Lenovo’s Work For Humankind creates lasting impact in communities across the globe

RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Leave the world better than you found it.

Students from North Carolina’s Historically Black Elizabeth City State University travel North Carolina’s Mountains To Sea Trail to conduct conservation efforts as part of Lenovo’s Work For Humankind.

It’s a simple yet profound idea that plans for the future while allowing us to leave a positive impact on those who come after us. With this goal, Lenovo launched “Work For Humankind.”

The initiative started in a far corner of the world.

In 2022, community volunteers brought Lenovo technology to residents on Robinson Crusoe Island in the South Pacific. It’s a remote island 416 miles off the coast of Chile. For eight weeks, volunteers used a range of Lenovo’s advanced technology to work remotely at their day jobs while simultaneously partnering with local leaders and residents on island conservation efforts.

Together they created a WiFi-enabled technology hub allowing many businesses on the island to have an online presence for the first time and increased the community’s internet connectivity speed to 200 mbs.

The Work For Humankind island partnership also captured essential data on the Pink-footed Shearwater, a native bird whose ecosystem was threatened. Volunteers deployed AI-detecting models on Lenovo’s AI Edge Server. Now a data collection process that once took weeks only takes days. That’s leaving the world better than you found it.

The island success prompted us to ask “What’s next and where?” We landed on our home turf – North Carolina, USA. 

For nearly two decades, North Carolina’s Triangle Region has housed one of Lenovo’s two global headquarters. In that time, we’ve earned a reputation for supporting education, diversity, innovation, and sustainability. Bringing Work For Humankind to North Carolina easily matched with our vision and values.

So in April 2023, Lenovo partnered with Elizabeth City State University, a historically black university in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to demonstrate how students could use technology to complete their schoolwork from anywhere while giving back to the planet.

Fourteen Elizabeth City State students embarked on a life-impacting trip across North Carolina’s Mountains to Sea Trail – the highest-elevation long-distance trail in the Eastern United States.

The students traveled more than 2,780 miles in a Sprinter van utilizing resources such as Lenovo Go Wired Speakerphones, Yoga 7i Laptops, and tablets. They completed school work while also helping further key conservation efforts across the state. Every student experienced a part of North Carolina that he or she had never visited before. And they left the world in a better place along the way.

Working alongside Lenovo employees and Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail, the students focused on three regions of the state:

Outer Banks: The students spent a week doing a risk/hazard analysis for different ocean surges using cloud-based software Lenovo developed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The work completed here will help to determine where new sections of the trail can be added.

Pender County: Using Lenovo technology, the students captured visuals, personal interviews, and other content to build a web page about the area’s rich but near forgotten Black history. The information will be published on the Mountains to Sea Trail’s inclusion page, “MST for All,” and through a permanent digital trail marker in the center of town for all visitors to see.

Cherokee Region: Students camped alongside the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. While there, students documented key characteristics of the trail to be translated via a mobile app into the Eastern Band’s native language – a near-extinct language – that will be accessible to trail hikers.

The North Carolina Trail success prompted us to ask “What’s next and where?” So now, Lenovo teamed up with BirdLife International to create a one-of-a-kind 5G-connected super van – a mobile tech lab and living space. As I type, these “citizen scientists” are driving the van across the U.S. gathering essential birdsong data to support the organization’s wildlife protection strategies.

And later this year, our Work For Humankind initiative will extend to India where Lenovo employees and student volunteers will work with community members in Kanthalloor, Kerala, to improve the productivity, opportunities, and lives of millet farmers.

There is no end to the positive world impact we can make one step at a time. It’s my hope we leave a lasting legacy through the power of kindness and collaboration, fueled by technology, and embraced by people across the globe. What work for humankind can you do today?

By Gerald Youngblood, Chief Marketing Officer, Lenovo North America

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