IBM Champions program

Get Started with Advocacy

The IBM Champions program, including the IBM Rising Champions Advocacy Badge program, exists because of outstanding IBM technology advocates - clients, business partners, consultants, and educators. They are inspired and motivated to share their stories, knowledge, and expertise with the world, beyond the scope of their jobs.

This enthusiastic group of experts and professional technologists are highly motivated to both work with us and independently to do many of the following acts of advocacy:

  • Actively engage in the IBM TechXchange Community: Discussion forums, blogs, document posts, etc.
  • Create, manage, and actively participate in User Groups.
  • Create and distribute content: Videos, blogs, articles, etc.
  • Host and execute events, both live and online.
  • Present at events and conferences.
  • Provide product feedback and product reviews, and support beta programs.
  • Participate as a marketing, sales, or analyst reference.
  • Actively mentor, teach, and participate in research.
  • Contribute code and participate in proof-of-concept opportunities.

Are you interested in being part of the IBM Champions program? Here are your options:

1) Nominations for IBM Champions are an annual process, which takes place in 3Q/4Q (Fall) each year. We will announce when nominations open, in which IBM clients, business partners, consultants, and educators may either self-nominate or they may be nominated by an IBMer, colleague, or a business partner. To stay on top of the latest developments, you are encouraged to become a member of the IBM Champions & Advocates community.

2) To get started with recognition for your advocacy, the IBM Rising Champions Advocacy Badge program is open year-round; it is also open to IBM clients, business partners, consultants, and educators, who wish to begin their pathway to becoming an IBM Champion. This program offers three levels of accomplishment through a digital badging process, which could lead to a future nomination into the IBM Champions program:

  • IBM Contributor: Submit two (2) acts of advocacy the individual has completed within the last 12 months (according to the recognized program activities and beyond the scope of their role).

  • IBM Advocate: Submit five (5) acts of advocacy (or add three (3) additional acts of advocacy to the IBM Contributor level) they have completed within the last 12 months (according to the recognized program activities and beyond the scope of their role).

  • IBM Influencer: Submit eight (8) acts of advocacy (or add three (3) additional acts of advocacy to the IBM Advocate level) they have completed within the last 12 months (according to the recognized program activities and beyond the scope of their role). 

To qualify, applicants must meet the criteria by filling in an application form and provide evidence for EACH of their acts of advocacy (presentation title, URLs, etc.). The IBM Rising Champion designation occurs on a rolling monthly assignment. Individuals may apply on their own, or IBMers, colleagues and business partners may apply on their behalf, and with their permission.

PLEASE NOTE: Participation in the IBM Rising Champions Advocacy Badge program does not guarantee automatic acceptance into the IBM Champions program. However, ongoing advocacy and contributions will be considered in a formal nomination when the IBM Champions nomination process begins in 3Q/4Q of each year.

Both the IBM Champions and the IBM Rising Champions earn digital credentials from the program.

What badges are issued to IBM Champions?

Current IBM Champion badge offerings include the following:

  • Annual badges for each year a person is selected as an IBM Champion.
  • Milestone badges for 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 years, and Lifetime as an IBM Champion.


What badges are issued to IBM Rising Champions Advocacy Badge earners? Please see criteria above.

  • IBM Contributor
  • IBM Advocate
  • IBM Influencer

Digital badges are issued via Credly.
NOTICE: IBM leverages the services of Credly, a 3rd party data processor authorized by IBM and located in the United States, to assist in the administration of the IBM Digital Badge program. In order to issue you an IBM Digital Badge, your personal information (name, email address, and badge earned) will be shared with Credly. You will receive an email notification from Credly with instructions for claiming the badge. Your personal information is used to issue your badge and for program reporting and operational purposes. IBM may share the personal information collected with IBM subsidiaries and third parties globally. It will be handled in a manner consistent with IBM privacy practices. The IBM Privacy Statement can be viewed here: IBM employees can view the IBM Internal Privacy Statement here: