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Stand Up Against Bullying with Ben Cohen – Nov 9

November 2, 2011 at 9:14 pm PST

“Every person on this planet has a right to be true to themselves, to love and be loved, and to be happy. I encourage others to stand up with me and make a difference,” says Ben Cohen of Stand Up Foundation.

Ben Cohen

The Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation, Inc. is the world’s first foundation dedicated to raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying, and funding those doing real-world work to stop it. The foundation’s mission is to stand up against bullying for any reason. Because Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered (GLBT) people are often targeted by bullies, the foundation gives particular attention to this community. Removing homophobia from sports is also a central part of the mission.

The Cisco Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Advocates (GLBT&A) Employee Resource Group(ERG), together with the Cisco Disabilities Awareness Network ERG, are bringing Ben to the Cisco San Jose campus on Wednesday, Nov 9 at 3pm as part of Cisco’s Inclusion & Diversity Speaker series.

Ben Cohen is an England Rugby World Cup champion, and among the world’s greatest athletes. He ranks second in all-time scoring for England, and he’s the first straight professional athlete to focus his philanthropic efforts for the benefit of the GLBT community. He is also clinically deaf.

Bullying in our schools is a real problem. It disrupts the classroom and Read More »

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Comment is Free

Declared a newspaper editor, at the turn of the last Century. Little could he have known that 100 years on , the press would be read online by millions and that comments, made by its readers, would increasingly become a clear indicator of the success – or not – of the content.

If you’re anything like me, it’s the articles, reviews and features that create the most discussion, that are the most interesting.

Whenever I log onto a news site, I’m drawn to the articles that have generated most comment. And more often than not, I’ll even skip to the comments section, before I’ve finished reading the full article.

The online Economist, ranks all articles according to the number of comments received. The print edition will give you a list of articles as they appear in the magazine. Read it online, however, and you will know at one glance that last week’s piece on Germany’s role in supporting the European economy received more than 1800 reactions, thoughts, ideas and suggestions from people all around the world.

Guess which article I read first?

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Turning energy, talent and passion into success

While we can’t expect a medal-winning performance every day or to excel at everything we do, we can discover our natural talents, where our strengths lie and what we’re truly passionate about. Read More »

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The Results: How Reverse Mentoring Can Enhance Diversity and Inclusion

Back in April this year I wrote a blog about a programme we drove in Europe last fiscal year called Reverse Mentoring, where a senior employee is also mentored by the junior employee. All of our 31 mentors and 31 mentees have now reached the end of the programme and I’d like to share with you their feedback – what they enjoyed, what worked well and what we can improve upon in the future. Read More »

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Shaggy Dog Story

Some time ago now, when I was a teenager, I was told a shaggy dog story. For those who haven’t heard of shaggy dog stories, they are purposefully longwinded tales that play upon the preconceptions of the audience. The audience listens with certain expectations which in the end are either not met or met in some entirely unexpected manner challenging the audience to check how they think.

I won’t take up this space and your time telling a full length shaggy dog story but I will recount the gist of the story to highlight the preconception that I’m afraid I was guilty of as a teenager and still sometimes fall into the trap of now.

A girl is lying in a hospital bed having had a serious accident. So serious, in fact, she has to remain in hospital for a good while. She is visited by many people: Her friends, the doctor, the nurses, her father, her teachers, her brother and her sister, each of them bringing her get better soon gifts and asking after her well-being.

When the tale comes to a close the narrator says: Didn’t this girl receive a lot of visits? Then asks:  How many times did her mother visit, can you tell me?

You stop. And think. And decide to say: Well it’s a bit tricky counting up all of the mother’s visits because there were so many visits altogether, too many to keep track of the mother’s. But then you think, actually I don’t think the mother visited at all. Yes, that’s right. The poor girl didn’t get one visit from her mother. How could that be?

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