*** Update: Some further remarks about the visit on Whitehouse.gov with this quote from President Obama:
And it will invest in broadband and emerging technologies, like the
ones imagined and introduced to the world by people like Sam and so
many of the CEOs here today, because that's how America will retain and
regain its competitive edge in the 21st century.
Earlier today, IBM CEO, Sam Palmisano, participated in a roundtable discussion of business leaders with President Obama to discuss the economy. Sam was also asked to give a brief speech. For readers of this blog, note the connection between building a smarter infrastructure and smarter planet with the opportunity to climb our way out of the current economic crisis. (I've added italics for emphasis).
You can watch the video here on CNBC.
Or, you can read the full transcript below:
Mr. President – Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. I think we’ll agree that across America… and around the world – from board rooms, to cabinet rooms, to kitchen tables – people are fixated on what’s necessary to address the present economic emergency. There’s a gathering global consensus that bold and aggressive steps are needed, on both business and government working together to address what’s required to help the worldwide economies.
In the past several days, I have been in contact with many leaders in the corporate world. But I think there is a unanimous commitment to support the President.
• We all agree we need to re-ignite economic growth in the country,
• we know we must create not just jobs for 21st century jobs,
• and therefore we need to invest and to build a more modern and more competitive infrastructure for the future.
There is clearly no reason we believe to undertake projects just for the sake of activity. We need to undertake projects that actually create jobs that will make infrastructure, make our country much more competitive for the long term. It is a balancing act between the short term crisis and what we need to do for the long term.
We really believe all this possible is possible today for many reasons because a convergence of factors. One because of the technology itself as well as the economic need we find our selves in and the current situation.
As a country we have to compete in the world. Yes is flatter, yes it is smaller. But we would argue it is also smarter. And today you’ll see technology embedded in processes and systemic systems from everything from environmental – between water to energy conservation – to basic supply chains for global business.
So, the world does have a much smarter infrastructure, and therefore the base to build for the future. It’s there. We are excited. I can’t tell you how excited we are about the president’s commitment to lead us to the future. And the support for Health IT, and support in the area of smart grids, support in the area of education and broadband. All those things are essential. They are essential in the short term. And because of the research we’ve done in working with the transition team, we know that $30 billion could create a million jobs in the next 12 months. But it’s also every bit as important that we touch so factors of the ecosystem that it will create jobs for decades to come.
We are honored to be here. I’m honored to be speaking on behalf of the business community. It’s imperative that business and government come together to help the President get the package through and we get to work. We have a lot of work ahead of us.
Thank you for your time.