Last year in the US, people spent more than US $13 billion at retail stores between Black Friday, a popular shopping day - the day after Thanksgiving, and the following Monday - Cyber Monday) when many retailers feature online sales. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are considered to be the start of the Holiday Shopping season. According to Oxford Dictionary, the name was coined as a day when retailers' accounts went from being 'in the red' to 'in the black.' According to the U.S. National Federation of retailers, in 2015, approximately 135 million people planned to shop on Black Friday and another 183 million planned to take advantage of online sales.
While consumer spending is an important part of any economy, just imagine what $13 billion could do to solve the problems individuals and communities around the world face daily.
That's the idea behind Giving Tuesday, which took place this year on 29 November. The annual event was established in 2012 by a coalition of nonprofit and philanthropic partners as a way to shift society's focus from spending to giving. Last year, $116.7 million was donated to charities worldwide in a 24-hour period'an increase of 470 percent since its first year. This movement was driven by 1.3 million social media mentions from 40,000 partners in 71 countries.
This year, to celebrate Giving Tuesday, the IEEE Foundation teamed up with five organizations: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Society of Mechanical Engineers.
On 29 November, engineers around the world came together to solve the biggest problems we face as a society and to to engineer a better world.
Working with the IEEE Foundation, I am proud to be part of an organization that is transforming lives. Every day, critical advances are made to enhance technology access, literacy, and education around the world. For example:
' Investing in the next great idea through the IEEE Foundation Grants Program
' Preparing the next generation of Power and Energy Engineers through the PES Scholarship Plus Program
' Empowering off-grid communities through IEEE Smart Village
' Enabling students to solve unique challenges through EPICS in IEEE
' Bringing engineering, technology and society to life in the classroom through IEEE reACH
This life-changing work can only happen thanks to the thousands of IEEE members around the world who make contributions the IEEE Foundation each year'many of whom choose to do so on Giving Tuesday. In 2015, the collaboration raised more than US$73,000, with more than US$28,000 coming to the IEEE Foundation.
I challenge you to think about the impact of your spending. Donate to what inspires YOU. We have the power to make an even bigger change around the world. By participating, you are planting the seed for a bright future. Can we change the world in only one day? Probably not, but in just one day, we can spark the change that energizes individuals and communities. And once that change is sparked there is no limit to the impact we will have.
Review from #MyGivingStory