A systemic approach to problem solving

The challenges that communities face – educating the young, keeping citizens safe and healthy, attracting and facilitating commerce, and enabling the smooth flow of people and goods – are compounded by the serious global economic downturn.

IBM remains committed to solving societal problems through a range of programs that bring expertise and skills development where they are needed most. We approach these complex issues—from childhood cancer, to literacy, to entrepreneurial support—by looking at them systemically and engaging our global community of IBMers and our best technology and knowledge to reach scale.

This approach fosters innovative problem solving, whether it’s through such well-received programs as the Corporate Service Corps, mobilizing millions of users to donate unused computing power through World Community Grid, improving literacy skills, or developing new math and science curricula.

Looking ahead, we’ll continue to pursue progressive approaches to problem solving and making a positive contribution to improve education, increase economic development and alleviate humanitarian crises, as demonstrated by the key 2008 initiatives detailed in this section of the report.

44 countries were represented by Corporate Service Corps volunteers during the first full year of the program

68 countries benefit from the work of On Demand Community volunteers

10 million children from 60 countries are served by the KidSmart program

1.2 million devices run World Community Grid

Key 2008 Corporate Responsibility Initiatives

In 2008, we focused on several community-building programs in the following areas: Equipping Students, Equipping Entrepreneurs, and Engaging the World in Problem Solving.

Equipping Students: Service Science, Management and Engineering teaches skills for a smarter planet

IBM and universities worldwide are promoting an academic discipline incorporating business and technology skills that are critical for today’s workforce.

Point of View
The value of Service Science

Reading Companion: Improving literacy skills

Reading Companion software is making a critical difference in the teaching of literacy skills throughout Mexico.

Point of View
The relationship between public education and the private sector.

WEB EXCLUSIVE Academic Initiative: Preparing students to meet global demand for software skills

A new program allows students in Asia to earn software certification at a substantial discount.

WEB EXCLUSIVE KidSmart Traveling Toys: Developing cultural awareness and computer learning skills in pre-schoolers

Exchanging mascots with fellow students from different cultures broadens pre-schoolers’ perspectives in 13 European countries.

Small Business Toolkit: Providing knowledge resources to emerging entrepreneurs

This online resource, a collaborative effort between IBM and IFC, has proved indispensable for young enterprises, especially during the global economic crisis.

Point of View
Helping small businesses overcome barriers to growth.

World Community Grid & Cancer: IBM and researchers search for a cure

Research to treat the primary cause of cancer death in children is being fueled by World Community Grid’s computing power.

WEB EXCLUSIVE The Forbidden City: Bringing centuries of Chinese history and culture to the world

IBM’s 3-D virtual reality technology immerses visitors in the rich cultural traditions of Imperial China.

WEB EXCLUSIVE Broadband Access: Equipping 200,000 rural Americans with new tools

A collaboration between IBM and International Broadband Electric Communication provides high-speed Internet access to disadvantaged communities.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]