The Malta Independent 3 December 2016, Saturday

Microsoft chooses Malta’s Microsoft Innovation Centre For Pilot Workshop on Innovative Education

Thursday, 28 January 2016, 10:21 Last update: about 10 months ago

In the space of a few months, Malta's Microsoft Innovation Centre has again been handpicked by Microsoft's MIC Programme this time to benefit from an Innovation Pilot Workshop for 200 students. This interactive workshop which is being hosted in partnership with the Learning Experience Team at Microsoft, will seek to empower young people to build a bridge to the future they want to create.

Present for this workshop will be Ed Steidl, Microsoft's Global Head for the MIC Programme. Commenting on why this pilot project was hosted in Malta, Mr Steidl said "one of the aims of Microsoft's Innovation Centres is to position itself as a catalyst for ecosystem development and this is what this particular workshop is all about. It's about developing entrepreneurial mindset and I know the collaboration between the Malta MIC and the University of Malta is about ecosystem development and this project just builds on this collaboration."

The interactive workshop is being led by Natasha Chornesky from Microsoft Learning Experience. Ms Chornesky will be demonstrating a new educational model pioneered by Stanford Professor Tina Seelig - the Invention Cycle - which illustrates how imagination leads to entrepreneurship. This model captures the attitudes and actions that are necessary to foster innovation and how this helps bring breakthrough ideas to the world.

"There is an insatiable demand for innovation and entrepreneurship to help individuals and companies thrive in today's competitive and dynamic marketplace," says Edward Portelli, Business Development Manager at the Microsoft Innovation Centre in Skyparks.

"However there hasn't been a well-charted course from rough ideas to polished ventures. In this interactive workshop, participants will be led through a series of projects that provide stepping-stones that will help them identify their ideas and help them put their ideas into motion. In fact, we at Malta's MIC are very proud to have been chosen for this pilot workshop in which 200 young Maltese students will get the opportunity to feel empowered to build a bridge to the future they want to create," added Edward Portelli.

A number of skills will be introduced in this workshop namely, how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset that allows participants to see the world as opportunity rich, how to use specific tools for problem-solving and how to take advantage of factors within to unlock one's pathway to invention and how to draw a clear road map for moving from inspiration to implementation.

Prior to joining the Microsoft Academic Team in Spring 2014, Natasha Chornesky spent thirteen years in schools, as a principal and classroom teacher. She designed experiential learning programs for print/digital media and entrepreneurship. Her work has always focused on students of all ages identifying a problem about which they are passionate and testing technology solutions to solve that problem.

Natasha was the first k-12 educator, globally, to use Stanford University's Lean Launch and Customer Development methodologies in the classroom with students ages 12-18. Natasha has consulted with educators across the globe, who look to transform the lives of their students by providing classroom experiences that eliminate the barriers between what takes place in school and what takes place in the world of work, outside of school. Most recently, on behalf of Microsoft, Natasha has engaged in the design of a new computer science course in partnership with Harvard University.

Natasha holds a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts; a M.A. in Gender and Technology from University of New Mexico; and, a Ed.M. in Administration and Social Policy: Social Entrepreneurship and Law, from Harvard University.

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