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Archive for June, 2009

On Wednesday, June 24 IBM hosted a forum in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill (Video: ) for our clients and influencer ecosystem to examine the need for smarter and safer food systems, and to discuss the future of food safety and quality and ways to improve consumer safety and confidence. More than 70 people attended including a US Congresswoman, US Federal Food Agencies, clients, academia, business partners, grocery and food associations, White House staffers, press and analysts. Organizations represented include the FDA, Center for Food Safety, United Fresh Produce Association, USDA, Wisconsin Livestock Identification Association, Univ of Maryland, George Mason Univ, Sara Lee, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and attendees were very complimentary of (and in some cases surprised) at the diversity of participants.

Here are a few highlights from each speaker – common themes include the need for identifiers for food products, open traceability systems, standards, and information sharing:

Congresswoman Nita Lowey, NY-18 (Westchester): we need a mandatory traceability system for all foods
David Acheson, Assoc. Commisioner for Food, FDA: major roadblocks to food safety are the lack of uniform standards, we need a global traceability system, there’s a misconception that local is safe and global is unsafe
Gay Whitney, Standards Director, EPCglobal: we need standards for food identification, information capture and information sharing
Caroline Smith DeWaal, Food Safety Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest: 46% consumers worry they’ll get sick from food, 52% have little confidence in food safety systems, retailers need to take more responsibility with recalls
Viktor Varan, Matiq: talked about the food tracking system implemented in Norway
Dr. Allan Preston, DVM and Assistant Deputy Minister, Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Initiatives: humbled by how underdeveloped and developing nations are ahead of North America in food traceability
Dr. Harold Schmitz, Chief Science Officer, Mars: We need government, universities, and the industry to work together, and not fragment, to counter food supply chain threats
Margaret Saunders, Homeland Security Director, Oak Ridge National Lab: food safety is important to homeland security

The session ended with an active Q&A that could have gone longer, but we were already over our allotted time.

Below is a link to the press kit for the event that includes the final press release on the consumer survey we did about their attitudes on food safety that we released the day of the event. as well as other relevant content.

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IBM CEO, SmarterCities Berlin, Keynote Address (wordle) | A Smarter Planet

Interessant, die Tag Wolke der Keynote Ansprache von Sam Palmisano auf dem SmarterCities Forum in Berlin…

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To build on the Smarter Cities event in Berlin, we wanted to share this video-on-demand section on the new IBM Global Business Services Video Studio, which includes a variety of clips and short videos related to Smarter Cities. The Studio was launched in conjunction with the new GBS consulting organization, Business Analytics & Optimization Services.

Of course, you are also welcome to follow Smarter Cities news and development via the Smarter Cities Widget, or via the Smarter Cities channel on Tumblr.

newintelligence on Broadcast Live Free

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Alongside what government and business can achieve for a smarter city, I think we should add a topic for the next conference – citizen (or community) generated capability. (We should add economic development, too, but that’s for another post).

On BBC World News last night Andy Stanford-Clark’s twittering home was featured – devices in his house send tweets to alert him of conditions like, say, your garden hose is leaking and doing bad things to your water meter levels…

Now Andy is a very clever and tech-savvy person, and a pioneer in many ways.  But the barriers to entry to doing things like this are massively lower then they were even two years ago.  You can find increasing numbers of citizens, and communities of ordinary people, providing wonderful capabilities that support the “smarter city” idea.

Remember scipionus, set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

How about fixmystreet?




and many more.

This is a phenomenon we should explore more as smarter cities rolls on. And helping people to participate is an investment area for cities as they progress.

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Karl Roche in

IBM CEOSamuel Palmisano- SmarterCities Berlin, Keynote Address, June 23, 2009

IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano- SmarterCities Berlin, Keynote Address, June 23, 2009

Download full address (.pdf 42kb)

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“Die Bundesregierung will die Energieeffizienz in Deutschland erhöhen. Dazu gehört die...

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June 23rd, 2009

It’s obvious that major stresses are appearing in the global food supply (i.e., recalls, price spikes, global hunger and high levels of waste), and that core trends such as climate change, population growth, and changing consumption patterns will likely exacerbate these stresses. While the world currently produces enough food to feed the global population 1 billion people go to sleep hungry each day. Continue Reading »

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June 23rd, 2009

The Smarter Cities conference has breakout sessions, as you would expect, on the “subsystems” of cities – transportation, health, education, and so on. I was reminded yesterday, in a preparatory discussion on public safety, that a main idea here is that there are important linkages between these subsystems.

Our discussion moved from new approaches in law enforcement and emergency response to the importance of safe streets to our educational systems, and from there to the contribution that education makes to safer communities, and then back again…

Of all the capabilities that being “smarter” provides, one of the most important is to be able to look across the subsystems, make connections, test hypotheses, take action. It’s natural enough to take separate looks at each subsystem, at least to start. But perhaps really new (smart) insights will come from the (more, or less obvious) linkages that we can find. I’ll be looking for those in particular as this event rolls forward.

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June 23rd, 2009

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Europa - Information Society: Wussten Sie, dass Objekte eine Identität haben können und sich bald...

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We are at a critical moment in time, as the first green shoots of recovery from the worst economic crisis in more than a generation are starting to appear but reducing operating costs and deferring capital investments remains paramount….the volatility in energy prices continues….and as the world awakens to the serious threat of climate change and prepares to come together in Copenhagen in December to address it, we are witnessing the rapid emergence of regulation and a dramatic shift in the expectations of stakeholders. For all these reasons, clients are telling us that ‘green’ matters more now than ever. In fact, IBM recently released an Institute of Business Value Study survey completed in January 2009, in the height of this economic environment and crisis, that indicates 60 percent of those surveyed believe corporate social responsibility (CSR) has increased in importance over the past year. There is a similar report from the Aberdeen Group that has the same finding.

The ecological reality of living in a globally integrated world is upon us as evident by:

  • An economic downturn requiring we do more with the same.
  • The effects of climate change which are both a societal and business concern.
  • Consumers who are empowered and demand more responsible business practices.
  • The emergence of a new regulatory environment.
  • The growing challenge of managing water supplies and sources.
  • The unprecedented rate in the rise of energy use.

To stem the tide it’s imperative that organizations such as IBM play a major role in shaping this reality, and therefore have a responsibility to manage its impact by forming partnerships, coalitions and driving Innovation. This week we made some key announcements with to respect to collaboration and innovation.

We’re looking at many new breakthroughs on the horizon…I’d like to hear your thoughts on how IBM can help facilitate global environmental advancement and sustainability.

Additional information can be found on our Green & Beyond page on


Editor’s note: A nice recap of some of the news coming from San Francisco today here at Earth2Tech.

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