Corporate volunteers in charge
One of UNDP Turkey’s stakeholders IBM hosted a roundtable meeting, on 15 June 2011 along with a volunteer marketplace event with the attendance of IBM executives and employees along with the NGO leaders to discuss the concepts of corporate social responsibility and volunteerism and ways to raise awareness and participation for volunteering in the private sector.
New Horizons - The event acted as a platform to discuss the crucial role of private sector for society and NGOs.
For celebrating its centennial, IBM announced that it acknowledged 2011 as the Celebration of Service - a volunteering initiative to help communities overcome challenges and engage with them worldwide.
IBM has dedicated volunteering programs and one of these is a cross boarder model of international corporate volunteering, Corporate Service Corps (CSC) program, which is implemented around the world in partnership with NGOs.
As an example of the dynamic role of the private sector in contributing to the development endeavors and in attaining Millennium Development Goals, IBM CSC Program in Turkey is carried out in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), Turkey State Planning Organization (SPO) and Corporate Volunteers Association (OSGD).
CSC Program deploys multinational teams of IBM employees to emerging markets to provide pro-bono consulting and advisory services for global communities abroad in functional areas ranging from strategic planning to project management and IT.
In Turkey the program was implemented for the sixth time during the month of April with a volunteer team consisting of IBM experts from eight different countries.
The IBM CSC Turkey Team Six involved 12 IBM experts from USA, Korea, India (2), Australia, Columbia, Japan (3), China and Malaysia and consisted of many patent holders and experienced professionals.
Kayseri selected as the implementation city
With the local support and coordination of Middle Anatolia (ORAN) Development Agency the IBM CSC Turkey Team Six worked on supporting young entrepreneurship and offered strategic plans for the development of health tourism in the Middle Anatolia Region (Kayseri, Yozgat and Sivas) in April.
The Sixth Corporate Service Corps Turkey Team was divided into two sub-teams of six people to focus on two project assignments and worked with ORAN Development Agency and Kayseri Young Entrepreneurs Council.
The first sub-team focused on developing a strategy for supporting the youth entrepreneurship in Kayseri and its surrounding region.
They provided recommendations about enhancing the skills and professional development of the entrepreneurs via training, coaching and mentoring, how to increase their access to information, the partnerships and collaboration needed to strengthen youth entrepreneurship, and also an analysis of financial issues, information resources, social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and innovative technology-based industries to support young entrepreneurship in the region.
The team also provided strategic recommendations for developing the institutional capacities of the Kayseri Young Entrepreneurs Council and its activities.
The second sub-team directed their efforts to the development of health tourism in Kayseri and the region and prepared a strategy for the health tourism development along with an action plan for the project beneficiary and local partner ORAN Development Agency to put the health tourism strategy into action.
IBM team also created a high level framework with recommendations for the health tourism web portal aiming to contribute to the marketing and promotion of the region’s tourism.
“An exemplary implementation”
Having received the "Most Successful Volunteer Project of 2010" award from the Corporate Volunteers Association of Turkey in December 2010, IBM Corporate Service Corps Program is among the acknowledged volunteer programs implemented in Turkey.
“CSC Program with such a partnership is a fine example of the engagement of the private sector into development efforts and includes innovations which can be good examples for many enterprises” said Mr. Shahid Najam, UNDP Resident Representative in Turkey.
ORAN Development Agency’s Secretery General, Dr. H. Mustafa Palancioglu highlighted the local goals and priorities which the sub-team assignments were based on.
Dr Palancioglu further added that ORAN Development Agency will continue to support such social projects.
IBM Turk, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms. Burçak Semerci pointed out that through these projects IBM has allocated 30 million dollars until now and aims to help add value by providing specific and vital initiatives such as education in countries and cities, developing social economies and health services.
Calling attention to the structure of the program, the Vice President of Digital Opportunity Trust, Ms. Jane Jamieson added that this program focuses on creative solutions that intersect technology, business and society.