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Shared Value: Amplifying the Success of a Business and Its Community

This post was also published on the Huffington Post ImpactX

The term “shared value” was introduced in 2010 by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, co-founders of FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research.

But what does it mean? Simply put, it is the concept that a company can enhance its own competitiveness while simultaneously alleviating social problems in the communities where it operates.

According to Porter and Kramer, one way in which companies can create shared value opportunities is to enable “local cluster development.”

“When a firm builds clusters in its key locations, they also amplify the connection between their success and their communities’ success,” Porter and Kramer wrote in the January-February 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review.

I am a believer in this approach to creating shared value because it is the basis for the Cisco Networking Academy, our largest and longest-running corporate social responsibility program.

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Technology Helps Reduce High Unemployment Among Post-9/11 Veterans

On March 8, NBCNews.com reported that the unemployment rate among post-9/11 U.S. military veterans was 9.4 percent in February, well above the national unemployment average of 7.7 percent.

Nearly 1 in 10 ex-service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is hunting for a job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The NBCNews.com story mentioned how Cisco is partnering with software developer Futures, Inc. to connect the 200,000 members of the nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to civilian jobs through a free, online tool.

The IAVA Career Pathfinder is free online tool for U.S. military veterans

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World Affairs Council Honors Cisco for Global Commitment to Education

Last night, Cisco was honored by the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C. for its leadership role in worldwide education. Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers received the “Global Education Award“ in recognition of Cisco’s “worldwide commitment to social responsibility, knowledge transfer, learning, and education.“

Tae Yoo, Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, accepted the award on John’s behalf. Tae leads Cisco’s social investment programs in education, healthcare, critical human needs, and economic development.

Dr. Steven Knapp, President of George Washington University, presents the World Affairs Council Global Education Award to Cisco Senior Vice President Tae Yoo on behalf of Cisco Chairman & CEO John Chambers

Dr. Steven Knapp, President of George Washington University, presents the World Affairs Council Global Education Award to Cisco Senior Vice President Tae Yoo on behalf of Cisco Chairman & CEO John Chambers

More than 1000 guests attended the Global Education Gala award ceremony, including 60 ambassadors from the Washington diplomatic corps and White House; cabinet and Congressional members; business and civic leaders; and students, parents and educators.

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The Unhealthy State of Children’s Healthcare

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Cisco Senior Director of Corporate Affairs Yu Yi

It is well known fact that pediatric specialists are in high demand but short supply in the United States and around the world. Sixteen U.S. states have fewer than one pediatric subspecialist under age 65 per 100,000 residents, according to the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions.

As a result, many children and their families are forced to travel long distances to get adequate care. In some regions, patients may wait as long as three to six months for an appointment.

Today on the Huffington Post ImpactX, Cisco Senior Director of Cisco Corporate Affairs Yu Yi explains how this shortage of healthcare professionals can lead to significant complications in adulthood.

“The current system can also lead to inconsistent knowledge and information exchange between patients, primary care pediatricians, and pediatric specialists,” Yu Yi wrote. “Consequently, children with complex care requirements receive less effective care and experience poor outcomes.”

Please read Yu Yi’s full blog on the Huffington Post.

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International Women’s Day: A Jordanian Entrepreneur’s Impact on Education, the Workforce, and Society

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post on March 7, 2013.

Today, I would like to reflect on the progress women are making in the global economy by highlighting the work of one woman who has been a source of inspiration for many: Randa Ayoubi. Randa is a woman entrepreneur from Jordan who had a dream of enhancing the lives of children by raising educational standards through multimedia learning.

Nearly 20 years ago, after her studies in computer science at Texas Tech, Randa returned to Jordan to work at a bank. However, Randa wanted a different path and aspired to be her own boss and contribute to society. She started a software business called Rubicon where she became one of Jordan’s pioneers in multimedia software for education at a time when rural poverty and the lack of teachers in villages was a big issue.

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