“Which school should I choose, to do what you do?” This was one of the most frequent questions asked by Serbian schoolgirls visiting Cisco in Belgrade for “Girls in ICT” Day. Aged 14, the girls are nearing an important decision in their lives when it comes to choosing their future education and professional path. The “Girls in ICT” initiative was created to help this difficult decision and convey the message that information technology is interesting and it is something for girls as well.
"Girls in ICT" Day visitors at Cisco Serbia
The visitors, who were accompanied by their teachers, toured the office, visited the networking lab and chatted with female Cisco employees both in Serbia as well as other countries, the latter via Cisco TelePresence. I also had a chance to talk to our young guests and explain what an interesting combination ICT & marketing are, what is it like to have a regional role and work with people form different timezones and cultures.
Serbian schoolgirls at Cisco TelePresence room
We then connected the girls with their peers in Sofia, Bulgaria and there were lots of smiles and laughter, and even some singing. See the video.
Interested to know more about „Girls in ICT” Day? The initiative was the brainchild of Serbia’s Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society, Ms Jasna Matic, who launched the Global Network of Women in ICT at a special event in New York in February this year, with the support of Dr Touré, the Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, and a number of high-ranking female dignitaries. The initiative is also embraced by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
For the first time in the station’s 86 years history, reporters of MR1 Kossuth radio used video for creating the broadcaster’s special Europe Day program. Celebrating the day when the idea of European integration was born, the editors brought together citizens of the continent around a virtual roundtable.
Cisco, together with local partner KFKI was providing a Cisco TelePresence 1300 unit as well as connectivity with 15 cities across Europe. Reporters, who usually need to rely on voice only, enjoyed the experience of meeting their interviewees and engaging in a conversation “just across the table”.
“TelePresence opened us a whole new dimension for preparing interviews. We are proud to be the first station in Hungary to use such an innovative technology for a radio program,” – said Ferenc Markovits, editor of Hungarian Radio.
Highlights included a re-encounter of members of a Greek family that was separated during world war two, a roundtable with heads of Hungarian cultural institutions talking about events celebrated across Europe during the current Hungarian EU Presidency, and a song performed jointly by Roma singers in Paris and Budapest.
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The evening brought together vendors, system integrators and end users who were all eagerly anticipating the winners announcement throughout the ceremony. Altogether, the awards comprised of 22 categories, which looked to celebrate innovative networking projects, end-users for their contribution to business, and vendors for their market leadership. Cisco has been shortlisted for the prestigious Networking Vendor of the year award – an award determined by votes, not a judging panel or committee.
To our absolute delight, Cisco won the most-coveted Networking Vendor of the year category. The win crowns our focus on defining true innovation and operational excellence to our customers in the region and a real testimony by our customers and partners.
Once we were nominated and shortlisted, the category was then opened to the public for voting to take place. Cisco received 1800 votes, which equated to 33% of the overall voting total -- polling ahead of other shortlisted finalists. With a mixed feeling of excitement and confidence, it was indeed an honorable moment to get on stage and receive the award on behalf of Cisco.
Our achievement was also complemented by the success of our customers’ innovation and business impact who were also recognized at the event for the end-user awards categories.
This is a another milestone for Cisco achievements in the Middle East as it demonstrates our commitment to deliver on Cisco’s vision to lead emerging country innovation, prosperity, job creation, and social inclusion through life-changing networks.
Our work with nations through out the region to help utilize ICT to drive sustainable socioeconomic progress, secure affordable broadband networking, facilitate instant information access for businesses and enable world-class citizen services with better access to healthcare, education, and social services.
The winners in the vendor category were recognized for their outstanding performance and significant impact on the market. The criteria for winning included a variety of indicators, including product innovation, quality of services, major customer wins and commitment to the region.
To achieve these awards has been an extremely proud moment for Cisco, our partners and customers – a true, networking glory for all involved.
The recent Global Information Technology Report (GITR) from the World Economic Forum highlights the role that ICT plays as an enabler of economic, environmental and social development today. The Networked Readiness Index in the report also showed that developing countries led by China and Brazil are catching up in terms of technology adoption.
There’s another aspect to the report that bears mentioning, and that is the rising importance and shifting composition of the Internet Economy, in chapter 1.2, and authored by Cisco’s Enrique Rueda-Sabater and John Garrity. Cisco has supported and made contributions to the GITR for most of its 10 years of existence and has used the Networked Readiness Index in many discussions around the world on the potential for networks to contribute to economic and social progress.
The report has generated a lot of attention and has been the subject of blogs (from Russia, Singapore, Turkey …) press articles and comments from businesses, government official and individuals across the world.
Regardless of how the future unfolds, the Internet will evolve in ways we can only begin to imagine. By allowing ourselves to explore and rehearse divergent and plausible futures for the Internet, not only do we find ourselves more prepared for any future—we can also help shape it for the better.
I thought I’d sharing one of the video discussions on the findings of the report with the Monitor team.
You can watch the rest of the videos here, and download the complete white paper (PDF) here.