Tuesday, April 14, 2015

‘Tis the day before Earth Day, and time for a chat

What are you doing for Earth Day? Any plans yet?

It’s a question I get asked a lot this time of year, and for good reason. Our planet is in need of positive action, and Earth Day—celebrating its 45th anniversary this year—is one day people around the globe take important steps to improve our world. 

This year I am especially happy that on Tuesday, April 21, Earth Day Eve, Nick Aster and the Triple Pundit editorial team will be chatting with me on Twitter about what Earth Day 2015 means at HP. I don’t want to give away too much here, because I want you to join us for the Twitter chat at #livingprogress, 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST/5 p.m. CEST, as the conversation unfolds. So if you can make it that would be great.

But here’s a hint, at HP we believe a better question is: What are you doing for Earth Every Day?

As you know our world is facing tough social and environmental challenges—climate change being one of the most urgent. If you tune into the news regularly you will agree with me that the toll that floods, droughts, heat waves and other phenomenon associated with a warming planet are having on people, economies and the environment can no longer be ignored. As our CEO Meg Whitman says, “Business as usual is not sustainable.”

So we need to do things differently – and we need to work together. At HP, I’m constantly inspired by how our people are working to create a better future for everyone. We call it HP Living Progress, and it drives how we innovate solutions, operate across our value chain, and develop programs that use the power of technology to enable human, economic and environmental progress.

Even as we make great strides, we know that society’s greatest problems are bigger than any one person, company, organization or government can solve alone. One way we are helping accelerate progress is to use technology to bring together diverse ideas and proven best practices, and explore solutions among a global community.

April 21 marks our fourth HP Living Progress Twitter chat in the past ten months, and our third with Triple Pundit. These online chats complement our HP Living Progress Exchange (LPX) discussion forums, which we host both online with GlobeScan and in-person at events around the world.

With each Twitter chat and LPX discussion forum, I become even more inspired and energized by the opportunities we have to unite people through technology. I’m particularly excited about this global chat on the eve of Earth Day because people will already be thinking about how to make a difference. Millions of actions will be taken at work, at home, in communities, and across society in honor of Earth Day 2015. Now imagine the impact if we each took action in honor of Earth Every Day.

What are you doing for Earth Every Day? Join me and Triple Pundit April 21 at #livingprogress, and let’s chat.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nature is speaking ... are you listening?

"Nature doesn't need people. People need nature."

That’s the provocative message behind the Nature is Speaking campaign, which is raising awareness of the critical role that nature plays in the survival of mankind, while building the connection that people have with nature. The campaign was launched by Conservation International (CI), a leading non-governmental organization HP has been partnering with over the past few years to help the organization meet its goal of improving human well-being through the care of nature.

The Nature is Speaking campaign features a series of short films voiced by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Penélope Cruz, Harrison Ford, Edward Norton, Lupita Nyong’o, Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Ian Somerhalder and Kevin Spacey, taking on the personas of elements of nature such as The Ocean, The Rainforest, and The Redwoods. Each film focuses on the misgivings that nature has about the way humans are treating the Earth.

In support of this campaign, we are the exclusive partner of the #NatureIsSpeaking hashtag. That means every time someone uses, clicks, shares, likes, or favorites #NatureIsSpeaking on a social media platform, HP gives $1 to CI, up to $1 million*. Since the campaign’s launch, the #NatureIsSpeaking hashtag has already been mentioned more than 500,000 times.

In addition, we provided CI with HP Explore technology, an analytics solution that will allow the organization to consolidate all online customer behaviors in order to identify patterns.

With this technology, CI can track the spread of #NatureIsSpeaking and the conversation about nature happening online.

This new program represents the latest collaboration between HP and CI, which began with the creation of the HP Earth Insights initiative. Through this initiative, CI has been using our big data solutions to create an early warning system for threatened species—enabling us to better listen to nature. HP Earth Insights is a powerful example of HP Living Progress—our vision for how HP can create a better future for everyone through our actions and innovations.

To learn more about the campaign and build awareness of our partnership, please visit the Nature is Speaking website. There you can view and share the current films, download and share animated posters about the campaign, and read about the steps you can take to participate. The films are also available with Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin subtitles.

And don’t forget to use, click, share, like, or favorite #NatureIsSpeaking.

Nature is speaking, and we are listening. Help us spread the word.

*Every public case of #NatureIsSpeaking on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, G+, and YouTube; likes and clicks on Facebook; shares and likes on YouTube; and favorites on Twitter and Instagram. This program runs from September 15, 2014 through Septbemer 15, 2015.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A visit to La Selva, Costa Rica

It’s six o’clock in the morning in San Jose, Costa Rica, and I am heading off for a day at La Selva, one of the country’s rainforests. In the lobby I meet with Dr. Jorge Ahumada from Conservation International (CI) and his team, who kindly host me and my HP colleagues on this trip.

A 90-minute cross-country ride lies ahead of us, which gives me enough time to learn from Jorge and his colleagues about La Selva and the biological situation there. I also hear about the latest developments of HP Earth Insights, an initiative that demonstrates how we empower proactive responses to environmental threats, protect livelihoods and deliver analytics that businesses can use to fuel growth. HP Earth Insights is a powerful example of HP Living Progress—our vision for how HP can create a better future for everyone through our actions and innovations.

Last year HP and CI entered into a unique partnership to help CI and the Tropical Ecology Assessment (TEAM) Network better and more quickly analyze the data they collect in tropical forests. La Selva hosts one of the stations where CI has installed trap cameras that give insights into the lives of the species living there.

HP engaged in this partnership because we know that biodiversity loss poses a risk to all of us and that tropical forests are a vital part of the planet’s life-support system. They support the air we breathe, our drinking water, and a diverse and healthy ecosystem for our agriculture, medicine and recreation. With our big data solutions, we can help TEAM scientists dramatically improve the accuracy and speed of data collection and analysis, in addition to generating usable species trends and delivering near real-time data analytics.

Here I am with Dr. Jorge Ahumada inspecting a trap camera

We arrive at La Selva around 8:30 a.m. and meet with the scientific director who gives us more background on the protected areas before we go to the field.

I am totally excited as I have never been to a rainforest before, and it lives up to its reputation today.

We start our walk to a TEAM vegetation plot where, in the company of spider monkeys and owl butterflies, we learn how to measure lianas and see how a camera trap is being installed, a meticulous process that requires a high level of attention and detail.
The group on its way to the vegetation plot

For this project, HP addresses the specific need to collect, manage and analyze millions of inputs from climate sensors and camera traps related to species, vegetation, precipitation, temperature, carbon stocks, humidity, solar radiation and more.
As of September 2014, the project currently manages large and growing amounts and varieties of data, including 3 terabytes of critical biodiversity information, more than 1.9 million photos and more than 4 million climate measurements—not only at La Selva but at 17 TEAM sites across 16 countries.

Our solutions can analyze the data nine times faster than before, generating species trends and indications of the related impacts of climate, people and land use across the 17 research sites and more than 275 species within 30 hours. No other system can do this.

The resulting data analysis allows scientists, government officials and the wider public to see changes in ecology and biodiversity unfold in near real time. This enables proactive response to environmental threats as they emerge.

And the project is already showing results: Initial findings show that of the 275 species being monitored, ​14 percent are either significantly decreasing in population or likely decreasing compared with baseline levels.

And this is highly relevant to the local situation in Costa Rica and its neighboring countries. Findings show that while the ocelot population in Panama shows stability, the same population in Costa Rica is in decline. The same is true for the great curassow.

Ocelot camera trap photo*

Great curassow* 

How can this be? The relative protected area size and surrounding buffer zones of Central Panama’s Barro Colorado Nature Monument and the Soberanía National Park could well be contributing to these differences.

“The data we are collecting at La Selva and Braulio Carillo National Park in Costa Rica is helping park officials improve the management of species in these areas, in particular the species that seem to be declining,” said Dr. Ahumada. “This is the power of big data in action.”

I can only thank Jorge and his team for being fantastic hosts and teachers and offering me and the HP team these insights at La Selva. I personally will stay closely connected to the project and look forward to seeing the next developments and results.

* Photos courtesy to the TEAM network

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Busy week in New York City including a field trip to the New York Stock Exchange to help ring the Closing Bell!!

Am just on the way back from a busy week in New York where I have spent the previous two days at the UN Social Innovation Summit to represent HP and get together with other companies, NGOs and government to share ideas  on how we can all collaborate more effectively to collectively solve some of the big societal and environmental issues the world is facing. To do this at the UN headquarters is something special every year. Just love the global atmosphere there as well as the hospitality of the UN folks. Great experience. I met a lot of our current partners and potential new partners to help build out our HP Living Progress flagship programs in health, education and environment. Time very well invested.
Had the honor to speak about the transformative impact of Big Data @ the  Summit and as always it was special to be there and share some of the work we are doing @HP. My topic was how Big data analytics really change the conversation and collaboration as all of us try to contribute to coming up with sustainable solutions for the world's biggest challenges. BIG DATA helps us turn tons of information and data into a wealth of knowledge. Not sure you knew that we produce as much data every two days now as mankind did from the beginning to 2003..that’s not that long ago (!) But now we can make sense of it all and bring accuracy and speed to data analytics so a single researcher can achieve as much in a day as entire teams used to deliver in months. That’s powerful. And HP’s collaboration with Conservation International is living proof for how this works in reality. Hope you can check out our HP Earth Insights Program @ http://www8.hp.com/hpnext/posts/harnessing-big-data-drive-environmental-progress-hp-earth-insights-develops-early-warning#.U4nhTmw6mM8.


A special highlight was a “field trip” that some of us took  to the New York Stock Exchange where we simply had a blast to say the least.  Zeev Klein, curator of the UN Social Innovation Summit had a fabulous idea  - he got some of us together to “check in” at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the closing bell on May 29 to celebrate the spirit of the conference. Here is a link to the video on Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0_V_bxpG_U    What good fun!


Lauren Bush Lauren pushed the button and we kept applauding and smiling as it was a good day on Wall Street!  Am now at JFK enroute to Munich for a well-deserved weekend or whatever is left of it by the time I get home.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fabulous INDIA

Am onboard an Air India flight from Bangalore back to Delhi on to Zurich and Munich after a phenomenal week in India. I have to say that I don’t remember such a warm welcome by team colleagues and HP employees on any of my previous business trips ever – at least not in the past few years. 

I had a wonderfully packed agenda that covered a wide spectrum ranging from a presentation and panel discussion at the AMCHAM meeting in Delhi to discuss HP’s approach to Shared Value to a series of Volunteering events in Delhi and Bangalore as well as a visit to a rural HP ehealth center in Payra Danga close to Kolkatta.

Here are a few impressions:

Day1: After the HP Living Progress presentation at the AMCHAM Launch of Compendium of CSR Activities followed a Panel Discussion on “Creating Shared Value: The New CSR”: Picture is with Dr. Chatterjee from the Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs – we had a very good discussion on the new Indian CSR regulation and its implications on companies like HP. Actually, we met with all the Business leads and functions subsequently to work on a plan to put this into action for HP.


It was also great to finally meet the Indian Leadership Team as well as the  Corporate Affairs Team in India in person – we spent the afternoon  together to work on plans how to best scale our Living Progress Initiatives in India to benefit the people at the bottom of the pyramid.  We have a lot of work ahead of us and I look forward to scaling our ehealth centers and expanding our HP LIFE e learning initiative in India.

 Day 2 – fantastic meeting with the impressive folks from the National Skills Development Foundation on a potential collaboration in the Education space going for ward. The NSDC is a Public Private Partnership whose objective is to skill 150 million people in India by 2022 by investing in initiatives in training and skill development in 20 high growth sectors and the unorganized segment. When we met with them we saw great potential for a mutual way forward if we combine our skills and technology with their extensive network.


In the afternoon we went along with many of our Delhi HP colleagues to plant trees in an area not too far from the office. Great opportunity to contribute to the Green City-Clean City initiative and to meet many of our passionate colleagues from different teams within HP.

Day 3: Visit to the HP ehealth centre in Payra Danga close to Kolkutta

I have to admit that the 2.5h drive from the city to the village of Payra Danga and back was quite an adventure – streets are narrow, traffic is heavy, everybody is honking all the time and people don’t pay much attention to which side of the street they are driving on…between the crazy traffic, the cows that cross the street every now and then and the people that cut their way across the street you end up thinking that it seems impossible to arrive all in one piece. But we did it!

And this is what we saw when we got there  - one of the HP e health centres that brings healthcare to rural areas rather than bringing people to the cities where the vast majority of healthcare is being offered.  It’s a simple container equipped with medical devices – all hooked up to the cloud so that the doctors can analyse the data and make smarter fact based decisions.

Here you can see Sushil Bhatla our program manager for the ehealth centers talking to Ravi Natarajan who heads Corporate Relations and CSR at our partner organization NH – while  a few women  are waiting for their medication after having had a consultation with the doctor via video link beforehand.

 Day 4: Off to Bangalore

3 cities  - 3 quite different impressions: Bangalore is further south located in the state of Karnataka and is widely known as the Silicon Valley of India with a heavy presence of IT companies. No wonder that the city is amongst the top ten preferred entrepreneurial locations in the world – so an ideal location for us to discuss the rollout of HP Life e-learning. We started off the day with a great joint volunteering activity with the Agastya Foundation and attended a science fair where kids learn the principles of physics through a series of low cost innovative experiments and hands on examples that make learning fun…

Below is a group picture with the kids and our HP volunteers..


One of the highlights of the trip – and there were many -  was the visit in Bangalore where I met with some of the most dedicated, passionate and creative HP employees on the globe. I had already known that these folks tirelessly get engaged in their communities and that they use their IT and Application Design skills to come up with replicable solutions that address critical societal and environmental issues. But when I got to the office to meet with a team of about 60 volunteers I found out that approximately 20 of them had gotten on a bus overnight to drive from Chennai to Bangalore to meet with my colleague Elizabeth and myself to share some of the good work that they are doing in their local community. Not only had they spent their night on the bus but they also took the day as a vacation day which is really incredible. Chennai is not on my list for my next visit to India in the hopefully not too distant future.


When you follow healthcare in India you will soon come across the name of Dr Devi Shetty, the Indian cardiac surgeon who has dedicated his life to making cutting-edge medical care affordable to the masses in India and lately also beyond the borders of India. He is not only one of the most charismatic people I have met but also a visionary and pioneer when it comes to utilzing technology in hospitals to remove human error. We have often called healthcare the last frontier of IT since the industry simply has not transformed itself the way other verticals like Finance and Media have gone through. There is still a lot of paper based communication going on and a lot of human errors have catastrophic results for the patients. Dr Shetty is working on a fully automated dashboard similarly to what our team has done with HP Labs and the Lucille Packard Hospital in the US. So we are looking at how we can further share our learnings and help them apply technology to drive efficiencies and better access for people in India to their health system.


It was an incredible week with fascinating and rich impressions and I very much look forward  to returning to this beautiful country and the fabulous people I have met during my stay. The team deserves a big THANK YOU for putting this amazing trip together.





Friday, December 27, 2013

Oh no – here is one more piece on mentorship!

Plenty of articles have described what a successful mentor/mentee relationship looks like – and there is tons of advice out there if you are interested in the subject matter.  And I agree with a lot of what is being written – nothing wrong so far. For me things worked a bit differently: I never had a mentor – not sure why, it just never happened. But the lack of a single senior focal point for me was the reason why I always tried to find out what makes certain people successful  to see whether it works for me – and that holds at every stage of the career ladder. Some that are new to the job and / or the company and are at the beginning of their career display a level of energy and curiosity that I find not only refreshing but essential for business success. Also, lots can be learned from younger employees about social media and new ways to connect and communicate.
Others that are successful in more senior positions have usually a common set of characteristics but also often something special about them that makes them unique or differentiates them. It takes a bit of time to observe their behavior to understand what makes people successful but it is not rocket science.
And you just need to figure out which of these recipes for success will work for you – pick and choose what you think can help you advance and get closer to the position you would like to hold…or the shop you want to open… or the project you want to lead…to reach your goal you don’t need to reinvent the world – just figure out what successful folks have to say and see if and how this applies to you.
And whilst this has worked for me in the past – also at a time when we did not have Youtube videos and search engines to get the good advice you always wanted but never could get….this has now become even easier. So select a few heroes that you would like to emulate and see what they have to say – many of them give you their advice for free on the net  - so what are you waiting for?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

If you knew more you would care!

Why do we need to do whatever we can to protect our tropical rainforests around the world?
Because we all need these forests and their biodiversity for survival – just think about the air that you breathe wherever you read this blog, or the water that you drink as you consume this content or the food that you eat…or the medicine you have taken today to feel better….All these bare essentials are influenced by what is happening in the rain forest in the Amazon for example or the forests in Costa Rica or the Congo….actually the plants in these tropical forests generate 40% of the world’s oxygen, 80% of our food originates in the rainforest and 25% of all pharmaceuticals originate from the rainforest….these tropical forests regulate our weather and our atmosphere on a global scale. Yet the forest and all the animals and plans that live there are under serious threats from either developments and/or climate change which poses a risk for all of us. According to the United Nations Environment Program, tropical rainforests are vanishing at an alarming rate of about 4.6 million hectares or 18,000 square miles per year.  It is high time that we do something about these alarming developments.

I am thrilled to say that my team at HP in collaboration with Conservation International has created a program called HP Earth Insights – together we are working on dramatically improving the accuracy and speed of analysis of data in environmental science – specifically the tropical rainforests. It is about bringing BIG DATA VERTICA  technology to ecological research done in 16 tropical forest around the globe…with our technology we can analyse the data 89% faster than before and what took entire teams weeks and months in the past can be done by a single person in a matter of hours
And whilst we have just started to collaborate we have already very surprising findings from our collaboration – about significant declines in specific species we are monitoring – but now we can help manage this delicate ecosystem – with the help of our Enterprise services colleagues at HP we have created a dashboard that shows us what is going on …with this WILDLIFE PICTURE INDEX ANALYTICS SYSTEM  we have created a new dashboard that performs a massive number of simulations and data analytics and it has become an early warning system for conservation efforts….so stay tuned – I am sure that we will have tremendously important findings that will drive our actions going forward. We need to do more to protect our environment. And we all need to deeply care and get engaged to change the current trajectory.