President of Microsoft at ITU: ”We need a breakthrough in technology”
IT students have to figure out how to bring the future of technology and the future of climate together, argues President of Microsoft Brad Smith at an open debate at the IT University of Copenhagen.
A real tech star takes a seat in front of students and guests at the IT University of Copenhagen in a packed auditorium. Based on the number of lenses from cameras pointing at him it is clear that he is not just an ordinary visiting lecturer, who wants to discuss technology, responsibility and policy.
During a visit in Denmark on November 7, the President of Microsoft Brad Smith engaged in an open debate with students from ITU and the Danish Tech Ambassador Casper Klynge. No seats are left free and the auditorium is filled with students who are eager to discuss future possibilities and worries within technology.
Technology as an opportunity and a risk
What are the most important issues for your generation? I will say two: The future of technology and the future of the planet. And because of what you study, you have to figure out how to bring those together
Brad Smith, President of Microsoft «
Questions from students lead the open debate, even though the American tech President is the main attraction of the day. The debate touches upon subjects such as survellance, distrust, regulation and climate.
In his book 'Tools and Weapons', which Brad Smith published earlier this year in cooperation with the co-author Carol Ann Browne, he addresses some of those themes. In the book, he shares his view on what role tech companies play in the current world order, and how he sees their responsibilities in the future. During the debate, he argues that IT students have a responsibility as well:
“What are the most important issues for your generation? I will say two: The future of technology and the future of the planet. And because of what you study, you have to figure out how to bring those together," Brad Smith said.
The question of tech companies and their responsibility on climate and sustainability was raised by a student from the IT University. According to Brad Smith, technology has to play a role on this issue.
"It requires a huge breakthrough in technology. We need advances in technology and science, and we need real advances in how this technology is disseminated and deployed. That is one of the opportunities for the 2020’s, and I am almost certain it will come from people in this room," he says.
Important topics for the IT University
According to Vice Chancellor at ITU Martin Zachariasen, the IT University of Copenhagen is an appropriate host to a debate between two prominent guests from different parts of the tech world.
He was content with the open debate after experiencing the students asking the Microsoft President and Tech Ambassador critical questions.
"From the debate I can tell that our students have great interest in these topics. They asked incisive and considered questions that stem from the teaching here at the IT University," Martin Zachariasen says.
The debate was recorded and can be found here.
Anna Lohmann Ahlbom, Press Officer, phone +45 25 55 04 47, email firstname.lastname@example.org