MSDW Podcast: The Power Platform as a tool for opportunity and inclusion

September 29 2020

Members of the Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 community came together for a series of online pub quizzes in July to raise money for local charities and support social action against racism. The events drew hundreds of participants and raised money for local non-profits in midst of broader protests in cities around the world.

In the UK, funds from the pub quiz event went to Black Minds Matter, a London-based organization focused on mentoring, education, and other support services for black and ethnic minority young people. Microsoft MVP Tricia Sinclair, a key organizer of the original pub quiz fundraiser, has continued her efforts to support Black Minds Matter by creating a Power Platform-focused training curriculum for them that brought together subject matter experts from the Microsoft community to educate and mentor young people involved in the organization. The multi-week program concluded with a hackathon where the participants developed and presented Power Platform apps focused on themes like mental health and legal services.

On this episode, we are joined by Tricia, Malik Gul, director of Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network in London, and program participant Rosina St. James to talk about the hackathon and the whole program. We discuss the outcome and the broader opportunity to expose young people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds to the Microsoft ecosystem.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 - Introductions to our guests and their work
  • 5:00 - Origins of the effort to raise funds, awareness, and support for Black Minds Matter in London
  • 7:00 - The mission and goals of Black Minds Matter in the context of social trends, including boosting opportunities for learning and development
  • 12:00 - Why making the connection between under-served communities and professional opportunities is so important
  • 13:45 - Reaction of the students to the program and the various roles and options
  • 15:30 - Getting an understanding of the software industry
  • 17:45 - Bringing Power Platform community members together to help build out the student program
  • 19:00 - Where is the overall effort to train the next generation on Microsoft business apps workers?23:45 - Preparing the student group for the hackathon
  • 27:30 - Rosina's app from the hackathon
  • 29:30 - Developing ideas for new solutions, and the judging panel's observations and engagement with social and healthcare services organizations
  • 34:15 - Next steps for the program including mentoring, internships, apprenticeships, and education options
  • 38:45 - Plans for scaling these efforts, from technology education to more diverse health and social opportunities

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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