In this series, I’m trying to answer the question: what is innovation? It means different things to different people. Innovation can be as simple as adding an eraser to the end of a pencil or as complex as sending people to the Moon. What does it mean to be innovative? How do you know you’re being innovative?
Along my journey, I meet people using technology in amazing ways, and discover what innovation means to them.
Join me on my journey
Cornerstone Academy Trust
In this episode we focus on Cornerstone Academy Trust, which is based in Devon and oversees four primary schools. Its staff place innovation at the heart of teaching and learning.
Cornerstone has forged strong partnerships locally, regionally, nationally and globally, and also provides teacher training, professional learning, leadership development and school-to-school support at both primary and secondary levels. It has been appointed a Microsoft Training Academy, a DfE English Hub and a Science Learning Partnership, and is also part of the West Country Computer Science Hub.
Like every school in England, Cornerstone has had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and the knock-on effect that's had on their pupils' education. In this podcast, you will hear from Jonathan Bishop, headteacher and CEO of Cornerstone, about how innovation has helped his staff continue to provide first-class learning to their classes.
You will also hear from Chris Rothwell, Head of Education at Microsoft UK, about how schools are working together and sharing that innovation.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service
In this episode we focus on Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, one of the largest fire services in the UK. It looks after 12,000 square kilometres that includes numerous mountains and 650 kilometres of coastline. It's also an organisation steeped in tradition. So when Chris Davies became Chief Fire Officer, he made it his mission to drag it into the 21st century. Now, the firefighters are using Microsoft Surface devices to help them free people trapped in car accidents, and HoloLens to provide remote training.
You will hear from Chris in this podcast, as well as Ryan Lewis, Microsoft’s National Technology Strategist for all the public sector organisations in Wales, about how the country is increasingly embracing digital transformation.
Click the play button and join us on our journey.
In this episode we are visiting Dimension Studio, a Microsoft mixed-reality partner that creates incredible experiences using holograms. Dimension has worked with stars such as Madonna, boxer Anthony Joshua and tennis player Andy Murray. It also helped to create a hologram of a model, so she could see herself walking down the catwalk.
Dimension is on the cutting-edge of digital experiences, so I was keen to talk to them and Alex Montgomery, Director of Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft, about innovation in mixed-reality and using Microsoft HoloLens to create new ways of seeing the world.
In this episode we focus on the famous Abbey Road studio in London, which has been used by musicians such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Sir Edward Elgar, and was used to record the scores to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, Gravity and Black Panther.
Specifically, we will be looking at Abbey Road's music technology incubator, called Red. Microsoft helps Red run hackathons, which aim to understand what the future of sound recording could look like.
You will hear from Dominika Dronska, Head of Digital at Abbey Road, and Chagall, a singer and musician who uses a motion capture suit in her performances. They will talk about what innovation means to them.
Click the play button and join us on our journey.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Hello and welcome to Microsoft Stories, a new podcast about technology and innovation.
In this episode we focus on Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs some of the busiest hospitals in London. Staff are wearing Microsoft HoloLens, the mixed-reality headset, as they work in high-risk areas. This has been useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as only one person wearing a HoloLens has to be close to patients, while the rest of the medical team can watch a live feed in another room.
You will hear from James Kinross, a consultant surgeon and senior lecturer at Imperial College London who was on the frontlines of medical care during the pandemic.
You will also hear from Annette Garner, an Azure specialist focused on data and AI in health, and Laura Robinson, Health and Life Sciences Lead at Microsoft UK, who reveal how technology can help doctors, nurses and GPs, and ease pressure on the NHS.
In this episode we are focusing on Project Natick, a Microsoft research project that placed data centres in the sea and powered them using renewable energy.
The aim is to see if data centres can be deployed closer to the people, businesses and organisations who use them. Almost half of the world’s population lives within 120 miles of the ocean, so the benefits for them are potentially huge.
How did Microsoft come up with the idea to place data centres in the sea, and how did it happen?
Ben Cutler, who leads the Project Natick team, and Michael Wignall, Azure Business Lead at Microsoft UK, will answer those questions in this podcast.