Stanley Litow, the vice president of IBM International Foundation was the first keynote speaker for 2012 Symposium. He began his speech by describing IBM company. With approximately 430,000 employees and rooted in over 170 countries worldwide, IBM is a services software and technology company. Then, he continued to describe the evolution of the idea of corporate social responsibility. From 1900 to 1960, focus of companies was philanthropy, then from 1960 to 2000 was corporate philanthropy, and currently, focus is on shared values and strategic philanthropy. Litow explained that people’s views and judgements about a company is based on the company’s contributions to the society and the environment. According to Litow, these expectations for companies are what is called “The New Model of Philanthropy”. The philanthropic goals are to build a smarter planet and create sustainable values.
In order to follow with the trend, IBM looked at the critical issues that needs attention such as jobs, education, environment, etc., what IBM’s technology can offer which includes cloud, business analytics, and voice recognition, and sample solutions for the issues. One solution that IBM developed is the Corporate Social Corps: Citizen Diplomacy program. From all of the IBM employees, 500 employees with good qualifications and potential for leadership is selected to go to countries with critical problems to solve. In the past, through this program employees have traveled to Nigeria to attend to the health care issues and Kenya for digital villages. The Citizen Diplomacy program not only benefits the third-world countries with critical issues, it helps the employees to develop leadership skills and corporate loyalty.
Another program IBM created as solutions to the critical issues in the world today is the P-Tech: A New Model for American Education. This program focuses on educational problems in the world today. Starting out in New York City, IBM built a school...