IBM’s recent Global Eco-Efficiency Jam (Eco-Jam) provided a tremendous forum for sharing ideas on environmental topics with experts across a wide spectrum of industries. IBM hosts “jams” – online discussions lasting several days around a common theme – on various topics. It can be a great way to generate smart ideas or to build off the ideas of others. This recent session had over 3,000 postings. Comments came from around the world and from many different fields.
I contributed 17 postings to the Eco-Jam. One thread, “Workplace Mobility + Workplace Efficiency = Workplace Sustainability,” posited that mobile technology is enabling companies to significantly reduce their overall real estate footprint from 200 RSF/Person today to 50 RSF/Person by 2015 through various workplace mobility interventions. This approach will enable companies to reduce their carbon footprint due to the dramatic reduction in office space per person, thereby also requiring less business travel, commuting, paper, fewer printers and much less energy consumed in day-to-day operations.
Although I was talking mainly about office workers, responses quickly came in asking about life science workers operating in controlled environments as well as banking professionals who can view client records only from within the office for security reasons. Others responded to those comments with possible solutions. People offered thoughts on everything from the possible de-personalization of the workplace in a telework world to the positive effect that such a system has on people with physical impairments.
It’s the kind of dialogue that can only take place when bright minds with a common goal take the time to share their best insights. IBM has created a powerful social network for knowledge sharing through this interactive, web-based platform. I look forward to participating in future Eco-Jams.