In recent articles in The Atlantic and The Huffington Post, I discuss the benefits of providing pro bono counsel to solve problems that intersect business, technology and society. IBM has been at the forefront of these efforts through our Corporate Service Corps and Smarter Cities Challenge initiatives. Since 2008, we have deployed more than 2,000 top-talent employees from 50 countries on more than 2,000 Corporate Service Corps assignments in 30 countries. Meanwhile, our Smarter Cities Challenge program is providing pro bono consulting services worth USD$50 million to 100 cities through 2013.
We’ve just announced the winning cities for the 2013 Smarter Cities Challenge, and are gathering the mayors of those cities and others – along with urban policy thought leaders and IBM experts – at the first Smarter Cities Summit. With more than half the world’s population living in cities, we depend on them for many of the essentials of life. But once we look across the boundaries of culture, geography and language, we begin to recognize that the challenges facing cities are universal.
Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation. The Civic 50 has just named IBM as America’s Number One most community-minded company.