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How Mobile Phones Are Driving Business and Social Impact

If you look around and think everyone has a mobile phone, you’re right. There are almost as many mobile subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people in the world (7.1 billion), according to the International Telecommunication Union.

Even in developing countries, the mobile penetration rate (the number of mobile phone numbers within a specific population) is 89 percent. Between 2011 to 2016, the number of mobile phones in Africa is expected to double from 500 million to 1 billion–nearly the entire population. But how are we all using our mobile phones?

What we’re learning is that a mobile phone can transform someone’s life, especially for underserved populations and/or those living in remote locations. They enable financial inclusion for the 1.8 billion people with access to a phone but not a bank. They provide farmers with information on market prices and weather reports, and they link micro and small entrepreneurs to markets and potential buyers. And, they provide mothers with important information to keep themselves and their children healthy. All this relevant and actionable information is getting to people who aren’t able to access this type of information via the Internet or in person.

Belinda and her child never fell sick during and after her pregnancy, thanks to messages that she received that told her about proper nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding. Photo courtesy Grameen Foundation

Belinda and her child never fell sick during and after her pregnancy, thanks to messages that she received that told her about proper nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding. Photo courtesy Grameen Foundation

But we’re also learning that organizations — large, for-profit corporations and small, nonprofit social enterprises alike — are using mobile technology to operate better and smarter. Organizations are using mobile phones to gather real-time data that help them make informed business decisions and that yield social impact.

Let me introduce you to two organizations that have developed innovative technology tools that are driving this double bottom line business and social impact.

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Women Have the Skills to Stand Out in STEM Fields

This blog was initially published on the Huffington Post

This week, my boss, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, is being recognized at the U.S. STEM Solutions Summit as one of the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

This is a great recognition for Cisco’s efforts in developing talent for the technology field. On the other hand, the list of Fortune 100 CEO’s is disappointing because of what’s missing – women. Only 18 of the 100 leaders listed are women.

In the United States and around the world, there are far more technology-oriented jobs than candidates to fill them. According to the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI), jobs in U.S are projected to grow 45 percent between 2008 -2018 in computer systems design and related services, a math intensive field.

Further, a new study from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program says 20 percent of all jobs in the United States require a “high level of knowledge” in at least one STEM field. Half of these jobs don’t even require bachelor’s degree, yet they pay $53,000 on average—10 percent higher than jobs with similar educational requirements.

Clearly, the computer technology represents a good career choice with strong possibilities for employment and professional growth. Yet it appears that this message isn’t reaching a broader audience of women.

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5 Reasons to Study Networking Technology Now

Gary_ComanThis post was written by Gary Coman, who oversees engineering and development for Cisco Networking Academy. It originally appeared on the Huffington Post

I love my job and I want you to love yours too. I meet people of all ages, everywhere in the world who are shaping the future of their communities and transforming their lives. As director of engineering with the Cisco Networking Academy, I am part of a global community dedicated to training the next generation of networking technology professionals who will design, build, and dream up the technology networks that will connect everyone, everywhere. They will change the way we work, live, play and learn.

Whether you’re just planning a career or considering a career change, here are 5 reasons you should include computer networking in your course studies.

1. Opportunities abound

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Cisco CEO John Chambers Recognized Among 100 CEO Leaders in STEM

“Given the rapid speed of change in today’s global marketplace, a country must invest in its greatest asset—its people—and train them to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math [STEM].” Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers

A skilled workforce is the backbone of a successful and competitive economy. Unfortunately, here in the United States, we are falling behind on educating people in the STEM fields that are vital to the technology careers that our society depends on.

At Cisco, we are working to change that through our educational investments, particularly our Networking Academy program.

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Cisco Shares Expertise on STEM Education at National Conference

STEMThe U.S. National STEM Solutions Conference is just around the corner and the Cisco CSR team will be among the more than 2,000 business, education, and government leaders from around the United States in attendance at the Austin Convention Center from June 17 to 19, in efforts to continue change in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) education, policy, and workforce development.

Cisco CSR, along with its partner STEMconnector, will use the conference to advocate for more STEM education to better equip the students of today with the education and resources necessary to become the leaders of tomorrow.

During the three-day conference, the Cisco CSR-funded EdTech: Revolution in Education and 100 CEO Leaders in STEM reports will be showcased. EdTech: Revolution in Education is a first-of-its kind effort to create an inventory of education technology resources. The 100 CEO leaders in STEM report features interviews with 100 CEOs, including Cisco CEO John Chambers, which highlight the committed leadership necessary to win the STEM education battle.

On Tuesday, June 18, Cisco’s Senior Director of Corporate Affairs, Harbrinder Kang, will give brief remarks during the release announcement of the EdTech report and later during the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM dinner. On Wednesday, June 19, Cisco Networking Academy Director, Gary Coman will participate on the panel Bridging the Gap: the Pivotal Role of Community Colleges and Career and Technical Education. With 10,000 Networking Academies in 165 countries, Cisco has long been a pioneer in training students around the world to become ICT professionals.

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