Akhtar Badshah

Under Akhtar Badshah’s visionary leadership, the Global Community Affairs Office at Microsoft works to narrow the technology gap for communities worldwide. Through monetary grants, software and curriculum donations, technology solutions and employee volunteer hours, Microsoft has been a big supporter of global nonprofits, providing nearly $4 billion to them in cash, services and software since 1983. Badshah directs Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills Program (CTSP), a global initiative that provides technology training through community technology centers. Badshah also oversees programs aimed at helping nonprofit organizations improve their effectiveness through increased technology capacity. This includes Microsoft’s signature partnerships with organizations such as NPower, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, telecentre.org, TechSoup and NetHope.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Badshah was CEO and president of Digital Partners Foundation, a Seattle-area nonprofit focusing on IT-based anti-poverty efforts. Badshah is an active board member of many local organizations and chairs the board of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center. An MIT-trained architect, Badshah has authored and edited many books, including Our Urban Future: New Paradigms for Equity and Sustainability and Technology at the Margins—How IT Meets the Needs of Emerging Markets.

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In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxSeattle, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxSeattle event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.