My 4Th Future Decoded in a Row! I really enjoyed this Microsoft conference. Each year this conference is marked in my agenda months in advance. It’s big! (I know there are bigger conferences in US). At this time Future Decoded was the biggest conference I’ve been to. In November I work on this and go to visit and speak at Microsoft Ignite! and I know it’s way bigger. But I love Microsoft Future Decoded and call it a big conference until November.
This year Future Decoded has some extra magic. I went to the conference with my best friend and General Manager of Scorpius IT Kenny Liard. Nice to know, Kenny is also part of my nonprofit DDSoft. Traveling with your BFF together is always fun!
Like last year Future Decoded was pretty much AI focused. I love it to see what’s possible with AI and how Microsoft is putting input into this field.
I was overwhelmed with the initiatives Microsoft takes on sustainability. Microsoft advised Future Decoded attendees to bring re-usable water bottles. There were no recyclable water cups. In stead of water cups they used cardboard cups if you didn’t brought your recyclable bottles.
At Day 1 Keynote Dr. Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer gave a keynote. It made me think. Think a lot. Dr Lucas Joppa told about the actions Microsoft is taking for a more environmentally conscious approach. I don’t know for sure but Future Decoded changed my mind and I am more environmentally conscious since my last trip to Future Decoded!
If you think beyond earth I loved the keynotes from Major Tim Peake CMG and Helen Sharman CMG OBE. I love talks form outer world. Talks form outer world does me think at people changing their life completely. The astronauts have to switch their life completely in the 2 year period before the expedition to space. When they return on earth, they life is never the same as before their trip.
This types of talks make me think at attitude, different structure, planned structures. And be honest, as a person with autism this topic is never too far away.
Thanks for inspiring me!
Microsoft’s big efforts on accessibility are also very visible at Future Decoded for years. This year Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft was keynoting for the second year in a row at Future Decoded. I love her way of public speaking. I love her vision
But the keynote for Jenny Lay-Flurrie wasn’t the only accessibility effort from Future Decoded. There were even Braille maps of the expo hall!
Back to the Basics!
Start with the basics! A sentence that’s been said a lot of time. But an important message. At Future Decoded I learned to start with the basics in Accessibility. at DDSoft I am focusing for years on accessibility for people with intellectual disabilities and autism. But there are already a big set of basics accessibility guidelines to include and empower everyone. .The main message at this year’s conference was start with the basics in accessibility. Color Contrast, Dark Mode, captions and subtitles. use POUR principles: make Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust applications and you are inclusive! My mission is to go further on this basic accessibility and include it in my mission! And I am already started to bring this in my mission! As I am!
Power Platform and Power Apps
Microsoft is putting a lot of effort in accessibility in Power Apps and in the Microsoft Power Platform in broader sense. Microsoft is putting a lot of accessibility effort in this platforms. I’m not used to work with this platforms but I love the effort!
Microsoft Office 365
Another Microsoft product where Microsoft is putting a lot of effort for Accessibility is Office 365. Microsoft works with AI to make accessible documents and documentation.
After I said that Future Decoded gave me a drill into sustainability consciousness, Microsoft also gave me a ‘Use Accessibility tools in Office 365 drill! I love this drills.
BTW Office 365 has a great suite of AI solutions, they have even a PowerPoint trainer mode for speakers! I am so sure I am going to start using this tool!
The massive expo hall
And of course conferences mean networking at the expo hall! This year the expo hall was the biggest edition I saw at Microsoft Future Decoded. I loved the expo hall. Some booths were worked out pretty well. With plants, screens, huge screens, coffee trucks and this year the expo hall has 2 floors!
So I (we) really had a blast!