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Anyone who has seen Cisco EVP Wim Elfrink in the flesh knows he has an infectious enthusiasm for innovation. So perhaps it is not surprising that the Cisco Chief Globalisation Officer’s no-holding-back attitude has spawned a new approach to learning in rural India.

Elfrink uprooted from San Jose, CA, to Bangalore in India in 2006 to head up Cisco’s Globalisation Centre East and since then has been a fierce advocate of collaboration tools such as Cisco TelePresence and Unified Communications as a means of cutting down on business travel.

Paradoxically, though, a business trip has triggered a new application for this very type of technology.

While visiting Chhindwara in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Elfrink challenged a group of young people to come up with business ideas for possible Cisco sponsorship—and the winning concept involved using Cisco WebEx collaboration tools to improve learning in the region. 

Documented in a video and a feature on News@Cisco, the story of how Elfrink’s encouragement and a team of Cisco mentors helped three young Indians set up the Lakshya Network in Chhindwara is one that should interest educators and entrepreneurs worldwide.

I also think it is a great example of something Cisco does rather well, which is to link technology with education in order to help create wealth and opportunities in local communities. Witness what the company has done elsewhere with the Networking Academy and the Entrepreneur Institute.

Of course, Cisco Chief Executive Officer John Chambers is a strong believer in the power of learning and so a focus on education is almost part of the company’s DNA.

But it will be interesting to see what happens if and when Cisco starts to apply innovation-fostering measures to other global challenges, such as environmental sustainability. What do you think?

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Anyone who has seen Wim Elfrink in the flesh knows he has an infectious enthusiasm for innovation. So perhaps it is not surprising that the Cisco Chief Globalisation Officer’s no-holding-back attitude has spawned a new approach to learning in rural India.  Elfrink uprooted from San Jose, CA, to Bangalore in India in 2006 to head up Cisco’s Globalisation Centre East and since then has been a fierce advocate of collaboration tools such as Cisco TelePresence and Unified Communications as a means of cutting down on business travel.

Paradoxically, though, a business trip has triggered a new application for this very type of technology.

While visiting Chhindwara in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Elfrink challenged a group of young people to come up with business ideas for possible Cisco sponsorship—and the winning concept involved using Cisco WebEx collaboration tools to improve learning in the region.  Documented in a video and a feature on News@Cisco, the story of how Elfrink’s encouragement and a team of Cisco mentors helped three young Indians set up the Lakshya Network in Chhindwara is one that should interest educators and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Students Attend Class Via WebEx

I also think it is a great example of something Cisco does rather well, which is to link technology with education in order to help create wealth and opportunities in local communities. Witness what the company has done elsewhere with the Networking Academy and the Entrepreneur Institute.  Of course, Cisco Chief Executive Officer John Chambers is a strong believer in the power of learning and so a focus on education is part of the company’s DNA.

But it will be interesting to see what happens if and when Cisco starts to apply innovation-fostering measures to other global challenges, such as environmental sustainability. What do you think?

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3 Comments.


  1. As a teacher myself I have taught in school where there has been a lack of any technology in the class. Buying a projector and screen and teaching using power point got the attention of students. One benefit was for teaching and learning where visual learner’s grades increased through using interactive diagrams. Collaborating with partner schools through web lessons where one teacher teaches two classes in different countries at the same time we have adopted. Students, and no doubt the students in the picture wish to learn and re very capable without the technology, although helps teacher lesson delivery and the resources that can be used for learning.

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  2. Well, it seems like another blog, but while though i have gone through it, i found it with huge interesting topics and all that. This seems like very informative and i’ love to recommend everyone as this blog giving a huge interest to everyone need. I do love this blog and hopefully i would be in touch with it as it becomes my favorite one. Thanks! :)

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  3. Interesting to know about the e-learning initiatives from Cisco. I would like to discuss with team from Cisco India that worked for the pilot at Chhindwara. Looking forward to know the contact details of the Cisco e-learning team so that I could call/email in this regard. Thanks.

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