Corporate Citizenship and Purpose-Driven Transformation

by Stan Litow
Jul 27, 2015 10:00 AM ET

Citizen IBM Blog

IBM's technology and talent have the power to help transform governments, institutions, communities and the quality of life for people around the world.  We work to improve education, revitalize cities, address the challenges of economic growth, respond to disasters, and develop sustainable strategies for energy use and environmental protection, As part of a tradition that dates to the company’s founding more than 100 years ago, IBM and IBMers contribute innovative solutions to the world’s toughest societal challenges.

In our 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report, we detail our efforts to transform communities, support our employees, and engage in responsible corporate governance and practices. Through it all, you’ll see how IBM and IBMers contribute our time, technology and expertise toward making the world a better place.  Selected 2014 highlights:

  • Six students from IBM’s inaugural P-TECH grades 9 to 14 school in Brooklyn, New York entered the school year as high school students, but emerged as college graduates. The six completed their “six-year” P-TECH program two years ahead of schedule – finishing high school and college in just four years. They were just the first of many students from P-TECH schools partnered with IBM and other companies who will graduate early and either enter the workforce or continue their educations prepared for success. Three of the Brooklyn P-TECH six have taken high-paying jobs with IBM, while the remaining three will enter four-year colleges and universities with scholarships this fall.
  • Breakthrough IBM Watson cognitive computing technology already is helping oncologists and other medical professionals make more informed decisions in the fight against disease. But what if we applied IBM Watson to education? That’s the question we asked – and answered – in 2014 with the introduction of Codename: Watson Teacher Advisor. This exciting new tool will serve as a virtual mentor to educators, who will be able to access its power whenever they need it, anonymously and free of charge.
  • Improving the health of women and families was the focus of two significant IBM Corporate Service Corps engagements in 2014. In Ghana, we collaborated with the Ghana Health Service and the Yale School of Medicine to help reduce Ghana’s mother-to-child HIV transmission rate to less than 1 percent by 2020. And in Peru, we and our partner Becton Dickinson and Company worked with the women’s health nonprofit CerviCusco to more than double the organization’s outreach to rural, low-income women.
  • Health-related research was among many humanitarian efforts enabled by IBM World Community Grid in 2014. World Community Grid played an essential role in the Chiba Cancer Center’s breakthrough in childhood cancer research, enabling researchers to isolate seven new drug candidates from a field of three million. And in the fight against the Ebola virus, World Community Grid joined the Outsmart Ebola Together partnership and was the computing power behind the Scripps Research Institute’s accelerated search for a cure.
  • Through more than 500 IBM Impact Grants, we delivered service capabilities to nonprofit organizations around the world – effectively increasing IBM’s agility in identifying, engaging and overcoming thousands of discreet global challenges, while empowering large and small organizations with essential insights and expertise to serve their beneficiaries better.
  • Finally, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge marked 2014 with concrete results in cities in Australia (improving infrastructure and its effectiveness), Ireland (integrating municipally owned solar energy into the existing power grid), Mexico (planning for economic development), the United States (reversing neighborhood decline and increasing tax revenue) and more.

This is just a small sampling of how IBM integrates corporate citizenship into our global business strategy – contributing our most valuable technology and human assets to critical partnerships that enable significant and sustainable change. We are excited to share our vision for a better world, and to illustrate what we’re doing to make that happen. And we welcome your thoughts and ideas about our continuing efforts.

Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation.

Related Resources:

IBM 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report

IBM Corporate Responsibility on Twitter