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Our people-powered fight against COVID-19: Introducing Capgemini’s Social Response Unit

Shobha Meera
May 5, 2020

Every day over the last few weeks, as Cyril Garcia and I have embraced our roles as Capgemini’s CSR leaders, we have been overwhelmed with pride for the compassion and giving spirit of our 270,000 colleagues, and the collective impact we are making. Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, this expression of solidarity from across our organization in the fight against COVID-19 is emblematic of our culture and what makes Capgemini: our people! The people at Capgemini bring the same passion and commitment to our communities and society, and to making our world a better place, as they do to our clients and the work we deliver every day.

Over the past several weeks, as hospitals, health authorities, and other frontline organizations in several of the countries we operate in have been stretched to the limit to meet the surge in COVID-19 patients, our teams organized the donation and delivery of hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protection and medical equipment. They built an app that mobilizes former health professionals to register to help, and another app that helps remote monitoring of COVID-19 cases and suspected cases. Recently our UK teams spent the weekend 3D printing parts for masks.


As is the case with many other crises, this pandemic has deeply affected both the physical and the emotional wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable populations in our societies. In response, Capgemini teams in many countries have donated and had delivered thousands of meals to the places and people that needed them. Amongst other initiatives, we have set up free phone lines for the socially isolated to call in and get the listening ear and help they need.

Small and neighborhood businesses have faced the brunt of the lockdowns and confinement orders that brought business to a standstill overnight. Fahrenheit 212, the innovation arm of Capgemini Invent, is offering pro bono strategy sessions and ideas to such businesses. in Norway, we are building a platform to promote local businesses, which we are now looking to replicate in other countries as well.

There are many more initiatives, and you can read about them here.

Building on this groundswell of local initiatives and impacts, our COO, Aiman Ezzat, launched an internal “call for ideas” campaign last month, which saw over 250 new ideas in addition to the 40 pro bono and voluntary initiatives that were already underway. To accelerate selected ideas, all of which draw on our deep technology, data and creative expertise, and to amplify and replicate them, we have created the Social Response Unit (SRU). This unit will enable planned initiatives to be executed in a coordinated manner to deliver social impact at scale. Our SRU is heavily supported by Purpose, a leading social impact agency that we recently acquired. This brings to the SRU a deep expertise and experienced partner to help develop interventions such as the ones we’ve planned.

While there is much uncertainty ahead for the world in the coming months, there are two things of which we can be sure: (a) Things will never be the same as societies and economies reshape themselves in the post-COVID world; and (b) Capgemini, powered by the passion and social conscience of our people, will accelerate the application of its technology, data and creative expertise to address some of society’s biggest challenges and deliver social impact at scale.