David Gersten Highlights Voices for Innovation Advisory Task Force Experience

I was excited and honored when I was asked to be on the Advisory Task Force of Voices for Innovation (VFI) a few months ago. I never was much of a political person growing up and History was one of my least favorite subjects in the world. Then I remembered why I became so interested in VFI.

Having small school aged children made me connect the dots that the VFI items of focus: STEM, Cloud Privacy and International Trade all will create a better place for my children in the future. Without these issues top of mind their future is at risk. Sharing these issues with policy makers, business influencers and end-users makes a difference. It turns out, I do have a voice.

A few weeks ago I had the honor to attend the in person meetings for the VFI Advisory Task Force. We were hosted by Microsoft in beautiful downtown Seattle only blocks away from the Original Starbucks and the famous gum wall where we left an impression.



During the 2 ½ day trip we would shuttle up to the Redmond Microsoft campus and spend hours together with other members of the task force, executives from Microsoft and visit different areas within campus.

Four highlights of my many learning experiences were:

a) Kurt DelBene – EVP, Corporate Strategy and Planning presenting – Trends and Outcomes – Identifying Critical Future Trends and Their Implications. He shared with us how his last 12 months back at Microsoft has been and how the new leaders of Microsoft are thinking. This type of insight makes me a better partner and assists me in realigning our goals to best align with Microsoft.

b) Ryan Harkins – Director of State Affairs and Public Policy – His presentation was fascinating and something VERY dear to me. This is something I will always be available to discuss more with people and have a lot of interest in:
a. Student Privacy
b. Biometrics
c. Fiduciary Access to Decedents’ Online Accounts (Revised UFADAA 2015)
d. Law Enforcement Access to Information (this ties directly to the LEADS ACT)

c) Jane Broom Davidson, Director, Philanthropies – Her presentation and discussion was also something VERY dear to me. We had a chance to discuss in details the below initiatives and learn how partners can become involved. Let me know if you want to learn more about these.

a. Microsoft Philanthropies
b. YouthSpark
d. Computer Science Education Coalition

d) Tour of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center – During this VIP tour we had the chance to learn more about what Microsoft is doing to protect the world from Cybercrime. Specifically, during this tour, we learned about:
a. Vulnerable Populations – Children and the Elderly

b. Why Cybersecurity is a CEO issue

c. Victims of Cybercrime – Every second, 12 people become a victim of cybercrimes

Part of my job on the VFI Task Force is to Inform and Empower </strong>other Microsoft Partners and community members. If you are interested in VFI or any of the information about my recent trip please reach out to me and I would be glad to sit down and share more with you.

I am glad Bond Consulting Services recognizes how important these and other issues are and supports my time involved in these items.

David GerstenDavid Gersten is the Vice President of Customer Success & Strategic Relationships at Bond Consulting Services (BCS).