Cooperation to achieve common goals is as old as humanity itself. That is why it can be somewhat surprising to hear how some 21st century global enterprises have just “discovered” the benefits of collaboration across the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors.

IBM’s commitment to citizen diplomacy began with our founding — with the core values that always have transformed each IBMer into an ambassador for the company. Essential to those core values is the understanding that no single entity, regardless of power or size, can overcome society’s greatest challenges alone. Critical to any significant global undertaking is a diversity of talent, perspective and experience among those who would contribute.


Corporate Service Corps

Inspired by the Peace Corps — and newly partnered with that organization in 2016 — IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC) has provided pro bono consulting teams to communities worldwide since 2008. Like the Peace Corps, CSC provides an immersive service experience designed to benefit communities and culturally enrich the lives of participants.

The CSC program groups IBMers from around the world into multi-cultural, cross-functional teams that deploy for month-long assignments to assist community organizations. The teams — consultants, researchers, marketers and more — work on projects varying from upgrading educational technology to consulting on the best ways to improve water quality. Based on a methodical, problem-solving and client-focused IBM work process, the teams make recommendations designed to increase the community organizations’ impact. In addition to benefiting communities, CSC attracts and retains top talent to IBM by providing unparalleled opportunities for global collaboration and leadership development.

95%

Community organizations report 95 percent satisfaction with their CSC experiences.

In 2016, CSC deployed 357 top-talent IBMers from 46 countries in 28 cities in 19 countries. With a market value of nearly $12 million, these engagements raised to more than $80 million the value of CSC’s consulting over the last 9 years. When asked about their CSC experience, 95 percent of community organizations told us they were satisfied with their overall CSC experience — and 96 percent were satisfied with the CSC teams’ performance and the quality of assistance.

95%

Community organizations report 95 percent satisfaction with their CSC experiences.

Highlights from CSC’s 2016 engagements include:

  • Watson Analytics training and related work with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vietnam.
  • Developing communications, marketing and sales strategies for FOLKK, a nonprofit organization that provides employment opportunities to unemployed women in rural Serbia.
  • Working with the Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research to improve crop yields by using mobile, cognitive, data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) innovations.
  • Collaborating with the International Organization for Migration in Thailand on development of a mobile application to help prevent the exploitation of domestic workers in Asia.
  • Collaborating with the Near East Foundation (NEF) on a project funded by the U.S. State Department to create business incubators that can address high youth unemployment in Morocco. The CSC developed a framework and blueprint including strategies for developing partnerships, organization and governance, as well as marketing and communications. The project has worked with more than 400 young men and women ages 18-35 to launch more than 250 small businesses.
A CSC team at work in the Philippines.

A CSC team at work in the Philippines.

Partnering with the Peace Corps

In 2016, to increase impact for both communities and IBMers, CSC partnered with the Peace Corps to collaborate on pilot projects in Ghana, the Philippines and Mexico.

  • In Ghana, we supported girls’ education by enabling a social enterprise, TECHAiDE, through ICT enabled solutions and by assisting the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Ministry of Education, by advising on information management systems to support an extensive female mentorship strategy.
  • In the Philippines, we assisted the Philippine Rice Research Institute to leverage information management tools to better fulfill its mission of reducing poverty and hunger, improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations.
  • In Mexico, we worked with the intergovernmental organization Aipromades to develop a strategic plan for the sustainable management of aquatic weed in Lake Chapala, in order to improve the regional economy.

Smarter Cities Challenge

130

In six years, Smarter Cities Challenge has supported 130 cities worldwide.

In a world that becomes more urban each year, cities serve as super-attractors of energy, innovation, talent and wealth. But cities also must confront the challenges of congestion, pollution, overly taxed resources (both natural and built) and poverty. The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge® (SCC) program contributes IBM technology and cross-industry expertise to cities around the world to help transform urban life.

130

In six years, Smarter Cities Challenge has supported 130 cities worldwide.

In 2016, SCC deployed IBM teams to 10 cities in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas.

  • In partnership with Twitter, and using IBM’s cognitive and social media analytics capabilities, SCC helped Melbourne, Australia, understand how their citizens were receiving and disseminating information during emergency events. This helped the city revise its communications plan to better address the needs of citizens before, during and after emergencies.
  • In Surat, India, SCC helped city leaders analyze demographics, internet traffic and other metrics in the development of data-driven decision-making tools for more effective urban management.
  • An SCC team assisted the government of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, in an analysis of income data to identify potential sources of additional tax revenue.
  • In Santiago, Chile, an IBM team developed a strategy to help coordinate data and services from government agencies responding to disasters. The team identified a lack of real-time weather data as an inhibitor — and post-deployment, The Weather Company® (an IBM Company) donated personal weather stations to give the city access to data that can aid in disaster management.
  • In Memphis, Tennessee, an SCC team collaborated on strategies to provide targeted, preventive health services to reduce non-emergency strain on the city’s 911 / Emergency Management System.

[When corporations] send… human talent and resources, that’s worth more than a check.

— Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock

In the program’s six-year history, SCC has deployed more than 700 IBM experts to help over 130 cities worldwide improve the quality of life of their residents.

IBM’s SCC team in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana.

IBM’s SCC team in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana.

Download the 2016 report