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Cisco Partners Recognized for Promoting Achievement in K-12 Education

October 4, 2013 at 11:44 am PST

This week, 2 of Cisco’s current or former education nonprofit partners were recognized by Business Roundtable for their work to prepare U.S. K-12 students for college and the workplace.

  • MIND Research Institute. MIND’s Spatial Temporal (ST) Math program is a language-free, web-based software program that uses animation to help students learn key math concepts. Cisco support helped MIND convert ST Math to a web-based platform, enabling it to expand its reach from 55,000 students in 2007 to 500,000 today—a 357 percent increase. Students using the program have, on average, doubled or tripled their growth in math proficiency on standardized tests. Learn more.
  • New Teacher Center. This nationally recognized nonprofit partners with states and districts to design and implement comprehensive new teacher induction programs that provide face-to-face and online mentoring with highly skilled educators. Cisco supports the organization’s Teacher Assessment Tool and its online mentoring solution. Learn more.
A student uses the ST Math program. Photo: MIND Research Institute

A student uses the ST Math program. Photo: MIND Research Institute

As a technology company, Cisco views STEM education as a business imperative, and these organizations all recognize the urgent need to encourage students to pursue STEM subjects, said Alex Belous, a program manager for Cisco and the Cisco Foundation who has worked closely with these nonprofits to facilitate Cisco’s support.

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Cisco STEM Mentoring Events Aim to Inspire Students

By 2018, it is estimated there will be 1.2 million U.S. job openings in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. While that sounds like good news, there is an acute shortage of qualified applicants to fill these jobs. The students in our schools today simply don’t have the skills and desire needed to compete for these jobs, which means that our country won’t have the necessary workforce to fill critical roles in one of the strongest sectors of the economy.

Research shows that for kids to become interested in STEM careers, they must feel inspired. They need some sort of connection or a role model to look to for guidance. This is where Cisco sees a need that can be filled by its employees.

Cisco is a founding leadership partner of US2020, an all-hands-on-deck initiative that aims to connect more STEM professionals to students from kindergarten through college. As part of the US2020 initiative, Cisco will build on the expertise of its workforce and culture of giving back, with the goal of having 20 percent or more of employees volunteering at least 20 hours a year as STEM mentors by the year 2020.

Cisco's US2020 mentoring initiative gets underway in San Jose, California

Cisco’s US2020 mentoring initiative gets underway in San Jose, California

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Cisco on CNN at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

October 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm PST

Why does Cisco invest hundreds of millions of dollars around the world each year to help improve access to education, healthcare, critical human needs, and disaster relief?  Cisco CEO and Chairman John Chambers said in a recent CNN interview that “corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a must for the future of capitalism.” He shared his insights on a panel interview at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City, which aired on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live show September 26th. Fellow panelists included host Piers Morgan, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, and Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.

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BIG Awards Finalists Vie for $100K and Mentoring Support

October 1, 2013 at 9:43 am PST

So here we are again – seems like only yesterday that we were going through the difficult task of picking the BIG Awards 2012 finalists…. and now over a year later we are about to announce the finalists for the 2013 competition, and have had a full year supporting last year’s winners Snap Fashion and Digital Shadows.

The BIG Awards is one of the 4 main components of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) programme, which forms the core of our innovation-based legacy from London 2012.

So much has happened in the last 12 months it’s hard to fathom and already both 2012 winners are moving their businesses forward in so many ways. Snap Fashion launched in Singapore and Digital Shadows received Cool Vendor 2013 status from Gartner. It seems like they are the “grown-ups” to the new talent coming through – I have to say it was great to see Jenny,  CEO from Snap Fashion, and Alastair, CEO from Digital Shadows, offering their advice and experience at our recent semi-final event at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UKI and Tom Kneen, BIG Programme Lead, Cisco with Jenny Griffiths, CEO and Founder of Snap Fashion and Alastair Paterson, CEO of Digital Shadows.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UKI and Tom Kneen, BIG Programme Lead, Cisco with Jenny Griffiths, CEO and Founder of Snap Fashion and Alastair Paterson, CEO of Digital Shadows.

As a team we were wondering how we would match the quality of the 6 finalists from 2012. But when we first glanced at the early submissions for the 2013 competition we knew we had no need to be worried – the entries did not disappoint and once again the judging panel was set a very hard task to pick 20 semi-finalists and then in the last couple of weeks the finalists.

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The Power Of Connections To Change The World

This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post

This week, heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, nonprofit leaders, and influential CEOs will attend 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.

I am excited about the opportunity to discuss with other global leaders how we can work together to address global challenges. In preparing for the event, I sat down with Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, who is also attending, to talk about the role of technology in driving positive change.

Tae Yoo: This is a busy week for business and political leaders in New York. What is on your mind as you attend this year’s Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting?

John Chambers: Top of mind for me is how we can all come together for a collaborative approach to solving our world’s most pressing issues, such as education, health care, and the global economy. When I think about developing solutions, I think about how we can use technology to make a difference. Let me give you an example. In Jordan we are using Cisco technology to improve health care access in communities with few or no specialists. People who might normally have to travel hours to a distant city to see a cardiologist can now do so virtually, through Cisco technology, at their local hospital or health clinic. Clinicians use technology to share patient reports and diagnostic images and collaborate on cases. As a result, doctors can serve more patients, and more patients can get care.

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