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Employee Volunteers Initiate Creative CSR Activities in France

Cisco France has always had a special interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We want to contribute to our country’s main economical and societal challenges. And we want to do it by using our expertise in network technology and our energy.

As everywhere, France faces many social, economic, and environmental issues. Let’s state a few:

eskills_shortage_France

Under the impulse of several Cisco employees, a team of volunteers came together to lead local projects. Five years later, the team is structured with a strategy, leaders, a coordinator, and an executive sponsor. We also aim to give our colleagues an additional reason to come and work every day: to contribute to a better world.

As you’ll see on the video below, we’ve decided to focus on five areas:

  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Local sustainability activities
  • Community involvement and solidarity
  • Training and employability
  • Innovation and access to technologies

And we are proud to say, all the CSR activities are led by volunteers.

 

From a society perspective, and among all the great projects this fiscal year, let’s highlight “Le Défi Cisco,” a student entrepreneurial challenge for social innovation. This project is the perfect example of our employee’s creativity and willingness to work in favor of our community. It has entirely been designed and led by Cisco employees. Starting from scratch, the team wanted to stimulate the French student’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. We designed a contest that could enable talented young people to make their innovative social idea come true, thanks to mentoring and donations of cash and materials. The team’s efforts were highly rewarded by the discovery of the Handisco project – but that’s already in another post!

The Cisco Networking Academy program launched in France in 2001, and over 100 000 persons have been trained in IT skills. This year, we publicly committed to train 100 000 more in next 4 years.

Our team also partners with local nonprofits to help the unemployed prepare for job interviews, or to collect funds and in-kind donation for those who are most in need.

Another meaningful accomplishment, from an inclusion perspective, is a 3-year agreement with the French government to help disabled people find jobs. The agreement focuses on 3 major topics: improving our actions to help disabled persons to stay employed, recruitment, and increasing our collaboration with the adapted sector in our region.

Lastly, our Connected Bees team keeps on taking care of 3 hives on the office roof-top and has harvested 70 kilos of sweet honey that our sales team offers to our customers and partners. Beyond the immediate benefit of fostering the local bee population, the program has raised funds for charity and is evaluating new ideas for using Cisco technology to help scientific research on bees. Also, the Connected Bees idea has spread to other Cisco locations such as Amsterdam and Reading, U.K.

We are proud of our CSR activities in France and their potential to have a positive impact on people, communities, and the planet. Learn more about CSR at Cisco.

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Cisco Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 9th Year in a Row

Cisco was recently named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and the DJSI North America for the 9th year in a row, based on a thorough analysis of our economic, social, and environmental performance. The DJSI recognizes Cisco among the 80 most sustainable companies in the world, and among the 40 most sustainable companies in North America. New issues covered in the 2014 survey were tax strategy, CSR materiality assessments, and additional human capital development and health and safety measurements.

We value our inclusion on the DJSI for many reasons. First, it allows us to benchmark our year-over-year performance measurements such as corporate governance, risk management, climate change strategy, supply chain standards, labor practices, and social investment programs. The DJSI allows us to track our performance in these areas and others against both peer companies and our previous results.

DJSI

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Two CSR Nonprofit Partners Win Tech Innovation Awards

Two of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) nonprofit grantees, Gooru and Worldreader, have won 2014 Tech Awards from the Tech Museum of Innovation for their work in applying technology to some of the world’s most urgent educational challenges.

Gooru is a free, open-source education search engine. Educators worldwide can use it to personalize and share instructional K-12 content customized to individual students’ needs. The website contains over 16 million videos, slides, digital textbooks, and interactive content that provide engaging ways to teach K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Cisco support is helping Gooru integrate Lessonopoly – a repository of more than 11,000 teacher lessons and study packs – into its platform.

Gooru provides more than 200,000 young people around the world with training and e-readers with extended battery life.

Gooru provides an online platform for educators worldwide to personalize and share instructional content customized to each student’s needs.

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The Service Year: Unleashing America’s Potential

This week, I joined Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, along with heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, nonprofit leaders, and influential CEOs for the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) – whose mission is to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

When leaders and progressive thinkers of this magnitude join together, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the role technology can play in positively impacting lives around the globe. To date, members of the CGI community, including Cisco, have made more than 2800 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

The 2014 Annual Meeting brought CGI members together under the theme “Reimagining Impact,” guiding members in better measuring and assessing the outcomes of their work, and rethinking how we create value through new approaches to address complex global challenges going forward.

Big ideas can change the world, and that’s why I truly believe in the big idea of national service. Young Americans today are facing the crisis of unraveling traditional communities and social structures. In fact, 1 million students drop out of school each year, and 17% of youth aged 16 to 24 are out of school and work. This isn’t just a problem about unemployment or a weak future workforce – it escalates to encompass poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity, homelessness, and a lack of healthcare – leading to a weakened civilization.

Cisco Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Tae Yoo (second from left) joined representatives from the National Service Alliance and Lumina at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 22, 2014 to announce their commitment to promote and support national service opportunities.

Cisco Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Tae Yoo (second from left) joined representatives from the National Service Alliance and Lumina at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 22, 2014 to announce their commitment to promote and support national service opportunities.

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5 Ways We Can Prepare the Next Generation of Workers for Tomorrow’s Technology

This blog was original published on the Huffington Post Impact X

Consider this: Many of today’s top jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago — jobs such as app developers, social media managers, and cloud computing administrators. And, by 2018, it’s predicted that there will be 21 billion networked devices and connections globally, up from 12 billion in 2013. The Internet of Everything (IoE) will bring everything together. But in our world of ever-expanding technology, it’s important to remember what makes these connections possible: people.

The good news is that the bourgeoning digital age is creating millions of information technology (IT) job opportunities for people. The bad news is that we aren’t developing IT talent fast enough to keep up with the pace of demand.

ManpowerGroup study shows that in the Americas, 39 percent of employers report hiring challenges caused by IT talent shortages. Acute shortages were reported by employers in Brazil, India, Turkey, Hong Kong and Japan, where that number skyrockets to 85 percent. And across the globe, engineers, technicians and IT staff are among the top seven hard-to-fill jobs.

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