Software.org Connects the Dots Between Software and Society

BSA | The Software Alliance launched Software.org: the BSA Foundation to help policymakers and the public better understand software’s impact on our lives, our economy, and our society.

The foundation is an independent and nonpartisan 501(c)(3) international research organization, and it will strive to inform policies that stay ahead of cutting-edge technologies, empower the workforce of the future by supporting STEM education efforts, and help policymakers, stakeholders, and the industry prepare for tomorrow.

"Software is everywhere, and it's indispensable to a thriving economy and essential to our modern lives," Software.org: the BSA Foundation Executive Director Chris Hopfensperger said. "It's also so seamlessly woven through our lives that it can be easy to take for granted. The foundation aims to bridge that gap – to connect the dots between software and society so that we can continue to grow the economy and positively impact people’s lives.”

Software.org will focus its efforts on three pillars of work:

Think Deeply: Publishing reports and studies, and engaging with governments and stakeholders in a dialogue about innovation-enabling policies and groundbreaking technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things.
Give Back: Collaborating with leading organizations to enable and expand the software workforce of tomorrow by increasing opportunities for cutting-edge training and skills.
Look Forward: Preparing for the future by supporting diversity, inclusion, and economic opportunity for all.
“Software isn’t just transforming the phone in your pocket and the TV on your wall. It is powering the US economy,” said Victoria Espinel, President of Software.org: the BSA Foundation and President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “To make sure that continues, we need to focus on two things: having conversations about how evolving technologies enable growth and fostering the right educational environment in our schools to build the tech workforce of the future. Software.org will be focused on both.”

Software.org plans to release several reports in 2017 focused on the intersection of software and policy. The first report will highlight the benefits software brings to critical infrastructure. Primers on the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will explain these new and complex technologies in plain language to help policymakers and other stakeholders in their discussions. The foundation also will publish the updated Economic Impact of Software in the United States study to underscore the sector’s important role in the US economy.

Software.org will partner with Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology, to sponsor the 2017 Summer Immersion Program in Washington, DC. The program includes seven weeks of intensive instruction in computing skills, ranging from mobile app development to web design to robotics, as well as interactive experiences with leaders in technology and government. BSA sponsored the summer program for 2015 and 2016.

The foundation’s Board of Directors includes:

Jason Albert, associate general counsel for policy, Workday, Inc.
David Crane, vice president, government affairs and senior corporate counsel, Autodesk, Inc.
Jim Green, senior vice president, government affairs & public policy, Salesforce.com
Fred Humphries, corporate vice president, US government affairs, Microsoft Corporation
Jace Johnson, vice president, government affairs & public policy, Adobe Systems, Inc.
Allen Lineberry, associate general counsel, intellectual property & licensing, Siemens PLM Software
Christopher Padilla, vice president, government & regulatory affairs, IBM Corporation
Software.org relies on an Advisory Committee for input and expertise, including:

Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO, Girl Scouts of the United States
Jeremy Allaire, CEO and co-founder, Circle
Michael Chertoff, founder and chairman, Chertoff Group
Raj De, partner, Mayer Brown
Lizzie Francis, co-founder and managing partner, Brilliant Ventures
Vijay Gurbaxani, founding director, Center for Digital Transformation; professor of business and computer science, University of California, Irvine
Maurice Jackson, associate professor, Georgetown University
Dr. Stefan Jockusch, vice president, strategy, Siemens PLM Software
Jeff Kowalski, senior vice president and CTO, Autodesk
Leighanne Levensaler, senior vice president, corporate strategy, Workday
Greg Morrisett, dean of computing and information sciences, Cornell University
Christina Sass, co-founder and COO, Andela
Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO, Girls Who Code
Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO, New America Foundation
Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer, Microsoft Corporation
Julie Sweet, CEO – North America, Accenture
Daniel Weitzner, director and co-founder, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) Decentralized Information Group