Last week, at the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day, Microsoft announced that Yammer, the private social network, will be made available to survivors and communities in the wake of future crises. The first-of-its-kind event was hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Security Council, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security, and included companies such as Microsoft, Airbnb, and Getaround.
After a welcome from Todd Park, Assistant to the President and Chief Technology Officer of the United States, the event kicked off with Tony Surma, Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Disaster Response, joined on stage by Mark Margolis of Microsoft Dynamics UK and Dave Fortier of Merrimack Global Partners. Mark and Dave proceeded to recount compelling personal stories to a rapt audience. Mark survived the London bombings of 2005 and Dave survived the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013. They were brought together by Microsoft’s effort to make Yammer available to the Boston community in the wake of last year’s tragedy. Based on their experiences, both Mark and Dave realized that other communities face similar challenges, whether affected by an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or man-made disaster. That is why they’ve worked so hard to ensure that other survivors will be able to connect to one another easily, in order to share resources, information, and support. Yammer will provide impacted individuals with access to one another in the aftermath of disasters so that together they can recover more quickly and more completely than they could apart.
You can check out what Mark has written about the day and what Tony’s team has written about Microsoft’s commitment to make Yammer available as soon as possible in the wake of future disasters. I’d like to personally thank Mark and Dave for sharing their stories. And I’d like to thank Tony and everyone at Microsoft who has worked to make this possible.
Tags: Airbnb, Boston Marathon, Dave Fortier, Department of Homeland Security, disaster recovery, disaster response, Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, Getaround, Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day, Mark Margolis, Merrimack Global Partners, Microsoft, Microsoft Disaster Response, Microsoft New York, National Security Council, Todd Park, Tony Surma, US Chief Technology Officer, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Yammer