Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
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Kodak logos  For many, many years, this company name was widely known.  The name was synonymous with picture taking.  They revolutionized an industry.  Then things began to change and film cameras were no longer in the hands of every person on the planet.  (insert violins playing sadly here…) We’d gone – gasp – digital!  And Kodak was facing a precipice from which there might be no survival…

There were plans to move to digital consumer cameras, but the cash Kodak made on traditional photography made it complacent.  There always seemed to be time.  By 2001, even before smartphone cameras, film sales started to fall by 20 to 30 percent every year.


Then came bankruptcy filing. Most people don’t even realize Kodak is still in business.  But, quietly, they’ve been working to resuscitate their corpus from its labored breathing and they are looking at tech they shelved in their past to move them forward.

In a warren of basement labs, some of the 300 scientists and engineers who work for Mr. Taber [a veteran of 34 years with Kodak] are studying nanoparticle wonder inks, cheap sensors that can be embedded in packaging to indicate whether meats or medicines have spoiled, and touch screens that could make smartphones cheaper.

What happens after a tech company is left for dead but the people left behind refuse to give up the fight? At Kodak the answer is to dig deep into a legacy of innovation in the photography business and see if its remaining talent in optics and chemistry can be turned into new money in other industries.


Although the article I’ve linked here is lengthy, this is really worth reading – take the time to do more than a quick scan.  Consider what lessons you can learn from this article.  And can you apply those lessons to help yourself and others achieve a Smarter Planet?


At Kodak, Clinging to


a Future Beyond Film



So…although their logo may have evolved over time, the company itself didn’t keep up.  The surviving employees are hoping that they can change all that now and re-emerge as a well-known and respected brand once more.




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October 3rd, 2014

Or at the very least, inspire change for the better in some capacity?  While you should aim to ‘make your mark’ on a global scale, sometimes starting small makes sense – take into consideration financial constraints and that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.  But, don’t stop dreaming on a large scale!  Every idea that comes to fruition began with a dream…

Here’s an event being held in October in the U.S. that is worth investigating (click the pic for full details). 


BBC World Changing Ideas

 Speakers are to include:

  • Professor Mary “Missy” Cummings, Director of Humans and Autonomy Laboratory, Duke University
  • Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
  • Julius Genachowski, Former Chairman, FCC
  • Alexis Ohanian, Partner, Y Combinator and Co-founder, reddit
  • Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research, Google


NOTE: I’m aware it’s a pricey event for a Grad Student.  If you aren’t able to attend, you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter!

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June 12th, 2014

NEW Students for a Smarter Planet Award
One more option to get funds for your school: use IBM’s new cloud platform, IBM Bluemix™, to write an application to improve the world in some way that you make freely available.  The app needs to be related to any smarter planet theme, and should be connected to your school work – helping to build your skills. Write it, make it available, and apply for $1,000 award for your school to use to celebrate your achievement.

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In February 2012, IBM had setup a Centre of Excellence for Smarter Commerce at the India Software Lab, Bangalore, India. By bringing together a powerful combination of technical expertise, domain knowledge, and best practices from IBM’s extensive global engagements, the CoE will offer innovative solutions to automate and accelerate the purchasing, marketing, sales and customer service functions to organizations across India, South Asia and Asia Pacific.

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ABC 30 news video

Check out the Mobile App Challenge 

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