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IBM commits $45 million towards resilient cities

IBM commits $45 million towards resilient cities

Aligned with United Nations SDG 11, IBM has announced a new request for proposals from government and non-profit organizations for the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, focused on technology-driven projects to advance city resiliency.

IBM also announced that it would increase investment in the pro-bono social impact program by 50%, committing to make up to $45 million in cash and in-kind donations of technology and services available over the next five years.

The IBM Sustainability Accelerator applies IBM technology, including IBM watsonx, an AI and data platform and AI assistants, to support populations vulnerable to environmental threats around the world, with a new RFP and sustainability topic announced each year.

UN Habitat1 forecasts that the world will continue to urbanize over the next three decades, with the share of people living in urban areas increasing from 56 percent in 2021 to 68 percent by 2050. The disproportionate impacts of climate change can challenge capacity for sustainable urban development and planning, as cities around the world work to address priorities like emissions levels, intensifying climate risks, environmental justice and more.

Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President and Chief Impact Officer, IBM: "After three years working to improve lives and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, we're proud to recognize the success of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator by strengthening both our impact and our investment in the program. We look forward to working with a new cohort of partners to transform the cities we live in, and to deploy solutions that harness the potential of artificial intelligence to build a more resilient future."

This year, the program will introduce a new strategic collaboration with EY to strengthen the participant experience and amplify the impact of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator. EY will contribute to the resilient cities cohort by providing support during the RFP selection process, organizational development coaching from EY teams, and capacity-building workshops that will build upon the leadership development and professional mentoring opportunities available to program participants.

The evaluation and selection criteria for the global RFP will consider applicants' level of support to communities especially vulnerable to urban environmental threats; the feasibility and sustainability of proposed technology solutions for climate change mitigation; and applicants' transparency on measurement and reporting, among other considerations.


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