Prince of Wales' charity and IBM launch sustainability summit

Green technology

In an attempt to influence government policy on sustainability, one of the Prince of Wales' charities, called Start, announced today it would work with IBM to run a nine day summit to discuss green issues.

The Start initiative, announced by Prince Charles in February, aims to promote sustainable living and, during what is being dubbed the "IBM Summit at Start", it will meet with business leaders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and politicians to talk about set areas that could be affected.

"This decade needs to be one of decisions," said Stephen Leonard, chief executive officer of IBM in the UK and Ireland, during the launch of the event today at Lancaster House in London. "It is not just what business can do for sustainability but what sustainability can do for business."

At the IBM Summit, each day will have a different theme. For example, day one will focus on discussing how to make cities more sustainable through traffic integration, building development and even electricity and water utilities. The final day will discuss the information revolution and the role of analytics in forming a sustainable future.

The summit will culminate in a number of independently written reports and recommendations from the attending organisations that Start and IBM hope will influence Government policy on the issues.

At the time of writing, IBM refused to reveal any of the political attendees or confirm whether the Government was backing the summit itself. But it did confirm it was in discussions with the newly formed coalition.

"What is clear is that none of this is easy to solve," said Leonard. "We need to share ideas and agree the actions that together we need to take."

The summit will take place at Lancaster House between 8-16 September on an invitation-only basis, though a garden party open to the public will be part of the event and will focus on sustainability issues through the means of comedy, music and debate.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.