Exchange Matters / June 2, 2014

Business & Nonprofits Connect: IBM, One to World, and Fulbright Alumni Come Together

Effectively solving global challenges will take increased coordination and collaboration between the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors. As Stanley S. Litow, President of IBM’s Foundation, said during his keynote speech at the Global Ties U.S. Luncheon with the Ambassadors, “no business, no government, no nonprofit organization operating on their own can solve any problem. Problems are complex, and they require collaboration and partnership.”

Problems are complex, and they require collaboration and partnership.

More and more corporations are seeing the benefits of giving their employees a global perspective and are getting involved in international exchange. IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC) program, loosely modeled after the Peace Corps, is a stellar example. IBMers who participate in this program spend several months in countries across the world, honing their professional skills while working with local government and nonprofits to carry out projects that benefit the local community. The CSC is just one of the many IBM employee community engagement programs that blend social responsibility and business expertise to produce a triple benefit: premier leadership development for IBM employees, pro bono problem solving for governments and communities, and a greater understanding of new markets for IBM. There are now over 2,500 alumni of this program globally, with over 500 living and working in communities across the United States.

But how can the experience of CSC alumni and the impact of the CSC program be amplified to support increased coordination between sectors? Global Ties U.S. is working with our members and IBM to do just that, and to encourage cross-sector collaboration and partnerships.

Global Ties U.S. member One To World‘s recent experience is one example. On Tuesday, April 1, 16 visiting Fulbright students representing 7 countries and 12 IBM CSC alumni met at IBM’s New York office in the heart of Midtown Manhattan for an afternoon networking event. Guests were greeted by IBM Corporate Citizenship representatives John DiMarco, Pamela Haas, Mary Murray, and One To World representatives Katya Musacchio and Asya Dinets.

We hope this is just the beginning of a long, fruitful relationship between One To World and IBM’s Corporate Service Corps.

This event was a wonderful way to bring together participants of the Fulbright Program with alumni from IBMs’ Corporate Service Corps Program, one of the largest private international corporate volunteer initiatives. Students and CSC alumni alike have indicated their intentions of staying in touch with one another, and One To World is already working on arranging follow-up activities between Fulbrighters and CSC alumni.

The Fulbright and CSC programs demonstrate life changing effects on its participants and share a common goal to create lasting bonds of understanding. Both programs bring people together from different cultures to work and learn from one another. We hope this is just the beginning of a long, fruitful relationship between One To World and IBM’s Corporate Service Corps. The more the Global Ties network can bring other partners and sectors together for collaboration in ways that strengthen and leverage our complementary areas of expertise, the further we can go together towards building a more peaceful, prosperous world through international exchange.

By: Collin Burder, Global Ties U.S.