The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has just bestowed its “Best Corporate Steward” award for large business – the Citizens Award – on IBM. The Chamber Foundation’s Best Corporate Steward award recognizes businesses that serve as powerful forces for good around the world. Companies and chambers of commerce from around the globe compete for Citizens awards in several categories, making them among the most coveted opportunities for recognition in corporate citizenship.
Among this year’s nominees, IBM is not alone in doing excellent work. But what distinguishes IBM in the increasingly crowded and competitive field of corporate citizenship is the breadth and depth of its programs, and the company’s longstanding culture of service that begins with its CEO and radiates through nearly 400,000 employees around the world. It is the high level of engagement and support of IBM’s CEO and top leadership that inspires and encourages contributions of service by employees, partners and clients as an integral part of IBM’s global business model.
Chigozie Okorie, P-TECH student and intern at the IBM Center for Applied Insights, is conducting a series of executive interviews exploring topics such as the skills necessary for business today and how to prepare students for a very dynamic future. Here are some of the key takeaways from his interview with Nancy Pearson, who leads all aspects of marketing for IBM Cloud.
Read the full interview here.
IBM’s 100+ year commitment to corporate citizenship runs broad and deep – encompassing dozens of programs and initiatives. While some of our programs, such as P-TECH, Corporate Service Corps and Smarter Cities Challenge involve our direct engagement to address significant societal challenges in education, public health and economic development, we have designed other programs to bring IBM’s global expertise and capabilities to smaller organizations. Sharing capacity through the IBM Impact Grant program benefits us, our partners and their constituents in at least two ways. First, grassroots nonprofits – challenged with increasing demands in an era of diminishing resources – are able to operate more effectively while gathering the performance data often required by funders, government agencies and socially responsible investors. Second, by working with a diverse group of small and fast-moving organizations, IBM becomes more agile in its ability to engage and transform client organizations – both nonprofit and for-profit.
IBM and AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMBSE) have entered a strategic partnership for IBM to develop a game-changing fan experience at the state-of-the-art new Atlanta stadium set to open in 2017. This will enable AMBSE to provide highly advanced, interactive technologies for Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer Atlanta games, as well as concerts and other marquee events.
Among the essential differentiators of the IBM P-TECH program is the opportunity for young people to gain skills-based workplace experience in addition to their rigorous academic work in high school and college courses. This holistic approach to preparing our students for successful futures has already shown significant results. In June, P-TECH’s first graduates either joined IBM in well-paying positions or headed to four-year universities to continue their studies this fall. The next promising class from P-TECH is following in their footsteps and looking to build its own legacy –including Amanda Crawford, who turned 16 just weeks prior to starting her IBM internship. Amanda, her classmate Anthony Lewis and more than 50 of their classmates who have earned college credits brought their talent, skills and enthusiasm for learning to such projects as conducting competitive research, creating websites, drafting social media strategy, and even contract negotiations at IBM and other employers this summer. In my role coordinating the Brooklyn P-TECH program, I feel very lucky to interact with young people who can think on their feet, collaborate with anyone and learn on the job.
– Will Ehrenfeld, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Education
My name is Amanda Crawford, and I am a rising senior at P-TECH in Brooklyn, New York.
I am a summer intern for the North America Market Development team at IBM in New
York City. During my first week, I was introduced to cloud computing. I learned that
cloud platforms are infrastructures that benefit customers and make the consumer experience better.
My assignment was to research and study energy companies within the Fortune 500 that have industry cloud platforms or participate in industry cloud platforms. We also aimed to understand the energy industry ecosystem players.
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.
As Brooklyn P-TECH – IBM’s first P-TECH school – celebrates the graduation of six students with their high school diplomas and college degrees two years ahead of schedule, we reflect on what makes P-TECH so special, and look ahead to the model’s expansion across the U.S. and abroad.
Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. Mr. Litow is a former Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools.
Last week, I had the distinct privilege to visit Newburgh, a city situated on the Hudson River and just a short train ride north of The Big Apple. It was a chance to witness
firsthand what everyone has been clamoring about: just what is happening inside a
Otherwise known as Pathways in Technology Early College High School, P-TECH has earned much praise for innovation in education from just about everyone, including President Obama. For me, the question was whether the success of the Brooklyn model could take flight in less populated areas. Could this model work in other communities across the state, particularly in troubled regions? I was determined to find out.
Twenty-three years ago this May, I graduated from Morehouse College as part of the largest class in the college’s history through 1992. Features in national media outlets told the stories of several young leaders from the Class of 1992, including why they had chosen Morehouse over such schools as Cornell and Stanford, the commitment to service that Morehouse had instilled in them, and their plans for making the most of themselves and doing their best for their communities. On Commencement Day this year, Morehouse’s President acknowledged my work with P-TECH, and what we and our partners are doing to help level the playing field for a new generation of young leaders.
Today, our school celebrates its first graduating class – six extraordinary young people who, through talent and tenacity, are finishing the six-year P-TECH program in just four years, and beating the odds. After accepting the P-TECH challenge of rigorous academics, extended school days, summer sessions, workplace learning, mentoring and internships, each of these graduates has earned either a high-paying job with IBM, or acceptance to a four-year college or university. Four of the six are the first in their families to graduate college. Each of them personifies what it means to redefine oneself based on one’s
P-TECH is redefining possibilities for 17 and 18-year olds so that by their mid-20s their lives have different trajectories than those of their peers from similar socio-economic backgrounds and previous generations. The success of these six students shows that achievement gaps can be closed when young people have access to equitable opportunities and resources. We look forward to more of the types of public-private partnerships that are reinventing high schools as engines for success.
Continue reading to meet the P-TECH Class of 2015.
At the height of last year’s Ebola outbreak, the citizen engagement team at IBM Connections in Sierra Leone put their talents in technology to work, creating a way for citizens to report Ebola-related issues and concerns via text or voice calls.
The people behind the project – which provided real-time insight to the government and helped health care companies more effectively deliver trial vaccines – were not only highly skilled IBM employees. They were volunteers.
Across the country and the world, companies like IBM are putting their unique business muscle to work for the greater good. These pro bono volunteers – top-notch professionals in technology, public health, systems engineering, logistics, manufacturing and more –
are using their industry-leading skills and relevant issue expertise to help nonprofits
Yesterday at the White House, I participated in an event – convened by the White House, Points of Light and the U.S. Department of Commerce – that brought together corporate and nonprofit leaders for a change-making expo. We showcased some of the newest tools and innovations in pro bono service.
When most of us talk about “tools for transformation” these days, we’re usually referring to software as a service or specific types of business or operational strategies. At the Atlanta Community ToolBank, we certainly use digital and conceptual “tools” to help us serve our clients. But our client touch point is physical tools. We are America’s largest tool-lending organization. We maintain an inventory of physical tools that we lend to other nonprofits to enable community-based service projects.
We began our partnership with IBM during their Centennial Celebration of Service in 2011. Since that time, IBM experts have helped us develop strategies for efficiency, growth and collaboration with other nonprofits so that we can continue to provide our essential service. IBM and the Atlanta ToolBank eventually entered into a partnership that involves an annual consulting grant to help us refine operations and expand our impact across Atlanta. This critical strategic “tool” has been made possible by an IBM Impact Grant.