Microsoft at the Creativity Conference


Last Friday, Microsoft in partnership with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and TIME, presented the “Creativity Conference” – a one-of-a-kind event convening leaders from the world of politics, media, business and the arts to engage in a direct dialogue on the role creativity plays in our economy and in creating the workforce of the future.

The half-day conference in Washington, DC convened some of the greatest minds in creativity, entertainment, technology, and politics – including President Bill Clinton, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Harvey Weinstein, PBS CEO and President Paula Kerger, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Filmmaker Benh Zeitlin,’s Hadi Partovi and HBO CEO Richard Plepler.

Microsoft’s Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries provided welcome remarks and Microsoft Distinguished Scientist (and friend of this blog) Stevie Bathiche provided his perspective on the nexus of technology and consumer demand. Regular readers will already be familiar with Stevie’s work and perhaps not surprised that he holds 56 patents! At the conference, Stevie’s demo focused on how technology will enrich the future of creation and creativity.

In conjunction with the event, TIME, in partnership with MPAA and Microsoft, conducted a nationwide poll through Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) exploring how Americans think about creativity and its effects on the economy. Highlights from the poll are below and full results can be found at


  • Americans recognize creativity as an important economic driver, (72%) say the current economic situation makes creativity more important.
  • While most agree that America has the potential to be a creativity leader, they don’t see themselves as having the right tools or training in place to truly foster it, nearly half (41%) say we’re less creative as a nation than we were in the 1960s.
  • About one in three who say America is not the global creativity leader today blame schools for not building enough creativity in students. While another one-third say the government is not doing enough to support creativity.
  • Creativity is also becoming more of a professional conversation, (62%) say creativity is more important to success in the workplace than they anticipated it would be when they were in school, nearly seven in ten agree that innovation in business is a form of creativity, however, nearly one-third do not feel their current employer fully values creativity.


The technology sector is a hotbed for creative minds and original ideas, and it’s growing every day. Economic projections point to a need for approximately one million more science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade if the US is to remain a world leader in science and technology.

At Microsoft, committed to inspiring the next generation of creators through initiatives such as our YouthSpark programs which aim to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.

If you missed the event, check out coverage at join the conversation on Twitter at @Creativity_Con and #CreativityCon.