Randy Pond is Cisco Executive Vice President of Operations, Processes, and Systems
Today is the United Nations’ Human Rights Day and it was not so long ago that we witnessed the role of the social media revolution in the Arab Spring. This example of Internet-enabled communication in driving change illustrates the evolving impact of technology on human rights, and casts light on both the opportunities and the challenges the industry will face — the world celebrated the flow of information that facilitated change, while at the same time showing concern over efforts of governments to use the very same infrastructure to try to shut down and control communications. Over the past 20 years, we have transformed from a world communicating through paper and face-to-face interaction into communities that can share information within seconds — and innovation continues at a dramatic rate.
At Cisco, we embrace innovation, and the opportunity to expand use of the Internet as a positive force for human development. We do this primarily by working to build each of our products on open, global standards — standards that we believe are critical to overcoming censorship and keeping the world connected — and by developing architectures for using our products aimed at particular needs, such as healthcare, education, and energy efficiency.
We are also committed to not customizing our products in any way that aids repression or censorship. To provide a consolidated view of our approach to these issues, we have included a new human rights policy and roadmap in this year’s eighth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. With the help of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and in conformance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, the roadmap was developed to concentrate on our human rights policy, and also establish a governance model, provide training, and create an effective mechanism to review our actions on an ongoing basis.
In addition to the new policy and roadmap, Cisco’s commitment to human rights includes several additional initiatives and partnerships, such as a successful engagement with the Business and Human Rights Resource Center; our continued work with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (which we helped to found) to promote a common code of conduct among electronic manufacturers, software firms, IT firms, and manufacturing services providers; and engagement with NGOs concerned with human rights.
As we approach 2013, it will be important to continue addressing the impact of technology on human rights. Challenges to global freedom of expression through the Internet will continue, and will become more complex as innovation advances. Our long-term view and ongoing implementation of Cisco’s human rights roadmap will guide Cisco’s human rights efforts going forward and will help drive a safe Internet well into the future.
Tags: Cisco, human rights
For many children, visiting Santa Claus, sitting on his lap, and telling him what they want for Christmas is a highlight of the holiday season. But for a sick, hospitalized child, participating in this tradition can be impossible.
Thanks to Cisco technology and a network of Cisco volunteers, hundreds of hospitalized children in the U.K. and Ireland have a chance to visit with Santa each year – in the most high-tech way possible.
One of eight volunteer Santas in the 2012 Connected Santa program in the U.K. and Ireland
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Tags: Cisco, collaboration, connected santa, CSR, santa, TelePresence, UK
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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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.
Tags: Cisco, healthcare, healthpresence, Lucile Packard, pediatric, telehealth
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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Tags: Big Data, Cisco, CSR, data, data in motion, smolan, social innovation