Can Tech Help the Poor? Design & Data from

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by Archana Prasad (proposing) on Thursday, February 28, 2013

Visual Arts + Design

Session type

Technical level

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Hear from the CEO of Babajob, on how they built a million strong platform that helps informal sector labor connect to better jobs via the mobile, the web and social networks.


Sean Blagsvedt, CEO, will talk about the learnings, successes and failures as his company travelled along a unique path in fighting poverty by providing job information to the poor



Speaker bio

Prior to founding Babajob, Sean spent 9 years at Microsoft, interning in 1996 and 1997 and joining full-time in 1999 in the Office group in Redmond as a Program Manager, owning features such as Messenger integration, speech recognition and what was to later become the Vista sidebar. In 2002, Sean moved to the Windows Vista User Experience team, designing the Messenger experience in Vista and how the OS represents people. Finally, in fall 2004, Sean moved to Bangalore as the 3rd founding member of the Microsoft Research India (, heading the Program Management and Advanced Prototyping team, focusing on novel approaches to technology in emerging markets and new strategies in the mobile phone space.

Prior to his years at Microsoft, Sean also worked at the White House with the Internet Policy czar, Ira Magaziner and in Boston with the Lotus Corporation (IBM). Sean holds dual bachelor degrees in Computer Science and Public Policy from Brown University (1998). He's really likes having fun too.