The power of giving back

In the U.S., this week is a special week in which we take time to be thankful for what we have and look for ways we can give back. As HP’s Chief Technology Officer, I’m fortunate to lead the technology direction for the founder of Silicon Valley. And in partnership with a fantastic team, get to explore how the world might evolve over the next 30 years through our work on Megatrends. And share those findings with you. It’s an exciting time filled with fantastic technologies such as Artificial Intellgience/Machine Learning, 3D Printing, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality and microfluidics … just to name a few.

But this week, I want to look back, remember where I came from, and highlight the need to give back in a special way.  I always wanted to be an engineer. It started when I was 10, and I disassembled and re-assembled by mother’s favorite chair (with parts left over…cost reduction!). I was only able to realize that dream because someone believed in me and encouraged my unusual curiosity about how things worked. The small but regular investment in time helped make a difference in my life and the people around me.

It’s for precisely this reason that I’ve devoted my time outside the technology domain to an organization making a difference in children’s lives – Friends of the Children. By focusing on the most underserved children in our communities, Friends is able to break the chains of generational poverty…one child at a time. Children born into poverty have much higher risks of substance abuse, teen parenting, incarceration, and many other sad calamities. By providing a dedicated, paid mentor from kindergarten through graduation, Friends of the Children is making huge impact on the most under-served. Yes, that’s 12.5 years of mentoring and assistance.

Through Friends of the Children, we have the hope of turning the dreams of a young child into the next engineer. The next inventor. The next dreamer.

In your own special way this week, give thanks, and look for ways to give back.

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