Family Reunion Gossip: What Really Happens When…

17 Dec 2014 | Roman Smith

Tagged: Connected World, Planet,

Last month, AT&T hosted the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) Assembly at our headquarters in Dallas, TX. We welcomed a room full of the world’s leading service providers and vendors from the  ICT (Information Communication Technology) sector. In other words, sustainability heavyweights from around the world.

GeSI is a collaborative organization made up of  major companies that are active in the ICT sector, as well as  international organizations, all committed to creating and promoting technologies and  practices that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability. All of which drive economic growth and productivity. AT&T has been a GeSI member for years, and I’ve been able to see the great work the group has done –most notably the Smarter2020 Report that analyzes the environmental benefits of ICT – but I’ve never seen what really happens when this group gets together.

We check our differences at the door and collaborate to discover new ways to work together to improve the way we think about how technology can create solutions.

I don’t know why – maybe it was the impending holiday family gatherings – but it felt like a family reunion of sorts, complete with favorite uncles and previously unknown cousins.

Here’s what happens when this ICT family gathers for their annual reunion: we check our differences at the door and collaborate to discover new ways to work together to improve the way we think about how technology can create solutions for some of our most pressing challenges.

In particular, we talked about:

  • The strategic, material and thought leadership initiatives that GeSI will drive in the next three years to propel ICT as an enabler for sustainability and profitable growth, specifically in the areas of climate change, industry responsibility, human rights and cross-sector engagement;
  • Integrating sustainability into core business and product/service development;
  • Communicating more effectively by understanding and creating effective messages for our different audiences like internal business leaders, customers, investors and employees; and
  • Collaboration:  working together to address our  common sustainability challenges and opportunities. 

It was a very productive few days with our ICT family and an absolute pleasure to host them in Dallas. On the last night of the meetings, AT&T invited  the family to a Texas-sized dinner that included favorites such as local grass fed steaks and rattlesnake chili. We hope our cousins had great stories to tell when they got home!

To learn more about how we collaborate to address persistent social and environmental challenges, check out our issue brief.

About the Author

Roman Smith

Director, Sustainability Operations


Roman Smith is a Director-Sustainability Operations in the AT&T Corporate Sustainability and Philanthropy organization. In this role, Roman helps advance corporate sustainability efforts that target areas where the needs of AT&T intersect the needs of communities. Roman is responsible for integrating sustainable business practices throughout the company’s operations; developing and communicating AT&T’s positions; coordinating business operations engagement and communications; and contributing to initiative development and execution.

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