Opening the discussion, Christopher Sharrock, Vice President of United Nations and International Organizations at Microsoft, explained why his company set up an office at the United Nations (UN). Microsoft has partnered with the UN for years, and it made sense to commit to a consistent physical presence in order to make the most of the work together. Akiko Fujita, Anchor at Yahoo Finance, pushed Sharrock to explain the benefits to leveraging technology for the UN. Sharrock highlighted the transformative effect of digital technology, especially in engaging and working with those lagging behind in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sharrock also noted benefits to a multi-stakeholder approach to other issues like climate change and gender equality. Measuring the data is crucial to tracking and addressing shortfalls. Designing policy requires evidence and consultation with the private sector. Sharrock closed with optimism that Microsoft can empower everyone on the planet to achieve more, and that he hoped other companies would follow their example.
“There’s a number of issues on the table. Climate change being one of them, gender equality is another [and] food security. What does the multi-stakeholder approach look like when you approach those issues?”
Akiko Fujita, Anchor, Yahoo Finance
“Digital technology as we see it is capable of transformative solutions […] there are clearly ways that Microsoft technology can be supportive, for example, our data hub with the WHO.”
Christopher Sharrock, Vice President of United Nations and International Organizations, Microsoft