Skip to main content


Being a global citizen means...


Being a global citizen means
helping to diagnose rare diseases
Rare diseases are notoriously hard to diagnose. Some doctors will see only a handful over the course of a career. So Annelies Borgers, a consultant in IBM’s Life Sciences group, led a team of IBM “Extreme Blue” interns to develop the Rare Disease Diagnosis project with the Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen. The project uses statistical analysis and a custom-built rules engine to increase the speed and accuracy of rare disease diagnosis.
Annelies Borgers
Antwerp, Belgium
helping to create jobs
Mersin is a Turkish port city of 842,000, intent on growing its economy and creating jobs*. So when Dana Gaiu, a business development manager in the Integrated Supply Chain at IBM, met with the Mersin Chamber of Shipping through IBM’s Corporate Service Corps program, she already had some ideas on how to help. Along with her team, Dana worked with the chamber to develop IT strategies to help improve the flow of goods and resources throughout the region to increase logistical efficiency and reducing environmental impact.
Dana Gaiu
Mersin, Turkey


improving accessibility
Working with the Chinese Deaf Association, Charlotte Chang helped develop a real-time video interpretation service to provide sign language translation for the deaf and hearing impaired. Developed with the China Development Lab and an IBM Taipei team, Chang’s solution uses webcams and instant messaging software to connect deaf people with remote interpreters, facilitating conversations with employers, doctors, and friends. Since September 2009, the service has provided more than 2,300 hours of translation service including IBM Taiwan’s Corporate Responsibility support to the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.
Charlotte Chang
Taipei, Taiwan
conserving our water supply
Most people don’t think about how much water they use each day. But Jeff Chapman is not most people. He is a senior ultra pure water engineer at IBM’s semiconductor plant in Burlington, Vermont. He spends every day thinking about ways that IBM and its clients can use less water, less electricity, and reduce their impact on the environment. And he helped to reduce IBM’s water usage in the Burlington plant by 27 percent, all while production capabilities increased 33 percent.
Jeff Chapman
Burlington, Vermont
improving privacy and data protection
IBMers are used to solving thorny mathematical problems. Last year Craig Gentry solved a foundational problem that had confounded scientists since the invention of public-key encryption three decades ago. The breakthrough, called “privacy homomorphism,” or “fully homomorphic encryption,” facilitates delegation of deep analysis of encrypted information without sacrificing confidentiality and has far-reaching applications, such as more secure storage and processing of data in the cloud.
Craig Gentry
Austin, Texas
fighting for better primary care
Martín-José Sepúlveda’s job description is to lead IBM’s approach to workplace and employee health and health benefits. But he’s never been one to let a job description hold him back. Sepúlveda has championed such landmark initiatives as 100 percent primary care and healthy living rebates at IBM. But he also engages government and health institutions as a tireless advocate for primary care transformation and for better public health, from creating model programs for chronic disease and wellness, to national health strategies for helping eradicate liver cancer and chronic disease from hepatitis viruses.
Martín-José Sepúlveda, M.D.,
IBM Fellow
Somers, New York
building un barrio más inteligente
Smarter cities are made up of smarter neighborhoods. Volunteering with the nonprofit Complementary Educational Center and 15 neighborhood youths, these IBMers created and maintain a website——that fosters understanding between business and residential communities, highlights opportunities for youths to get involved—and gives them a place to tell their stories and learn new skills.
Federico Sciarretta Miliozzi, Martin Rodrigo Cepeda and Santiago Laplume
Buenos Aires, Argentina
making railroad operations more efficient
Indian Railways employs nearly 1.4 million people throughout the country*. Managing a workforce that large is both complex and costly. That’s why Dr. Rajendra Gupta architected a solution for the Centre for Railway Information Systems that could automate scheduling, track the location of crews, manage training requirements, and communicate with crews over mobile devices. The solution helped reduce operating costs and improved safety and security on the rails.
Dr. Rajendra Gupta
New Delhi, India


making road travel safer and smarter
To get from here to there, you need a map. To do so safely and quickly, you need real-time information. Terrence Daken worked with the New Zealand Transport Agency to develop a system to manage hundreds of programmable Variable Message Signs throughout the country’s highway network. The signs relay messages about dangerous road conditions, traffic jams, even tsunami warnings.
Terrence Daken
Wellington, New Zealand
building a more sustainable city
Four years ago, the leadership of Dubuque, Iowa developed a vision for their sustainable future. Today, Milind Naphade and his team are working to make that vision a reality. Their analysis will help Dubuque residents understand their water consumption, and soon their electricity consumption, so Dubuque can make smarter choices. They’ll help city management better understand how people move about the city so public transit can be effectively redesigned. And eventually they’ll identify the deeper connections between the various aspects of city life so Dubuque can achieve sustainable growth and economic development without adversely affecting the environment.
Milind Naphade
Hawthorne, New York
visualizing medical data

The abundance of data in the world is both a problem and an opportunity. That’s why IBMer Julia Grace, a research software engineer, has been working with doctors to determine what information they need, when they need it, and how they want it to look.

Last year, Julia and her team worked closely with cardiologists in California, building an electronic health records system that could present complete patient medical records to doctors at the push of a button. It could even use algorithms to cross-reference one patient against a massive database of patients with similar symptoms and diagnoses.

“The problem is, cardiac patients usually have a long and complicated medical history that stretches back years, with hundreds of different visits to specialists and prescription drugs,” she says. “That’s hard to represent on one computer screen.”

Julia Grace
San Jose, California
mentoring suppliers

Carmen Rarden is a lawyer by education and an IBM contracts manager. As such, she spends the majority of her time at IBM managing supplier contracts and handling complex negotiations throughout IBM’s supply chain.

But Carmen is also a teacher. Because over the last four years, Carmen has mentored three different diverse suppliers of IBM on everything from how to develop strategic goals to how to execute on a business plan. For the last two years, Carmen has worked with a two-person marketing team as part of IBM’s outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual business owners. She has attended trade shows, conducted formal training sessions, and fielded any number of casual phone calls, all with the intention of strengthening the firm’s overall business.

“Working with these small, enthusiastic startup firms has been extremely beneficial to me,” she says. “Their energy is contagious.”

Carmen Rarden
Boulder, Colorado
helping small businesses

Several months ago Jasmin Tragas teamed with Opportunity International Australia, a veteran not-for-profit organization, to lead a project using social networking sites like Twitter and Slideshare to raise funds for women in poverty. Jasmin specializes as a digital demand programs professional in her role as Mid Market Digital Lead for IBM Australia and New Zealand Sales & Distribution. The outreach has helped women living in the rural Philippines village of Furao receive micro loans and training to help them grow and run businesses.

Jasmin and her efforts raised AUD$8,600 to support 12 women with a range of small businesses. These women receive financial management counseling and guidance and a greater understanding of how commerce works.

Jasmin Tragas
Melbourne, Australia
Annelies Borgers, Antwerp, Belgium
Dana Gaiu, Mersin, Turkey
Charlotte Chang, Taipei, Taiwan
Jeff Chapman, Burlington, Vermont
Craig Gentry, Austin, Texas
Martín-José Sepúlveda, M.D., Somers, New York
Federico Sciarretta Miliozzi, Martin Rodrigo Cepeda and Santiago Laplume, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dr. Rajendra Gupta, New Delhi, India
Terrence Daken, Wellington, New Zealand
Milind Naphade, Hawthorne, New York
Julia Grace, San Jose, California
Carmen Rarden, Boulder, Colorado
Jasmin Tragas, Melbourne, Australia
Next Section: IBMers in Service