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Icons of Progress

Smarter Planet

The ambitious project of creating a smarter planet requires the talents, energies and vision of a global collective of dedicated stakeholders spanning all sectors of society. From researchers, scientists, engineers and designers to managers, executives and others, IBMers around the world and in every role are collaborating for a more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent planet. Meet select team members, below, who contributed to this Icon of Progress.

  • Colin Harrison 

    Colin Harrison
    Colin Harrison invented the Smarter Cities technical architecture.

    An IBM distinguished engineer, Colin Harrison currently leads IBM’s Enterprise Initiatives team working on the cross-IBM technical coordination of the Smarter Cities offerings. He is the creator of the Smarter Cities technical architecture, and was a principal contributor to establishing a global business team for Smarter Cities and for communicating the technical vision to IBM’s clients. Harrison has held a number of executive roles at IBM, including director of strategic innovation in IBM’s Integrated Technology Delivery in Europe and director of global services research in IBM’s Research Division, where he held many leadership positions. Harrison joined IBM in San Jose, California, in 1979. In 2004, he was named an IBM Master Inventor for his sustained innovation leadership and service.

  • Jon Iwata 

    John Iwata
    Jon Iwata and his team led the development of the Smarter Planet strategy.

    As senior vice president of marketing and communications, Jon Iwata heads IBM’s marketing, communications and citizenship organization. His global team is responsible for the marketing of IBM’s portfolio of products and services, market insights and development, communications and corporate affairs, and stewardship of the IBM brand. In addition to developing the Smarter Planet strategy, Iwata and his team led the marketing of Watson, the experimental computer system that defeated the two best human contestants in the game of Jeopardy! Iwata joined the communications function of IBM in 1984 at the company’s Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, moving to corporate headquarters in Armonk, New York, in 1989. In addition to his executive role, Iwata is co-inventor of a US patent for advanced semiconductor lithography technology.

  • John Kennedy 

    John Kennedy began his career at IBM in 1996 as a product manager, moving in 2000 to the company’s marketing organization, where he currently serves as vice president of corporate marketing. Kennedy led the development of marketing and solutions positioning for the Smarter Planet initiative, and played a key role on the team that worked with longtime IBM agency Ogilvy & Mather to develop the award-winning Smarter Planet advertising campaign.

  • Stan Litow 

    Stan Litow
    Stan Litow led the development of the Smarter Cities Challenge grant program.

    Stan Litow leads global corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility (CSR) at IBM. During his tenure, Litow has helped establish IBM as a global leader in CSR through its societal, environmental and civic leadership, and through goodwill initiatives such as providing open source technology to help people with disabilities access the Internet and a humanitarian grid to power research on cancer and AIDS. In addition to spearheading the development of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge, Litow played a key role in creating the company’s Global Citizen’s Portfolio, which features matching accounts for learning and the Corporate Service Corps program. Before joining IBM, Litow served as deputy chancellor of schools for New York City, the largest school system in the US, and as an aide to both the mayor and governor of New York. He also founded and directed the non-profit think-tank Interface.

  • Sam Palmisano 

    Sam Palmisano
    Sam Palmisano kicked off the Smarter Planet initiative with his landmark November 2008 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.

    Palmisano is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of IBM. Since joining IBM in 1973, Palmisano has served in a series of leadership positions at the company, including senior vice president for the Enterprise Systems and Personal Systems groups and senior managing director of operations for IBM Japan. As the head of IBM Global Services, he built the largest and most diversified information technology services organization in the industry. During his decade as president and CEO, Palmisano has been a trailblazer in collaborative innovation by championing its use to transform not just internal corporate culture and product development at IBM and other companies, but also the process of real-world global problem solving by multiple stakeholders. Palmisano is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received a number of business awards.

  • Jurij Paraszczak 

    Jurij Paraszczak is director of IBM Research Industry Solutions and leader of the Research Smarter Cities program, which helps cities optimize their infrastructures. He is responsible for aligning IBM’s 10 research laboratories with Smarter Cities opportunities emerging throughout the world. In addition, he integrates research capabilities in materials and processes, IT innovation, modeling and optimization to implement sustainable solutions for IBM customers across diverse industries. Paraszczak holds nearly 20 patents in a wide variety of fields including communications, materials manipulation, media delivery and more.

  • Ann Rubin 

    Ann Rubin joined IBM in 1997 as director of integrated marketing communications, and currently serves as vice president of brand expression and global advertising. She directed the development of the Smarter Planet advertising campaign, winner of the 2010 Gold Global Effie, one of advertising’s most prestigious awards.

  • Mike Wing 

    Mike Wing
    Mike Wing created the guiding principles and key messages behind IBM’s expression of its Smarter Planet vision.

    As vice president of strategic and executive communications at IBM, Mike Wing helps shape IBM’s communications to employees, investors and the public at large. He has been instrumental in conceptualizing and crafting the messaging around the Smarter Planet strategy as expressed in IBM’s corporate communications, marketing and advertising efforts, and thought leadership. Prior to his current role, Wing led the strategy and development of IBM’s corporate intranet, “w3,” growing it from a small publishing site to IBM’s primary medium for information and a key engine of culture change. w3 has featured such innovations as the all-IBM brainstorming event ValuesJam, based on Wing’s vision for scaling the jam concept electronically as a tool for brainstorming and decision making on a truly global scale. Wing has built his expertise in corporate communications over three decades of working in the field, and joined IBM in 1997.