Every year IBM presents global "On Demand Community Excellence Awards" to employees who exemplify IBM's determination to help schools and not-for-profit organizations build smarter communities. There were spectacular projects to choose from during the 2011 Centennial Celebration of Service, and much of that volunteer work is still in progress.
During the Centennial Year, agencies that teamed with the 10 On Demand Community Excellence Award winners received special grants of up to $100,000 and other support to maximize their ability to improve quality of life using IBM technology and talents. In months to come, we'll be reporting on the progress of those team projects, and other community service efforts around the world.
In his congratulatory note to the 2011 On Demand Community Excellence Award winners, Stan Litow, vice president, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, remarked, “Each of you demonstrated unsurpassed volunteer service, supporting a large team volunteer project that applies IBM’s smarter planet strategies to community service. Thank you for your exemplary service leadership efforts. Your project may become a model for similar volunteer engagements elsewhere.”
Ten global IBM volunteer teams build on the Centennial Year of Service.
Diane Melley, Director of Global Community Initiatives, said, "These projects represent some of our very best initiatives in community service, exemplifying what we want to accomplish by pairing our volunteerism and Smarter Planet strategies. Our volunteers are going to be taking us in many exciting new directions in 2012, but I also can't wait to see the results of these Centennial projects over time."
Here are the 10 On Demand Community Excellence Award winners for 2011, with links to the original stories:
- Team Argentina created a Smarter Cities project using LotusLive online office tools to publish quality-of-life indicators for Latin American cities to address common problems like traffic congestion, adequate housing, and aging infrastructure.
- Team Austria implemented a plan that enables IBM volunteers and the not-for-profit agency Wiener Tafel to divert excess supermarket food to more than 80 organizations for distribution to the needy, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions during delivery of the food.
- Team Brazil partnered with ATN Telecentre Information and Business Association to build a social network for education and training with Brazilian not-for-profit organizations and small and medium businesses.
- Team Canada worked with partners in the city of Ottawa to build a world-class Neighbourhood Study, a database which details how where a person lives impacts their health and well-being. The data is collected and analyzed to enable policy developers, program planners, community organizers, service providers and residents better understand those neighbourhoods and use the information to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
- Team India collaborated with the Drishtee Foundation of India to fund a "Smart Rural Aggregation Platform" that utilizes IBM volunteer help to transform rural Indian villages into sustainable Smarter Villages, increasing farmers' incomes and ultimately setting up supply chains, microfinancing and other services to bring the villages up to technological parity with Indian cities.
- Team India teamed with the Indian Institute of Technology to develop an inexpensive way to warn urban residents of possible flood conditions with enough time to take action. The first rainfall and water-level sensors are set for installation in March.
- Team Ireland is working with the Irish Cancer Society to further the expansion and national rollout of its Care to Drive program, which provides free transportation for cancer patients to and from their medical appointments. The pilot project is scheduled to roll out in March with St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.
- Team Singapore is working with the Singapore Green Building Council and Ministry of Education on a pilot project to increase energy awareness and monitoring in Singapore schools, in this small, densely populated island city-state. Twenty schools have been selected to participate.
- Team Turkey partnered with the not-for-profit Foundation for the Training and Protection of Mentally Handicapped Children to build a database of people with disabilities that will link them to government institutions and not-for-profits that serve them, and ultimately develop a portal for people with disabilities to communicate with each other and volunteers.
- Team Vermont, United States is teaming with Vermont State Colleges to pioneer use of Smart Grid data to achieve energy efficiency and peak load reduction at Vermont Technical College and the HowardCenter. The pilot effort is intended to drive down energy consumption while creating awareness among Vermont residents of how to create a more sustainable energy future.
The On Demand Community Excellence Awards demonstrate IBM’s ongoing commitment to support the volunteerism of its employees, wherever their enthusiasm leads.