Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

By Emily Taylor

How will the next generation of leaders solve the world’s sustainability challenges?  We asked Erb/WEC Fellow Emily Taylor, who’s participating a new program created by the  University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise,  the World Environment Center and IBM.  

Emily Taylor, MBA/MS student, University of Michigan Erb Institute @esltaylor

Emily Taylor, MBA/MS student, University of Michigan Erb Institute

As a graduate degree student studying business and sustainability, I am definitely familiar with the complexities of both business and environmental challenges. I am also very familiar with the tendency of others to view my two subjects in silos.

But according to the National Intelligence Council, never before has every aspect of our society been impacted by the impending scarcity of our non-renewable natural resources and climate change.  These megatrends are “certain” to significantly alter the way we live and do business by 2030.

Doom and gloom, right?  I thought so too, until I attended a  two-day roundtable discussion, with participants from several Fortune 500 companies, included auto, beverage, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, entertainment, heating and cooling, and technical and management services Continue Reading »

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By Lee Green IBM VP of Brand Experience and Strategic Design

The history of measurement may seem arcane, but consider how people centuries ago measured time, length, or the Earth’s rotation. Compare that to measuring atoms with a scanning tunneling microscope — and all the historic milestones in between.

Today IBM is releasing a free, interactive app, IBM THINK Exhibit, for iPad and Android tablets. It shows how early tools have evolved into modern advances that make the world word work better — healthier populations, greener energy and safer, less congested cities. The app is for people of all ages who love science, history and technology — think of it as an “innovation time machine.”

A page from the IBM THINK Exhibit app that traces the history of metal detectors to President James Garfield.

Through thousands of images and historical anecdotes, IBM THINK Exhibit app brings to life stories of the history of progress, from space exploration to weather prediction and medical advances. It documents the roots of Big Data, from early charts and scales to microscopes and telescopes, from RFID chips and biomedical sensors in clothing to breath-sensor diabetes detectors.

The app shows how maps have been used to track data from early geographical charts to today’s data visualizations. It chronicles how “models” have been used to understand the complex behaviors of our world – from the Wright Brothers’ plane prototype in 1903, to today’s airline mechanical parts simulations. Given its strong educational bent, the app will even be used to create lesson plans for middle school students later this year.

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By Andreas Fuchs, co-project leader, Electric Mobility, EKZ, Kanton Zürich, Switzerland

It is estimated that by 2050, 95 percent of cars will be equipped with an electric socket. This will mean that more than five million parking lots in Switzerland alone will be need to be equipped with a charging station to enable electric vehicle (EV) charging. Now imagine if all of these cars began charging at the same time and the impact it would have on the power grid.

While the electrical grid in Switzerland is not yet “smart,” the fact remains that EVs are being purchased. It is therefore, up to the auto manufacturers, utilities and equipment suppliers to ensure that the charging process is coordinated and controlled in order to prevent grid overload.

This was the driving incentive behind the Smartphone application (app) pilot that we are conducting with IBM Research in Zürich and the University of Applied Research Zürich in Winterthur, ZHAW. The goal is to study how mobile communication can be used to remotely control the EV charging process.

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Editor’s note: Nearly two-thirds of all deaths globally occur due to non-communicable diseases. Better prevention and treatment could save tens of millions of lives and reduce healthcare costs dramatically. IBM and Novartis recently sponsored the NCD Challenge, a global university competition aimed at producing innovative solutions addressing NCDs. The winners are Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; and ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University in Barcelona, Spain. This guest post was written by the leader of the University of California, Berkeley team.

By Emily S. Ewell, Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley

Chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes and cancer need tangible, targeted solutions that maximize impact with the right intervention. Our university’s team in the NCD Challenge chose to narrow in on Type 2 diabetes – a measurable condition and intersection point for countless chronic risk factors. The good news is Type 2 diabetes is nearly 100% preventable by addressing risk factors such as unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Continue Reading »

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What makes a smarter social media city? At its best, it is:

It promotes citizen involvement and builds a new sense of
ownership with scope for collaboration in every aspect of city life.

It lifts the bonnet on how the city works – processes are visible,
dialogue is open, feedback is swift.

It delivers services in real time with an enhanced ability to adjust
to citizens’ fast-changing needs.

It respects privacy, protects data and leverages technology to
enhance the physical security of citizens.

Download the report

Watch Social Media Enabled Cities webinar

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Kevin Nosbusch is an IBM senior technology consultant based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1973 he played for the Fighting Irish during Notre Dame’s National Championship season, and went on to play for the San Diego Chargers.

When I played football at the University of Notre Dame and for the San Diego Chargers, broadcast television and radio were the primary ways fans enjoyed the game. There was no ESPN, no sports talk radio, the Internet was only known by DARPA scientists and social media didn’t exist.

Gosh, I sound pretty old. But in just 30 years the media and sports industries have been completely transformed by technology.  Today, fans are not only Tweeting about their favorite players and teams, but just last week at the Pro Bowl athletes were participating in the virtual conversation on the field at Twitter stations.

This week, IBM and the University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab (AIL) are conducting an analysis of social media trends related to Super Bowl Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Eli Manning.  By analyzing hundreds of thousands of public tweets they’ll determine the fans’ sentimental favorite – the people’s champion if you will.

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Social media provides local government with powerful and flexible tools to deliver information services through a variety of channels. Equally important, it provides unique tools for formulating policy and redefining the meaning of accountability as well.

Discovery techniques based on social media are already helping local authorities to shape the future and to define exactly what a smarter city should look like. Coventry in the UK’s West Midlands is a case in point. Continue Reading »

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Social media represents an exciting new opportunity for local councils to engage with their citizens. This webinar will bring together experts from local governments, digital agencies, and technology providers, to address the key challenges and possibilities created through social media.

The rise of social media is undeniable, with over 800 million Facebook users worldwide and 140 million tweets sent every day, social media can no longer be dismissed as a trend or generational phenomenon. It is therefore vital for cities and the communities they represent to not only monitor these social channels, but to also actively participate in them. Social media represents a unique opportunity for local councils to offer innovative new services and communicate with their citizens. This webinar will bring together experts from local governments, digital agencies, and technology providers to address the key challenges facing councils in implementing such a programme.


Please click here to register to this free webinar

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September 7th, 2010

Today we open the doors for 9 days at the IBM Summit at Start, just as a YouGov poll of over 2,000 consumers revealed that 47 per cent of British adults feel the plethora of information on sustainability is confusing and often conflicting.

The business community didn’t fair much better as 50 per cent of the public rate the way organisations convey their sustainability policies as ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’. How can we change that?

May be changing that perception over the 9 days of IBM Summit at Start is asking a lot but we can begin to get things rolling. The key to the event is asking, what can sustainability do for business? This is a more authentic way to approach the subject so as to arrive at a place where the output makes sense to business and it’s consumers.

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Back in June I mentioned how Coventry was running the worlds first city-wide Jam to open up a conversation with residents and business to find innovative ways to make the city smarter.

A month on and 2,000 posts later, IBM and Coventry are teaming up to make the ideas raised in CovJam real and transforming Coventry over the next 30 years.

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