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Virginia M. Rometty
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

A Moment of Transformation

We are witnessing a historic convergence of global shifts—the phenomena known as Big Data, cloud computing, mobility, and social business. Any one of these would have been disruptive for technology and business. Together, they promise to transform global society.

So the question facing every enterprise and institution is: What will we make of this moment? How will we capture the potential of a planet alive with data? How will we make use of powerful business and technology services available on demand, in the cloud? What will we create from, and with, growing networks of consumers, workers, students, patients, and citizens? How will we tap an emerging global culture defined by people determined to change the practices of business and society?

To answer these questions, IBM is executing a bold agenda, which is reshaping our company for the next decade and beyond. It encompasses—indeed, integrates—our business and citizenship strategies. In this report, you will see what that looks like in practice. We describe an approach to citizenship that aims not only to be generous and do good, but to drive systemic transformation.

For example:

Education: Three years ago, IBM created a new paradigm for secondary education—extending through grade 14 and connecting high school directly to college and career. We call it Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or P-TECH. What began as an experiment in one Brooklyn neighborhood is now spreading across America and beyond. By 2015, there will be more than three dozen schools modeled on P-TECH. Seen as the future of education everywhere from the White House to the cover of Time magazine, P-TECH teaches the same lesson to business and society that it conveys to its students: The only barrier to progress is thinking too small.

Community engagement: Through our five-year-old Corporate Service Corps, we have pioneered the integration of business leadership development and citizen diplomacy in the world’s emerging regions. Here, too, scale and sustainability are critical to the program’s impact. More than 2,500 talented IBMers have participated in 850-plus teams across 35 countries to tackle issues as diverse as the environment, healthcare, and economic growth. We are partnering with international development agencies, governments, NGOs, and other companies to aggressively scale a model that the US State Department has lauded as reimagining the role of global business in the developing world. And the result is as transformative for the IBMers who participate as for the communities they serve. Most describe it as one of the most meaningful experiences of their working lives.

Smarter Cities®: IBM is helping make our rapidly urbanizing planet smarter and more livable through the Smarter Cities Challenge®. More than 600 IBMers have jump-started the transformation of urban services in more than 100 cities—with a new slate of 100 cities now on tap. These experts propose breakthrough ideas, measure progress rigorously, and help leaders reimagine their approach to long-standing problems via public-private partnerships—from water quality in Tucson, to traffic in Nairobi, to public safety in Johannesburg and St. Louis.

This list could go on. IBM’s On Demand Community® has reimagined volunteerism, with more than 250,000 IBMers and retirees contributing nearly 17 million hours of service over a decade. We are transforming disaster response by focusing on the nexus between relief and recovery—as when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013. Small and Medium Enterprise Toolkit and Supplier Connection are spurring job growth through collaboration between small and large companies. And our pioneering “cognitive” computing system, Watson™, promises to change the face of healthcare and education—from helping to train medical students at Cleveland Clinic to serving as the basis for new courses at ten leading universities.

These and many more examples of societal transformation at scale are described and quantified in this report. And the lessons we have learned from them are integral to our own transformation as an enterprise.

The most important of these lessons—and the reason I am so optimistic about the unique potential of this historic moment—is the impact of a rising generation of IBMers who are embracing new skills of engagement, of analytics, and of global citizenship. For more than 430,000 of us across the globe, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. We invite you to join us in seizing it.

Virginia M. Rometty

Virginia M. Rometty
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer