a morning with microsoft


Well, not really just with Microsoft. But I liked the alliterative title.

This morning, I attended a breakfast sponsored by the Upstate New York Chapter of the Association of Women in Computing. They hold this breakfast annually to announce the selection of the IT Woman of the Year. Given that we have Xerox and Kodak in town, as well as the University of Rochester, and a plethora of tech-related businesses, there are a lot of amazing women in this town, and a long roster of impressive candidates for this year's award.

The winner? Our department chair, Eydie Lawson. Woohoo! It was a well-deserved honor--she's built this department from the ground up to the amazing, vibrant place it is today.

After the award ceremony, there was a keynote address by Bonnie Robertson, whose title is "Director, Partner Organizational Development, Microsoft Business Solutions." I was prepared for a morning of software evangelism, but ended up very pleasantly surprised.

Bonnie, who has a background in sociology, talked about societal trends driving innovation, and her talk set the stage perfectly for the kinds of social software curriculum development that I want our department involved in. Nothing she said was hugely groundbreaking--but she was saying it in front of the people whom I most wanted to hear it. She talked about the growing number of "faceless interactions and transactions" that we all have to deal with, and the resulting increased desire for community and connections. Swinging from high-tech to high-touch...but, eventually, to high-tech-touch. She ended by saying "How do we adapt? Foster relationships and trust using technology."

All in all, it was a lovely morning. It's not often I get to spend time around hundreds of other women in technology. And when that pleasure is combined with watching someone you admire win an award, and hearing a good speaker...well, it was an awfully nice way to start the day.


What a great thing to be a part of- it must have been very encouraging. Hopefully something like that will start up in Australia at some stage (if it hasn't already.)

There is hope! A Professor of Technology who writes "A Morning with Microsoft" because she likes the alliterative sound of it. "Trust" is one those BS Biz School, Fukuyama buzz words, it means a condition of gullibility in which the fool can be parted again and again from his money, used and abused his his government and never wake up. Social software will facilitate this all-important-trust without trustworthiness. (Look in Kukuyama's index to his ponerdous tome on trust -- look for trustworthy and you will not find it.

What I truly pray for is that a woman like Liz, emerges who has an ear for langauge, that is to say an ear from hypocrisy, cant, and jargon, who can help us create and deploy software that will sow dissension and distrust among the sheep for their false Shepherds. That would be trustworthy. If that sower of Socratic distrust has a sense of humor, emotional intelligence, and a gift for building community, so much the better. (Frost wrote of himself in Directive as "one who has at heart only your getting lost." May Liz emerge as the MBA/Technologist's best quide -- to perdition.)




Recent Photos

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from mamamusings. Make your own badge here.

Upcoming Travel

Creative Commons License
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on May 1, 2003 8:51 PM.

an afternoon with the public printer was the previous entry in this blog.

wealthy friends is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.