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Software.org: At the Intersection of Software and Society

When it comes to software, society faces three key challenges. We need to design policies that can stay ahead of cutting-edge technologies. We need to prepare for the workforce of the future. And we need to better support diversity, inclusion, and economic opportunity for all. Software.org: the BSA Foundation will tackle all of these challenges head on.

Launched today, Software.org is a nonpartisan international research organization that will help policymakers and the public better understand the impact software has on our lives, our economy, and our society.

Software is everywhere. It’s in the places you’d expect, like the phone in your hand, the TV on your wall, and the laptop on your desk. You’re using software to read this blog post right now. But software is also a critical component in places that you might not realize, from the financial and manufacturing sectors to healthcare and infrastructure. Software is so seamlessly woven into our everyday lives that it can be easy to forget all the ways it affects us.

Software.org will not only inform people about innovative software – AI, IoT, and blockchain – but also posit answers to the big questions we are facing. The foundation will foster conversations about how policies affect groundbreaking technologies. By supporting efforts to increase STEM training and skills for people of all ages and backgrounds, the foundation will help prepare the future workforce.

Our software is constantly updating and evolving. We need to consider how our society will evolve with it. Software.org will help do just that.

Victoria Espinel

Author:

Victoria Espinel is a respected authority on the intersection of technology innovation, global markets and public policy. She leads strategic efforts that help shape the technology landscape in 60 countries through work in BSA’s 10 global offices.

Espinel also serves as the President of Software.org: the BSA Foundation. Software.org is an independent and nonpartisan international research organization created to help policymakers and the broader public better understand the impact that software has on our lives, our economy, and our society.

Espinel served for a decade in the White House, for both Republican and Democratic Administrations as President Obama’s advisor on intellectual property and, before that, as the first ever chief US trade negotiator for intellectual property and innovation at USTR. She was also a professor of international trade and intellectual property at the George Mason School of Law.

Espinel is a founding and ongoing co-sponsor of Girls Who Code’s Washington, DC, summer immersion program, which empowers young women to pursue careers in STEM fields. She speaks before audiences around the world to build visibility for the amazing things people can do with software, and encourages businesses, governments, and the public to support a policy environment that will enable even more software breakthroughs.

Espinel chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Digital Economy and Society. She was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN), the principal advisory group for the US government on international trade. She holds an LLM from the London School of Economics, a JD from Georgetown University Law School, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Follow her on Twitter: @victoriaespinel.

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