Press Release

14 June 2011

UNFPA Joins Forces with IBM in Setting up 7 Billion Actions Campaign Platform

IBMers volunteer their skills for the UNFPA-led campaign

UNITED NATIONS, New York—IBM is partnering with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in promoting its efforts to highlight the challenges and opportunities facing a world of seven billion people—a milestone expected to be reached by the end of October.

As part of its Celebration of Service initiative that marks the company’s centennial year, IBM employees, retirees and business partners in more than 170 countries will volunteer on 15 June in their local communities to help address civic challenges and other societal needs.

Realizing the convergence of a population of 7 billion and the 100 year milestone, leaders from IBM are joining UNFPA in launching 7 Billion Actions, a global movement open to every organization and individual committed to solving today's most pressing issues. In addition to IBM, the campaign will include other corporations, media, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, universities and others.

With support from these partners, the campaign, to be launched by UNFPA on World Population Day, 11 July, will use online, social media, mobile and offline means to illustrate the actions people are taking to improve their own lives and the lives of people around them, and to showcase the stories and actions of the people behind the number. It will engage millions of people about what it means to live in a world of seven billion, and what they can do to ensure that everyone achieves their present and future potentials.

“In the spirit of societal responsibility first envisioned by IBM founder, Thomas Watson, and to commemorate our 100 year anniversary as a corporation, IBMers are giving back to the communities where we work and live,” said Caleb Barlow, IBM Executive Sponsor for the campaign. “By partnering with UNFPA on the 7 Billion Actions campaign, we are able to help make a difference in the lives of the members of communities worldwide.”

“We are confident that the IBM community will give the campaign a crucial push by bringing together key experts in different areas who can help build a visionary web platform to better tell the story of the 7 billion,” said Alvaro Serrano, the campaign manager.

“Reducing inequalities and finding ways to ensure the well-being of people alive today will require new ways of thinking and unprecedented global cooperation. We are part of a big, interconnected community where actions taken in one country or region can have immediate impact on the other parts of the globe,” he added “Therefore, the 7 billion campaign is also a call to action, as we are all in this together and are counting on each other.”

As part of the new partnership and the company’s official Centennial Day of Service, IBM volunteers will contribute their engineering, marketing, communications, social media and analytics expertise to help build the 7 Billion Actions campaign platform. On Wednesday, 15 June, in New York and Boston, IBM will bring together its talented employees and experts from UNFPA and other participating partners, for a full day meeting to brainstorm key components of the 7 Billion platform and related activities.

Journalists are invited to the day’s conclusion session at UNFPA’s New York Headquarters (605 Third Avenue) to learn more about IBM’s Day of Service as an example of how the private sector can engage with other partners to carry out its social responsibility for the promotion of the social good.

 


For more information about attending the New York session, please contact:

María Fernández Ruiz de Larrinaga, UNFPA Communications Analyst;
Office: 1 212 297 4957; Email: larrinaga@unfpa.org.

Tara Sucato Tsapepas, IBM Media Relations;
Office: 917 472 3701; Email: tjsucato@us.ibm.com.

For more information about the campaign, please visit www.7billionactions.org.

For more information on the IBM Centennial, please visit: www.ibm100.com.