IBM AI for Good sponsorship focuses on AI in service of the planet

By | 3 minute read | November 3, 2021

Many organizations saw their digital transformations get a turbo charge during the COVID-19 pandemic, and today, virtually every organization is now well down the path of its AI journey. As AI’s imperative is realized, leaders should be asking whether it’s trustworthy, if it solves real human problems such as climate change mitigation and overall, if it’s in the service of good.

I’m pleased to announce that beginning November 2021, we’ll be a leading sponsor of AI for Good initiative, providing an ongoing opportunity to engage deeply on these very questions with the goal of inspiring both awareness and an expansion of AI efforts all in service of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

AI for Good is a year-round digital platform where AI innovators and problem owners learn, build, and connect to help identify practical AI solutions to advance the SDGs. ITU runs the platform in partnership with 38 UN Sister Agencies, XPRIZE Foundation, ACM and co-convened with Switzerland.

IBM’s year-long programming aims to highlight the power of humanity combined with technology, engaging academics, policymakers, reporters, and industry representatives in new thinking around AI for good. Specifically, we’ll be diving into the core principles of what can make AI trustworthy – and how putting AI to work in service of climate change mitigation makes good sense, for the planet, for society, and for businesses alike. We’ll feature experts and topics from our ecosystem of IBM Research, products and policy experts, business partners and clients in a series of ongoing webinars, virtual networking sessions and other digital resources.

According to a March 2021 study by IBM Institute for Business Value, 93% of global consumers say COVID-19 influenced their views on sustainability. Some 83% of personal investors say that, in the next 12 months, they will invest, divest, or lobby fund managers to change investment mixes based on social responsibility and/or environmental sustainability factors.[1] In a separate 2020 study, more than half of the executives surveyed claim AI could improve their companies’ ethical decisions. A majority also say AI could be harnessed as a force for societal good, not just for good business.[2]

There’s less than a decade left to reach all 17 SDGs, and for its part, IBM has been actively aligning its work, both in our organization’s practice and how we engage with our clients. We especially share in the belief with the United Nations that AI can advance many of sustainable development goals and targets. Furthering our mission to empower humanity with technology, IBM is looking forward to fostering conversations on how organizations can adopt a trustworthy AI framework and start to crack some of the world’s climate-related problems.

SDGs in Action

Here are just two of many examples of IBM’s alignment with the SDGs – clearly demonstrating how we work with organizations – using AI to drive solutions in healthcare, education, agriculture, energy conservation and more.

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

IBM and Yara International are collaborating to build the world’s leading digital farming platform, using farm and field data to improve global food production efficiency, transparency and sustainability. Find out more here

SDG 3: Clean Water and Sanitation

The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund is an initiative of The Nature Conservancy to help thousands of farmers use methods that save water and reduce pollution in Kenya’s Upper Tana watershed. In 2020, an IBM Service Corps team developed a data management prototype to manage and analyze the large amounts of data collected in this ongoing effort to maintain water availability and quality for 9 million people.

Read about this story here

IBM will use the year-long sponsorship to share stories from organizations about the many exceptional ways we’ve partnered on projects such as those detailed above, showing how AI for good is happening now — driving changes that will benefit people today and into the future. When used responsibly and ethically and done with solid governance, AI is a force for good that extends beyond business needs into addressing the needs of those who are impacted most. Learn more about IBM’s human-centered approach to trustworthy AI here:

We welcome this year-long conversation with individuals and organizations who are considering the entirety of AI in hopes that can help us all better understand how it can foster the accomplishments of all the targets across the SDGs.

Sign up the AI for Good newsletter to get updates and join us for all the programming here:


[1] Sustainability at a turning point: Consumers are pushing companies to pivot, IBM Institute for Business Value

[2] Advancing AI ethics beyond compliance: From principles to practice, IBM Institute for Business Value