A welcome from IBM

Over the past few years, the use of social technology has become a sweeping cultural, societal and economic phenomenon. People are now sharing original content, joining virtual communities, tapping into the advice and expertise of others and sharing experiences at an unprecedented pace. With approximately 2 billion people now connected digitally worldwide, social networking advances are changing how many of us live our lives.

We have seen a shift of power in commercial relationships from producers and sellers to buyers – this has significantly changed the marketplace. Leaders now envisage greater collaboration with customers, partners, employees, citizens and other stakeholders. In fact, 90 percent of chief executive officers plan to collaborate much more extensively with customers over the next three to five years, according to the 2013 IBM Global C-Suite Survey.

In this spirit of advancing IBM’s conversation about corporate leadership in this new age, I am pleased to announce, together with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), our global list of 25 Social Business Leaders. When we set out on this journey with the EIU to uncover the most compelling, human and impactful social business innovators, we uncovered an amazing and talented group of storytellers, culture shapers, visionaries, strategic thinkers and entrepreneurial leaders. These individuals are making a significant impact in the world by truly being social: engaged, transparent and agile. 

IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty has said, “In a social enterprise, your value is established not by how much knowledge you amass, but by how much knowledge you impart to others. This isn’t just a change in tools. It’s a change in mindset and organizational culture.”

Our 25 Social Business Leaders fully embody these traits. They were chosen by an advisory board through a careful and thoughtful selection process that included an open call for nominations across social networks. I would like to personally thank the board for their dedication to this process. They are:

  • Nick Blunden, Senior Vice-President of Digital at The Economist Group and Global Publisher of Intelligent Life and The World in 2015
  • Cheryl Burgess, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Blue Focus Marketing
  • Lisa Gansky, Chief Instigator at Mesh Labs
  • Brian Solis, Principal at Altimeter Group
  • Maria Winans, Vice President of IBM Social Business Marketing (with advisor Eric Lesser, National Director of IBM Institute of Business Value)

And now, it is my distinct pleasure to formally announce the Top 25 Social Business World Leaders.  A heartfelt congratulations to you all!  You can read all about these inspiring leaders here. Please share your comments and thoughts and amplify our recognition of these amazing leaders using the hashtag #socbiz25.



Ed Brill, Vice President, IBM Social Business Transformation





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