Often called a "corporate version" of the Peace Corps, the program has made a direct economic impact in many of the 20 countries it has engaged. Participants, who are selected from among IBM’s highest performing employees, provide technology-related assistance to both local governments and community organizations. Issues they tackle include local economic development, entrepreneurship, transportation, education, citizen services, health care, and disaster recovery.
Ghana Africa Ghana
Stanley S. Litow
Ghana Africa July 2008 South Africa Tanzania Nigeria Ghana Kenya Africa
September 2010 Kenya
Vietnam India Kenya Nigeria Brazil Romania $25 million
The program’s mandate and portfolio has recently been broadened and deepened. For instance, in 2010 IBM created a variant of the program, called Executive Service Corps, to deploy senior executives on more advanced engagements. The teams work with city officials at the highest level on critical economic development projects focused on helping cities to become world-class "Smarter Cities." Also in 2010, IBM announced the Smarter Cities Challenge, which will dispatch teams of Executive Service Corps-level IBMers to 100 cities, half in emerging markets and half in developed ones.
IBM selects 500 IBMers per year for the Corporate Service Corps. They are chosen from a pool of thousands of applications submitted by top-tier employees and IBM executives. The teams, usually comprising between six to 10 members, are engaged for about six months. They spend two and-a-half months preparing for their assignments, one month on location, and another two and-a-half months back at IBM wrapping up their projects and mentoring teams sent to the same and other localities.
Chris Marquis Harvard Business School $250,000
Corporate Service Corps is sponsored by the IBM International Foundation. Via its Foundation, IBM implements key initiatives that address specific, vital issues such as education, the environment, community economic development, and health care.
one billion U.S. dollars