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Five Social Innovation Summit Stories That Changed My Outlook for 2013

The Social Innovation Summit (SIS) is a place where really nice people who do really nice things come together to share really important innovations on ways to improve society…really!

As a veteran of many conferences where hierarchy and title matter, I often found conversations to be stilted, led by elders pontificating on their topic of choice. At SIS, every conversation began or ended with the words “How Can I Help?”  Age, gender, and politics were irrelevant. The currency of the day was “let’s do something together to make this a better place.”  Generosity of time, a spirit of sharing, and an egalitarian approach to courtesy was pervasive.

Beyond the conversation and camaraderie, these were the topics I learned about at SIS that changed my outlook:

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The Changing Landscape of Healthcare in the Digital Age

December 5, 2012 at 9:08 am PST

Dr. William A. Kennedy knows how having a sick child can burden a family. In the 1970s, his brother suffered from metastatic Ewing’s sarcoma. Getting him the care he needed at a hospital 25 miles away was a full-time job for their mother and required help from other relatives and friends.

Today, Dr. Kennedy, a board-certified pediatric urologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, is using Cisco technology to provide specialty “care-at-a-distance.” The result: children and families don’t need to leave their communities and miss significant time from school and work to receive world-class specialty care.

Dr. Kennedy with a patient. Photo courtesy Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

In a blog post today on the Huffington Post, Dr. Kennedy writes that he has been able to reduce wait times for patients by running weekly “telehealth” clinics between Packard Children’s in Palo Alto and Pediatric Group of Monterey, nearly 100 miles to the south. Cisco technology “yields a high-quality clinical interaction that rivals the traditional in-person doctor visit,” Dr. Kennedy writes.

Please read Dr. Kennedy’s full post on the Huffington Post.

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Putting a Human Face on Big Data at the Social Innovation Summit

December 4, 2012 at 7:28 am PST

Today, everyone at Cisco is excited about the release of a new book — “The Human Face of Big Data” by Rick Smolan, a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer best known as the creator of the “Day in the Life” book series.

Cisco is a sponsor of the Human Face of Big Data Project, which also inlcudes a “Data Detectives” youth program and a smart phone application that allows users to compare their answers to questions about health, family, dating, dreams and more to 3 million other people around the world.

The book captures in photographs, essays, and infographics how the real-time collection, analysis, and visualization of vast amounts of information is enabling people to address some of the world’s biggest challenges.

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Social Innovation Summit: Where Business Innovation Meets Social Transformation

December 3, 2012 at 5:15 am PST

The Social Innovation Summit takes place this week on December 4 and 5 in Mountain View, California. This annual gathering brings together corporate, investment, government, and nonprofit leaders to explore the strategies and business innovations that are generating social transformation.

At Cisco, we apply the same technology, expertise, and partnerships we use to help our customers to also help transform lives, communities, and the planet. Through the collective power of human and technology networks, we believe we can multiply our impact on some of the world’s most pressing problems — while strengthening our business.

This “shared value” approach is reflected in the Social Innovation Summit, where other corporations, nonprofits, investors, and government agencies will describe how business innovations and creativity are enabling social transformation.

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Cisco’s Global Hunger Relief Campaign Exemplifies “Giving Tuesday”

November 27, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Cisco is proud to be a partner in Giving Tuesday, a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season.

We are celebrating Giving Tuesday by:

1. Promoting Cisco’s signature employee giving initiative, the Global Hunger Relief Campaign. Our goal: contribute $1.25 million in employee donations to hunger relief agencies globally and 12,500 volunteer hours by December 31, 2012. Cisco employee donations to the Campaign are matched twice – once by the Cisco Foundation and once by Cisco Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge – multiplying their impact.

2. Volunteering at several Cisco locations. In Lawrenceville, Georgia, Cisco employees will pack meal boxes for the underserved in Gwinnett County in partnership with Gwinnett Technical College. In Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Cisco employees will sort food at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. In Richardson, Texas, Cisco employees will volunteer in the food pantry at The Network, providing much-needed groceries for the nonprofit organization’s clients. And, Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California will partner with Stop Hunger Now to pack meals for distribution to hungry children around the world.

Employees from Cisco’s Research Triangle Park office volunteer at a Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina on Giving Tuesday 2012.

3. Donating meals to the World Food Programme (WFP) through its How Do You Give Facebook campaign. For every comment someone makes on Facebook, Cisco will contribute $1 – enough for WFP to provide 4 meals to people facing hunger.

Here’s how YOU can be part of Giving Tuesday:

  • Follow #GivingTuesday on Twitter

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