For its efforts in empowering schools and students through the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) has been recognized by top international business magazine Fortune in its “Change the World” list — a roster of 50 companies around the world that are creating “important social impact”.
For this year’s list, Smart has the distinction of being the only Philippine company and only telco in the roster, alongside other global business giants like GlaxoSmithKline, Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Unilever.
“We are honored to be included in this prestigious global list, and are happy that Fortune recognizes Filipinos’ efforts to use technology for development. We thank our partner-schools for working hand in hand with us to provide quality engineering and IT education to Filipino students. We hope that by doing so, we are encouraging and equipping them to create innovations that will improve the lives of our countrymen,” said Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.
In assembling the “Change the World” list, Fortune partnered with consulting firm FSG, global organization platform Shared Value Initiative, and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter to solicit and assess nominations. A team of journalists from Fortune then conducted an investigation of each candidate. The final 50 were selected and ranked by Fortune editors. The nominees were vetted and judged based on the following criteria – measurable social impact, business results, and degree of innovation.
“The best businesses, of course, have always put purpose at the center of their strategies. But members of this new group realize that restoring public trust is essential to their long-term success. Increasingly, they are building intentional efforts to address social problems into the core of their business plans. It is these efforts that we highlight in our second annual Change the World list,” said Fortune Editor Alan Murray.
Launched in 2003, SWEEP involves Smart’s partnership with colleges and universities to improve engineering and information technology education in the country. The program also aims to help schools produce industry-ready graduates and future technology entrepreneurs. Smart also provides schools with up-to-date telecommunications equipment, as well as hands-on trainings, seminars, and internships. Smart also sits in annual curriculum reviews to provide inputs on industry trends, helping schools ensure that their course offerings are relevant.
To date, more than 30,000 teachers and students from all over the Philippines have directly benefitted from trainings organized by Smart. About 1,000 students from partner-schools have been hired into Smart’s technology group.
The Fortune citation is not the first time for SWEEP to be recognized by an international organization. In December 2012, the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, published a case study citing SWEEP as an example of how operators could help address barriers in education.