Making a Difference in the Connected Era

A few hours ago in London, Michael spoke at the Economist Emerging Markets Summit 2008 and discussed Dell’s focus on emerging countries. As part of his comments he announced our new corporate giving strategy, and I’m excited to share some details with you.

Dell has a strong foundation of making a positive difference in the communities where we live and work. And we’re going to build on that foundation. First, we’re intending to ramp our corporate giving to the level of one-percent of our pre-tax profits by 2010. Second, we’re focusing our giving efforts more tightly on areas where we can make a meaningful difference. And finally, we’re launching a new program, Dell YouthConnect that focuses on digital inclusion for youth in emerging countries around the globe.

As we’ve discussed before, we are in a Connected Era in which technology is changing the way people around the globe connect and communicate. We know that education and access to technology are critical to success in this new era.

Unfortunately, there are numerous pockets of people, especially young people, around the world who fall into a technology gap. This means that they may not be given equal access to understand, use or have access to technology.

Dell YouthConnect will promote education, and incorporate math, science, literacy, and/or technology skills development for young people in our emerging markets across the global who might otherwise have limited access to or be excluded from access to such education and skills training.

We’re targeting additional giving in our current fiscal year to organizations in India that provide education and technology access to youth. We have invited hundreds of non-profit /non-governmental organizations across India to send us proposals for funding. We look forward to the review process and in announcing awards in a few months.

Update: If you want to know a bit more about how YouthConnect fits into Dell’s overall strategy, take a look at this video where Bryant Hilton from our corporate responsibility team interviewed me to discuss it a bit more.

Stay tuned, as we continue to enhance this strategy and our plans to reach our one-percent goal, we’ll continue to share the news. And to hear more about Dell’s emerging country strategy, Steve Felice has a post here that discusses research on IT adoption in emerging countries conducted by Dell and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

About the Author: Gil Casellas