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November, 1st 2011

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DSC_2308by Caroline Taylor, VP of Marketing & Communications, IBM UK & Ireland

That is what IBM is asking 200 business leaders to do today at the IBM Summit 2011 in London.

The majority of British citizens know that they need to live their lives more sustainably, but in a  recent YouGov poll of just over 2,000 consumers, over a third of Britons said that while they want to do more for the planet, they just don’t know how.

In response to this growing need to change consumer behaviour, and the role businesses can play in inspiring people to do more with less, we’ve convened some of the biggest brands in the UK at the IBM Summit, to discuss the new ways that businesses can empower their customers to achieve sustainable behaviour change.

The event follows the success of last year’s IBM Summit at Start which saw more than 1000 British business leaders collaborate over nine days on one of the key business issues of the 21st century; the economic, societal and environmental sustainability of the UK. The event was held in association with Start, an initiative inspired by HRH the Prince of Wales to promote and celebrate sustainable living. We have continued to develop the ideas that came out of the first Summit, many of which are already being actioned by the organisations joining us today.

This year, in just one day, we are looking to business leaders and sustainability experts to collaborate on identifying the top 20 barriers to change and the best 60 ideas to overcome those barriers. To help us do this we have drafted in well-known brands such as M&S, Procter & Gamble, Asda, British Gas and Eurostar to join the debate.

We have a number of keynote speakers and panelists including Stephen Leonard, CEO for IBM UK & Ireland, Tim Smit, Founder and CEO of The Eden Project, Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation, and Richard Reed, CEO and Founder of Innocent (full details here). Delegates will have the opportunity to break into smaller groups to debate key issues such as ‘how to engage and empower customers’, and what ‘incentives will be effective in accelerating behavioural change’..

At the end of the Summit each delegate will be given a summary of the actions and decisions taken, to help them put these ideas into practice and make the UK a smarter and more sustainable economy, society, nation. This will be in the form of an eBook which will available to everyone just a couple of days after the event.

We have a packed agenda and we will bring you as much of the action via Livestream, Twitter @ibm_start (#ibmstart) and our social media hub as is humanly possible.

I hope you will join the discussion online!

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