some accessibility help. How do you truly both use technology in the people connection there? That's something that I think only comes when you take the culture element and then that allows you to build all the capabilities. We need a lot of or before capability you need to culture. That is so true.

It's very important. Next question for you. What advancements are you seeing and accessible Technologies broadly speaking? I think some of the technologies that we have especially as we are increasingly getting better at being able to even combine. I would say speech vision and text Bill Tony's large-scale AI models. I think we will have increasingly bigger and bigger break through some of the things that you see and seeing your eye of the beginnings of it. I would say to me it's still

amazing that i gaze as a mod modality of input is having such an impact. It's all started with Steve Gleason challenging us and say what is a way for him with the last to be able to communicate and not lead to what is eye gaze technology now in Windows and it's just for men. To see people being able to play even in a games which is a high-precision activity so far. We just entered their ability to control their days even what we're doing as I said with captions on teams the ability to use that language

understanding in real time to be able to help people follow along in meetings. This is another capability that the Xbox adaptive controller that was another one of those examples of how technology there. I would say everything from the packaging to the very product concept. I felt was very well thought out with the needs of the community here until we have lots of innovation, but it's really more than anyone Innovation. It's that ability to think about Universal Design and accessibility not as something that you do after the product has been created

but at the core of how you build products I think it's just fantastic to see. Yes, we are currently living through absolutely unprecedented times as the world is currently being impacted and disrupted by coronavirus, especially the disability community. How do we innovate in the post covid-19? And what is the role of technology in inclusive economic recovery? Yeah, I mean to me this is something again. We're all in the midst of your learning a lot. I think the first responsibility all of us have is to ensure that we use

all the power we have of technology to ensure that people are safe. So for example, anything that we can do to keep vulnerable populations many people with disabilities in many cases are more vulnerable. So then enabling them to be productive participants where they are and using the technology and also as they return to the workplace ensuring that they remain safe I think about the place where technology technology innovation in both self attestation as well as testing and everything that it entails I think is going to be an important aspect.

Is that how do we ensure that? Even when someone is a remote by because one thing that is being made progress in the workplace in making the workplace more accessible now, can we Show the people when they're even remote have the same access including in fact, you've given us great feedback on all that we need to do even in a product like team so that it's really helped open. Anybody who has accessibility needs working out some of the features we've introduced like a captions are great, but we have a lot more to do. So I would say, you know, even remotely funny. In fact, the read-aloud

features the immersive reader features. Those are so important for someone better teacher is trying to communicate and the student is learning a thing as long as you learn differently need all of these tools are so I think they're doing everything around Skilling access to technology so that everyone can participate fully well in our economy while keeping them and their Community safe, I think is the most important thing we can do to really help have an equitable world going forward. I just want to add to that it's been very humbling and very inspiring

to be part of that progress that we're making moving forward. So one last question for you. Any final advice you'd like to leave the audience with? Football I'm so thankful for everyone in this community for who you are what you do and the inspiration energy that you bring your work because I think that visits through your active participation advocacy and support is how we as a community will get better and I think at Microsoft we have a real responsibilities as a platform and

a tool company for us to build those technologies that are going to empower everyone who works here at Microsoft. And as we do that we will be able to really serve everyone in the world. So it's really thank you very very much for everything that you're doing. I love this event because I think this event even brings out everybody that ideas did the galvanizing Force for the entire company and ecosystem around us. And so that you know, this is great to celebrate use the zoo. Does BO2 celebration in an inspiration? Thank you. Credible will thank you so much

for being a part of it and taking the time to share your remarks with all of us today and everyone who's watching from home. It has been very deeply insightful. And thank you everybody for tuning in.

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