The secret to powering TIME's
'Team of the Year'

    Michele Malejki, HP Global Head of Social Impact and Director, HP Foundation

The secret to powering TIME's 'Team of the Year'

Michele Malejki, HP Global Head of Social Impact and Director, HP Foundation


HP’s Social Impact Team is honored to be named TIME’s Team of the Year, presented by Smartsheet. It's a humbling recognition – one that is being awarded for the first time to “an enterprise whose commitment to communication, collaboration and innovation made a significant impact on the world.” 
Our team is unique and diverse – every single one of us, for example, has worked for a non-profit entity at some point before joining HP (I’ll never forget my years spent working and learning in the rice paddies of Southeast Asia!). We value the importance of seeking out those with lived experience when it comes to solutions-mining. We know what it’s like to fundraise for a cause. Perhaps most importantly, we strive to lead our work – and our engagement with one another – with empathy. 
Our team is dedicated and passionate, working tirelessly to accelerate equitable access for all to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity – but here’s the secret. Not everyone on “our team” wears an HP badge. 
In fact, our team stretches across the globe – they are in community centers serving refugees and displaced populations, creative labs enabling childhood literacy, mobile healthcare units reaching rural populations, the formal – and informal -- classrooms around the world.  
When HP committed to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people by 2030, we knew its achievement required an ‘all hands on deck’ approach. About a third of the world’s population remains locked out of essential economic and social opportunities because of the digital divide. It’s a trillion-dollar problem that no one entity can solve alone. We’re fortunate to have a team made up of dozens of local and international organizations, our ‘on the ground partners’ who help guide where HP can make the greatest impact and provide invaluable expertise on how to create lasting change. 

We know the power of technology. It can be a great equalizer. But technology alone will not solve the digital divide – and we are honest about that, despite that we all work for one of the world’s leading technology companies. That’s why we intentionally work to provide access to hardware, connectivity, digital literacy, and quality, relevant content to holistically address the digital divide. 
For example, by teaming up with the YMCA, we are leveraging both HP technology and HP LIFE classes to meet people where they already are in existing local gathering spots. HP LIFE is a free skills-training program from the HP Foundation that offers courses on everything from 3D printing to the basics of finance, helping students and entrepreneurs learn skills that can translate into economic opportunities.  
Our partners also help HP strategically target specific populations, such as girls, who are disproportionately impacted by the digital divide. One example of this is HP’s partnership with both Girl Rising and 1 Million Teachers, two non-profits working tirelessly in Nigeria and Kenya to empower teachers to support students by providing skills, resources, and mentors. With an eye toward gender responsiveness, teachers tell us they are intentional about the use of language and materials that embrace gender equity. At the same time, these partnerships allow us to provide tangible, practical solutions that also address the global teacher shortage. 

Our partners are also crucial to mobilizing in times of crisis. When millions of Ukrainians were displaced by war, we turned to the Global Business Coalition for Education to guide our $30 million investment to distribute more than 70,000 laptops and learning materials. GBC-Education worked with organizations on the ground who could quickly identify the need in local communities. It’s because of this collaboration that Ukrainian children, many in new, unfamiliar countries, can connect to schools in their hometowns, and that teachers can continue to teach, even if from afar. This partnership also showcased the value of ‘collaborating for impact’ with other corporate entities, as Microsoft joined forces with us by donating the operating system licenses alongside our hardware.  
And to my immediate team: Ina, Mariama, Anshu, Julio, and Stephanie – thank you for everything you do. It’s a privilege to work alongside you every day, and to know that the work we do together with partners has already accelerated digital equity for more than 21 million people to date. 
I can’t wait to see what 2024 will bring.