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Corporate Philanthropy

BlackBerry seeks to make a positive impact in our communities, engaging the talents and resources of our people and partners to harness the power of technology. We strongly believe in the importance of education and work to inspire the next generation of minds, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

BlackBerry makes investments in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to inspire the next generation of technical minds, concentrating our outreach efforts on students at senior elementary and secondary schools. To advance our STEM agenda, BlackBerry partners with Junior Achievement, the Canada-Wide Science Fair, FIRST Robotics, Apps for Good and others. 

BlackBerry also sponsors 10 women as part of its BlackBerry Scholars Program - a global scholarship program for undergraduate students at accredited colleges or universities. The Program is designed to help increase the number of women studying and influencing the future

of mobile computing, including Science, Technology,Engineering and Math, and particularly those with an interest and/or aptitude in the mobile computing space.  

Canada-Wide Science Fair Awards 2013The Best Overall Project Award went to Adam Noble (centre) from Peterborough, Ontario, for his project
Canada-Wide Science Fair Awards 2013: Nearly 500 of Canada’s top young scientists from grades 7-12 gathered to present their science projects and hard work. The Best Overall Project Award went to Adam Noble (center) from Peterborough, Ontario, for his project, Silver Nano-Particle Therapy: A New Cure for Cancer.
An Ontario team’s robot grips onto the pyramid during the championship match
FIRST Robotics: An Ontario team’s robot grips onto the pyramid during the championship match in St. Louis.
The 2013 winning team and their “Pitch Pals”
Apps for Good: The 2013 winning team and their “Pitch Pals” application idea in the BlackBerry Keep Moving category at the UK Apps for Good Awards. As part of our partnership, the Pitch Pals application will be created for the BlackBerry platform.

Accordion Content

  • Take Our Kids to Work Day

    On the First Wednesday of November, companies across Canada host their employees grade 9 students for Take our Kids to Work Day. This day is a program founded by The Learning Partnership of Canada. The program aims to encourage students to start thinking about early career exploration and also provides a way to emphasize the importance of education,health and safety.

    On November 6, BlackBerry hosted 150 students in its Waterloo, Mississauga and Ottawa offices. The day included a careers presentation, highlighting the importance of education and as well as a number of interactive activities designed around STEM. Student participant survey feedback showed a 23% increase in interest in STEM education.

    “It was a privilege for me to listen to the kids presentations on their inventions. I was impressed by the level of thought and detail that they had put into their concepts and presentations... My son came home yesterday tired but enthusiastic about BlackBerry. A good result!” – Jim Christy, Supplier Programs Manager

    Canada-Wide Science Fair

    BlackBerry is proud to support Youth Sciences Canada’s program to empower the nation’s brightest young scientists to discover the next groundbreaking innovation at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.  This annual event brings together over 500 students who compete for numerous awards.  BlackBerry has supported this initiative with sponsorship, employee volunteers, judges, and BlackBerry product for Gold award winners. In 2014, BlackBerry has introduced the BlackBerry App Development Award, which will be presented to a student who demonstrates excellence and innovation in their application development project.

    FIRST Robotics Competition

    Since 2004, BlackBerry has been involved with FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®)Waterloo. The annual FIRST Robotics Competition has a mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build STEM skills and foster well-rounded life capabilities. 

    Apps for Good

    BlackBerry is proud to partner with Apps for Good, a UK charity program that helps young people learn to design mobile apps that tackle real world problems. Apps for Good aims to ignite a passion in young people to use mobile technology for the social good.

    In 2013, more than 5,000 students from 97 schools took part in the program throughout the year. Their participation culminated at the Apps for Good Awards 2013, where they pitched their ideas to industry representatives. The winning application for the BlackBerry-sponsored Keep Moving Category was Pitch Pals, a tool that helps young people tune their musical instruments in a fun way. With help from BlackBerry developers, the students who created the winning app concept will be able to produce and publish Pitch Pals.

    Junior Achievement Youth Enterprise Innovation Camps

    In 2013, BlackBerry partnered with Junior Achievement in 14 countries around the world, engaging over 1,000 youth and nearly 60 employees. As part of our commitment to furthering STEM education, BlackBerry has partnered with Junior Achievement Youth Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe - Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programs. Our partnership supports the facilitation of daylong STEM Innovation camps, which provide real-life technology-based business challenges for the students to tackle with employee volunteers.

    The global online finals held Dec. 4th, 2013 brought together 50 students, representing the 9 national winning teams. They were tasked with conceiving an innovative, and commercially viable solution to a prominent issue affecting their community. A number of BlackBerry employees volunteered to judge the final submissions.

    The team of students from Mexico – LIVE GREEN – took home the first prize for their idea of an application that works like a social platform and is addresses the issues of waste management and recycling in their country.

    “To have been nominated as a judge [for Junior Achievement] was truly honorable. The students put a lot of time and effort in collaborating on new innovations that would either help encourage education in their respected countries, or promote awareness for issues such as recycling. Each team that presented their piece was really enthusiastic, clear and excited to get their presentation heard. I was totally amazed by all the teams and their professionalism. Some of the presentations were so good that if I was an investor I would have invested money in some of these products!
    -Prakash Shah, Slough
    waste-diversion


    STEM Teacher Resources

    As part of our partnership with Junior Achievement, teaching resources and materials have been developed to help teachers increase their comfort level in teaching STEM subjects and to inspire students to consider pursuing these subjects in future studies and career decisions.  These resources were piloted with teachers who reported that they added value to existing curriculum (100% agreement) and that they were easy to use (95% agreement).

    Access STEM teaching resources

BlackBerry employees participated in the 2012 Proud2Be Spreading Cheer Campaign
Proud2Be Spreading Cheer: BlackBerry employees in Singapore participated in the 2013 Proud2Be Spreading Cheer Campaign. They distributed items to families in low income housing via theSingapore Children’s Society.
Employees started their 130km ride at the Tour de Waterloo
Tour de Waterloo: Employees started their 130km ride at the Tour de Waterloo to raise money for local charities.
BlackBerry employee volunteers served hot chocolate and cookies
BlackBerry 10 Launch: BlackBerry employee volunteers served hot chocolate and cookies while providing BlackBerry Z10 smartphone demonstrations to the community.

Proud2Be Programs

BlackBerry continues to play an active role in community organizations, chambers of commerce, technology associations and economic business groups. BlackBerry encourages employees to contribute to our communities through Proud2Be, our signature volunteer and giving program.

Our current Proud2Be Program offering includes:

  • Grant Program, an opportunity for active volunteers and fundraisers to be rewarded for their efforts. This past calendar year, employees donated to 436 organizations around the world totaling $186,000, and volunteered more than 15,500 hours of personal and corporate time.
  • Give Your Way, a payroll donation program that resulted in employees donating nearly $187,000 to 179 charities in fiscal year 2013.
  • Spreading Cheer Program, a call to action for employees near the holiday season, which achieved our highest employee participation while benefiting 27 charities in countries around the world.
Proud2Be Program

BlackBerry continues to play an active role in community organizations, chambers of commerce, technology associations and economic business groups. BlackBerry encourages employees to contribute to our communities through Proud2Be, our signature volunteer and giving program.

Our current Proud2Be Program offering includes:

  • Grant Program, an opportunity for active volunteers and fundraisers to be rewarded for their efforts. This past calendar year, employees donated tomore than200 organizations around the world totaling $145996, and volunteered more than 15,500 hours of personal and corporate time.
  • Spreading Cheer Program, a call to action for employees near the holiday seasonachieved our highest global employee participation with representation from 12 different operating locations worldwide. Together, employee activities raised more than $10,000 and participants donated  more than1,000 items including food and toys. This charitable giving program benefitted 27 charities in countries around the world.

BlackBerry and Free The Children

BlackBerry is proud to partner with and help build on Free The Children’s record of local and global youth engagement to take action towards an inspired vision for tomorrow. Free The Children has taken the unique notion of “children helping children” to affect social change around the world. Its work has resulted in significant changes in two distinct areas, both of which BlackBerry is proud to support. The first and most direct is access to education. The second is an increased level of awareness and engagement that changes the way the youth who volunteer view themselves and the world around them—a mechanism for shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

Through domestic empowerment programs and leadership training, Free The Children inspires young people to become socially conscious global citizens as well as agents of change for their peers worldwide.

BlackBerry Build a Village Awards

Since 2011, the BlackBerry Build a Village Awards program has sent 150 Waterloo Region students to India and Kenya to help provide access to basic needs in the context of Free the Children’s five pillars of community development: education, health, clean water, agriculture and food security and alternative incomes. Each year, 50 students have the opportunity to see the development projects that the previous year’s award recipients completed, including the schools and classrooms that are now open and the water and sanitation stations which are so vital to improving quality of life in Eor Ewuaso, Kenya and Bagad, India.

BlackBerry’s partnership with Free the Children yielded some tremendous impacts on education in Eor Ewuaso and Bagad. Based on these successes, BlackBerry has committed to supporting the ‘education’ pillar across Free the Children’s eight countries of operation (Nicaragua, Ecuador, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, India, and rural China). 

Eor Ewuaso, Kenya:

  • 90% attendance of the School Management Committee members
  • 39% reduction in dropout rate for girls completion of primary education in primary school
  • 43% increase in pre-school enrollment from 2010 to 2012

Bagad, India:

  • 5.7% increase in enrollment at Bagad school in one year
  • 20% improved teacher to student ratio from 47:1 to 37:1 in one academic school year
  • 100% of students  and 50% of households have been taught healthy habits
Eor Ewuaso, Kenya
Bagad, India
We Day 2013
“The youth of today provide us with such promise for tomorrow. I am so grateful and blessed to have been part of this experience. Thank you BlackBerry for supporting such a beautiful and important purpose. We have the power to change the world.”
- We Day Waterloo volunteer

We Day

Since 2011, BlackBerry has supported Free the Children in bringing together 20,000 students and student leaders to be inspired at We Day Waterloo. The students who have experienced the power of “We” in Waterloo Region raised over $250,000 for more than 50 local organizations.

With Mission Measurement, Free the Children was able to capture unprecedented insight into the impact of our last We Day Waterloo upon students, educators, and their schools. Highlights include:

  • 97% of students believed they could make a meaningful difference, up from 66% last year
  • 85% of students felt more educated about social justice issues
  • 96% of students planned to lead or play an active role in a social justice initiative
  • More than half of the educators in the audience returned to their schools with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm for teaching

After 4 phenomenally successful annual We Day events in Waterloo, BlackBerry continued to support this tremendous youth awareness campaign in 2013 by providing sponsorship, in-kind donations and employee volunteers in five We Day events across Canada:

Contact

For more information about Corporate Citizenship at BlackBerry, contact citizenship@blackberry.com.

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Corporate Responsibility Report 2013

2013

Corporate Responsibility Report

report-2012

2012

Corporate Responsibility Report