Linda Stone

"In real space, each place we go has a different sense of place. Places offer mood, personality, and context. When we choose where we want to take a walk or have dinner, carry on a conversation or shop, we do so based on how a place dovetails with how we're feeling, who we will be with or what we hope to accomplish. Likewise, how we dress and how we generally present ourselves impacts the impression we make on others. In part, our lives are a process of developing, tuning, and refining who we are...both to ourselves and to others. At the moment, our cyberspace identity is our email signature."

LINDA STONE, Former VP, Microsoft, is passionate about the role technology can play in enhancing our lives. In 1986 she was persuaded to join Apple Computer to help "change the world." In her 7 years at Apple she had the opportunity to do pioneering work in multimedia hardware, software, and publishing, and to work on special projects with Chairman and CEO, John Sculley.

In 1993, Stone joined Microsoft Research under Nathan Myhrvold. She co-founded and directed the Virtual Worlds Group/Social Computing Group, and with her team, researched online social life and virtual communities. In 2000, CEO Steve Ballmer tapped Stone to take on a VP role, reporting to him, to help improve industry relationships and contribute to a constructive evolution of the corporate culture. Stone initiated and worked on many projects and programs in that role, including working with acquisitions, the World Economic Forum, and starting the Microsoft Visiting Speaker Series. Stone retired from Microsoft in 2002, to work on a variety of writing and creative projects. "Continuous partial attention" is a phrase she coined in 1998.

Stone began her career as an educator and children's librarian. She serves on the National Board of the World Wildlife Fund, is involved with the Bravewell Collaborative: the Philanthropic Collaborative for Integrative Medicine, and is on the advisory board of the RIT Lab for Social Computing.