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IBMxRiseUp Fireside Chat

Updated: Nov 7, 2018



Today, RiseUp Chief Executive Office AbdelHameed Sharara hosted a discussion with IBM first Chief Digital Officer in IBM's history Bob Lord.


Who is AbdelHameed Sharara?

AbdelHameed Sharara is the co-founder & CEO for RiseUp which is a start-up that connects start-ups to the relevant resources worldwide. The upcoming RiseUp Summit will be held in December at the Greek Campus. And as a fireside chat today, he hosted IBM CDO Bob Lord to discuss the Digital Business era strategy.

Initially, AbdelHameed has studied Law. Then he worked as an English trainer for a year and half. Followed by co-founding Adams, working with Injaz, Shaper, and TIEC. Till he finally founded RiseUp five years ago. With RiseUp AbdelHameed is working with the entrepreneurship ecosystem as a whole, and partnering with the big enterprises.


Who is Bob Lord?

Bob Lord has started as an engineer with an interest in the impact of technology on both business and marketing. So he decided to go back to school and study business. After receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School, he joined a consulting company that focus on technology and business innovation. Back then he knew so little about the marketing and technology collision that would change the business. After some leading positions in consultancy, he started to become the COO of Razorfish. Then, he started to be the President of east region followed by being the CEO in 2009. His aim was to make a difference for the clients and help them communicate with their customers like never before. Few years later, he has joined AOL as the CEO of its flagship technology group, AOL Platforms. Then in 2015, he served as the President for AOL. Finally, he joined IBM in 2016 as the first CDO.

On the side, Bob is an active member of TED and a founding member of the Nantucket Project. He enjoys biking, surfing, competing in triathlons, and spending time with family. The fireside chat lasted for around 60 minutes in an interactive spirit. Where AbdelHameed asked Bob a lot of questions and in return Bob asked AbdelHameed about the start-ups era as well. Followed by few questions from the audience for Bob to answer.

Bob has started his talk with a quick introduction on IBM (International Business Machines) as a leading technology big corporation that deals with governments and big enterprises. Now, focusing on Data Scientists and entrepreneurs as well. With the increased demand for Developers and Data scientists, IBM started to offer its technologies to the start-ups as well.


What are the new IBM offers for youth and entrepreneurs?

Now IBM is offering IBM Code that offers content for any Data Scientists who are interested in coding and open-source projects at your fingertips with IBM innovations. Which is a self-study program to get the "code" learnings needed. Bob loves about coding being a "universal" language understood from one country to another.


This matches with the IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's mission in Africa, as she has committed to launch IBM Digital Nation Africa (DNA) project to empower youth and entrepreneurs with the needed tools for a better future. IBM DNA program launched after IBM research has found that Africa has 37% of the millennials worldwide (700 Million millennial) which is the highest rate worldwide. Further more, researches found that millennials consider Digital as their information agent. Moreover, 56% of millennials are digitally connected in Africa, this means that the millennials are the most digitally connected generation. The DNA journey consists of 3 tracks:

  1. Explorer; learns about the internet, lifestyles, and internet safety.

  2. Innovator; gets inspiration, learns how to design and build.

  3. New Collar; gets interviews, job matches, and develops skills.

IBM Call for Code is a global challenge that was launched last March focusing on natural disaster management via creating sustainable software solutions by using IBM technologies. Specially in the below six fields:

  1. Hurricanes and Typhoons

  2. Earthquakes and Tsunamis

  3. Floods and Storm Surges

  4. Volcanos

  5. Extreme Weather

  6. Wildfires

What are the new technologies that will change how business is currently running?

  1. Automated Intelligence

  2. Machine Learning

  3. Blockchain

  4. Quantum Computing

It was a very insightful event, if you missed it you can still watch the below video covering the whole fireside chat.




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