LAST DAY!

Friday. 4th of October.
This is it, the last day #ibmcsc brazil . I can’t grasp the idea that tonight it’s all over. Saturday at 10, the taxi to the airport will be waiting to take me to Uberlandia airport for my flight home… Amazing.

But today is the presentation at the Mayors office. It’s a sad day and Mother Nature has decided it would rain. So it did. We all get dressed up in our suits and head off to the Municipality, just a few blocks away. In this big building, all participants, all NGO’s, all students that have been involved and others have gathered to listen to the words of the Mayor. Unfortunately he is having to leave early, but the deputy is staying. Every team gets 15 minutes to address the public with a short presentation. At 12:00 everybody is done. Some teams go for lunch, others back to the hotel. The whole afternoon will be used to debrief all the teams. First the students and then we take our turn. What went well, what could be added or improved to the program. I think this is really good and we want to make sure eventual new teams can get the utmost out of the programme. After this session, it is really time to close the books.

….

It is an emotional moment. We have been these intensive buddies for each other for 4 consecutive weeks. It’s not easy to let go. It is really nice to go back home, but sooo hard to leave. Luckily there is a light programme for tonight. We get back to the hotel and at eight we head to a very nice cachasseria for our final dinner. It is really very nice and emotional again. And, as I am at the airport right now, it is not easy to write down my feelings, I am mixed up. Happy to go, unhappy to leave. Brazil has made it so nice for us here. Especially our hosts have gone out of their ways to make taste Brazil, I will never, never forget you.

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At the Mayors office

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Debriefing, sad faces…

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We advise IBM, JPMorgan and CDS people on what could be improved.

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Giving feedback

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Boys will be boys; playing football…or futebol… at the Instituto

Friday, 14th of September. Sexta – feira 14 de setembro. This will be a good day. We have a clear view on what we are going to do today. There will be work and there will be other things. We have a lot of material that we got from all our interviews and we are in a phase of consolidating it to come to a clearer picture for the work that we will, and also will not be doing. We also have a go at creating the layout of the so-desired web page that they want. When done, I’ll all ask you to “like” it to create more local visibility for it (I am not disclosing the www address now!). Then, I am bringing with me today to the Institute something I brought from The Netherlands. A football. Dirk, my brother-in-law but foremost a very close friend of mine, donated it to me before I left to Brazil. I thought it would be like bringing water to the sea as we say in Dutch. For me, Brazil is like the place football was invented. Or at least adopted and ammeliorated (I guess, like so many sports, it has it’s origins in Great-Brittain). So I brought this uninflated-mother-of-all-men-like-irresistable-piece of leather with me in my suitcase. I remember even the customs lady at Schiphol airport checking my bag looking really surprised with the combination of the ball and my destination.

And now, you must know that the Institute is being run by fabulous people, lots of them are volunteers, so no evil word about them here, on the contrary. But there’s only one thing. They are practically all women! So, since we’ve been here, I have not seen any futebol around. And I was soon to discover why……….. #ibmcsc brazil

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Thank you Dirk, for having me take this fellow along!

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pumping the ball

So imagine, the Institute with some 60 kids in the Friday afternoon shift… Silently at work in their classrooms. Being monitored by teachers… or singing, being instructed… And then, when I finished pumping the ball with the small pump that was included in the package, I bounced the ball on the concrete floor of the Institute.

The sheer sound of it turned the Institute upside down!

So yes, Dirk, I took you ball along. And it was – and will be – a great success! These little Brazilian guys are really passionate when it comes to playing futebol (fu-zji-bôl). To an extent that we were about to take the ball in as we thought that there were going to be accidents and injuries. Luckily, it turned 16:30 and the kids were having to prepare to leave for the weekend. Otherwise, we would have spent many hours playing the noble game of football inside the Instituto…

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Boys will be boys! Playing futebol in the Center Court in the Instituto Politriz.

Thursday, 13th of September. Today, after our day at the Politriz plant, we invited the HR director to come and visit us at the Institute which she kindly accepted. We sat down with her, together with the CEO who joined her and we elaborated on some ideas we worked out the evening before. It appears that she is quite willing to cooperate and even sees opportunities in us being there to help her boost volunteering at the Politriz plant. So we discussed for two hours and we agree that we’ll be following up on some of the items that were discussed on a really short timeframe, taking into account that she’ll be off next week. I have high hopes, but we need to be realistic in terms of possibilities on short notice.

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Silent witness of our meeting

After the meeting we have lunch. And while we finish it, a truck announces it’s presence at the gate. It’s the long awaited materials for the flower area that are there. Without any moment of hesitation we are being linked to this devine moment. It is of course no coincidence that this present is coming while we are there… Hmmm… Though I really think we can make a difference here, I would not want to associate my work here with that of greater powers (whatever you would call them). Anyway, there will be hugging and lots of talking and the men will set to work. 

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Archimedes law at work to get the poles at the same height

In the afternoon we are getting some really in-depth views on how “things work” in Brazil. It would not be the place here to elaborate but it is good to have some background on forces that drive activities here. Or don’t…
It’s a long day, the laptop batteries are flat. We are ferried back to the hotel for dinner. But, we decide to have our dinner at a Japanese restaurant so Terumine can show what his country has to offer. Unluckily his restaurant of choice is not open. So we go for a restaurant that claimes to be Japanese based on the sign. It’s in the Mall foodcourt. Needless to say that Terumine is disappointed but is giving the restaurant an average critic. A little 6. Well, we’ve enjoyed some sushi and have bonded. A 10+ for me! #ibmcsc brazil

 

Uberlândia é selecionada para Programa de Cidadania Corporativa da IBM

CSCmayorUberlândia é selecionada para Programa de Cidadania Corporativa da IBM

Uberlândia was one of two Brazilian cities chosen this year to participate in a global program of professional development developed by IBM – International Business Machines. The other city selected in 2013 to participate in the Corporate Service Corps is Joinville (SC). #ibmcsc brazil

Business Transformation Through Corporate Citizenship: How Stanley Litow Keeps IBM On Cutting Edge Of Innovation

Business Transformation Through Corporate Citizenship: How Stanley Litow Keeps IBM On Cutting Edge Of Innovation

ibm_csc2IBM is widely regarded as an innovator in corporate responsibility. Through the corporate affairs group and its foundation, IBM has developed innovative voice recognition technology to help children and adults learn to read, a humanitarian virtual supercomputer to speed research on cancer and AIDS, and new digital imaging technology to improve water quality. #ibmcsc brazil

The clock is ticking…

socialmediaToday, the seventh of August, we are now one month prior to our departure and, though it seems still a long time before we will leave, some things are becoming quite real now. At work, at home, things need to be done before I leave. I have started to draft a list of things that need to be done before departure ranging from dentist visit to really getting my social media stuff sorted. It’s a nice thing that IBM has created a sort of roadmap that starts three months in advance. This roadmap contains a variety of items that need to checke off. Again, personal as well as businesswise. As we are now in the midst of the summer period here in The Netherlands and as I am back from my holidays, this gives me some air to do some catching up of assignments that were planned in the last two weeks. Got my shots, did some paperwork and we’re now asked to register our blogs, twitter accounts and so on on the CSC website (https://www-304.ibm.com/social/aggregator/corporate_service_corps) so all participants can follow what I am doing. So, this bit of text is merely a test to see whether all the links to the “Social Media Aggregator” are working well. Let’s see! #ibmcsc brazil