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Twitter Chat Follow-Up: Leveraging Technology for Sustainability

Words by 3p Contributor
Data & Technology
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Editor's note: This post is a follow-up to TriplePundit's recent Twitter chat with HP. In case you missed it, you can catch a recap here

By Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President and Chief Progress Officer for HP

During a recent Twitter chat with TriplePundit, I was asked, “What are the greatest areas of opportunity for sustainability and technology?”

It’s a great question, and one we think about constantly at HP as we innovate solutions for our customers, manage our operations and supply chain, and drive Living Progress programs that help solve some of society’s most difficult social and environmental issues.

There’s no doubt that the world has some tough challenges that threaten sustainability — rapidly growing population, effects of climate change, economic instability, global health crises, just to name a few. Yet, we live at a time of unprecedented opportunity. Technology enables infinite innovation. Possibilities that no one has even imagined yet will be realized through technology.

I’m passionate about the opportunities for tech and sustainability, because I see it in action every day.

Technology enables


The impact of technology can be felt in nearly every industry and every part of the world. Technology enables detection, treatment and prevention of diseases. It enables health care, education, banking and other vital services to be delivered to people in even the most remote communities. It equalizes opportunities so that businesses of virtually any size or location can compete and win in a global market. It eliminates resource-intensive processes, removing obstacles that limit human, economic and environmental progress.

One of my favorite examples of technology-enabling progress is HP's partnership with Conservation International (CI). We’re using HP’s big data solutions to help CI scientists dramatically improve the accuracy and speed of data collection, creating a first-of-its-kind, early warning system for threatened and endangered species in the world’s tropical forests. The program, HP Earth Insights, harnesses the power of technology to collect massive amounts of data from tropical forests and analyze it nine times faster than before. This means policy- and decision-makers can identify and proactively respond to threats as they emerge — helping protect hundreds of threatened species and their habitats.

Technology connects


Technology creates a truly global community, breaking down physical and geographic barriers. It provides people with access to massive amounts of information and resources on demand. It enables us to collaborate, share ideas and explore solutions with virtually anyone, anywhere, anytime — opening completely new pathways for solving these complex issues.

One of the ways HP is leveraging technology to bring people and ideas together is through our global HP Living Progress Exchange (LPX). Together with our partners at GlobeScan, we host global online discussion forums that unite creative thinkers and problem solvers across industries to discuss issues and brainstorm solutions to these tough societal problems.

We’ve found these forums to be a powerful way to share our successes and challenges, learn from other best practices, and gather insights that help us focus our strategy so we can drive Living Progress further and faster.

Technology mobilizes


One of the most exciting aspects of connecting people through technology is what it can do to mobilize action. When we care about an issue and we share information with our social community or express how we are responding to the issue, members of our community may find they share that passion as well. As they share with their community, it creates a ripple effect that grows.

We just saw that ripple effect multiply a million times this week: Conservation International announced that its Nature is Speaking campaign had reached its goal to have a million supporters use the hashtag #NatureIsSpeaking on social media. Building on our partnership with CI, HP was the exclusive partner of the #NatureIsSpeaking hashtag. That means every time someone used, clicked, shared, liked or marked as a favorite #NatureIsSpeaking on a social media platform, HP gave $1 to CI, up to $1 million.

The ripple created by the sharing of this hashtag not only resulted in a $1 million contribution to support CI’s conservation efforts, but it also helped raise awareness of the overall campaign message that nature doesn’t need people — people need nature. And that creates its own ripple effect.

That’s the power of people and technology in action.

Defining opportunity in 140 characters


So, what are the greatest opportunities for technology and sustainability? Is it enabling innovation? Is it connecting people? Is it mobilizing action? Yes. It’s all of these and infinitely more.

As I said in my 140-character chat reply, “Tech is changing the playing field — there’s no limitation on what tech can do to solve complex challenges.”

Now let me ask you: What do you see are the greatest opportunities for tech and sustainability? Share your thoughts at #LivingProgress.

Gabi Zedlmayer is Vice President and Chief Progress Officer for HP.

3p Contributor

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