The Corporate Service Corps program was launched in 2008 and by the end of 2011, over 1,500 IBM employees will have participated. The program empowers high achieving IBM employees to perform community-driven economic development projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, working at the intersection of business, technology and society.
IBM selects top management prospects and then trains and dispatches these leaders to emerging markets around the world. Participants spend four weeks in groups of 10 to 15 to help solve economic and social problems of their selected communality. Teams work collaboratively with their government and community counterparts to understand how to implement socially responsible business practices with measurable results in a global context.
A broad array of skills is represented in each team as employees are drawn from across IBM’s business units and geographical locations. Participants are emerging leaders who bring a unique perspective and desire to increase their cultural awareness and knowledge of effective business and service delivery practices. Participants must easily adapt and excel in challenging global environments where they hone their problem solving and teaming skills.
The teams spend three months preparing for their assignments in a robust curriculum that includes education about their host countries, project problem statements, and time for team building via teleconferences and social networking websites. Participants who are not from the consulting practice also immerse themselves in consulting methodology appropriate for working in emerging markets. On location, teams work with local governments, universities, and business groups on a variety of initiatives ranging from upgrading technology for a government agency, increasing international tourism to a government funded poverty alleviation initiative, working with artisans to improving public water quality.
The result is a triple benefit to the IBMers, the community, and to IBM. A global business and service perspective is instilled in program participants and community partners through a dynamic business environment promoting social, business, and economic development. The Corporate Service Corps program enables significant, scalable contributions to global communities while cultivating effective global leaders.
CDC Development Solutions (CDS) was established in 1990 to place business professionals into international volunteer assignments. Since that time, CDS has assisted over 6,000 small to medium sized enterprises in over 80 nations in the developing world and has extensive experience in Africa and Europe.
CDS is based in Washington DC and is the Service Corps partner for Corporate Service Corps participants assigned to Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Tanzania, India, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Peru.
Australia Business Volunteers (ABV) was established in 1981 to transfer business skills and experience to small and medium sized enterprises across the Asia Pacific region. They have extensive experience in developing and supervising work in a host of AP geographies. They have significant experience in capacity building with public sector agencies, NGOs and other community organizations.
ABV is the Service Corps partner for participants assigned to the Philippines and Vietnam.
Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) is a leading international social enterprise - an innovator in enabling people to access and apply information and communications technologies (ICT) to create education, economic and social opportunities. DOT’s vision is to make these opportunities available to marginalized people, especially women and youth, as a strategy to eradicate poverty, vulnerability and gender inequality. DOT provides 'hands-on' exposure to a variety of ICT applications and key national and local economic and social priorities and networks - that are critical elements in effective community service.
Headquartered in Canada, DOT is the Service Corps partner for participants assigned to Turkey, China, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania.
“It’s not just philanthropy, it’s leadership development and business development, and it helps build economic development in the emerging world.”
— Stanley Litow
IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs
Executive Service Corps
An expansion of the successful IBM Corporate Service Corps, the Executive Service Corps deploys teams of IBM executives to solve complex problems in cities of high growth emerging markets. In 2010, six IBM executives set off for Vietnam with the intention of helping city planners, entrepreneurs, and NGOs develop a road map for a smarter city in Ho Chi Minh City.