Slovakia’s first national IT Fitness Test was launched earlier this month. Over the next weeks, students from over 830 secondary schools, colleges and universities will put to test their IT knowledge, digital literacy and skills in computers and networks.
The test is organized by the Slovak Ministry of Education and the IT Association as part of the e-Skills Week initiative of the European Commission. Cisco Slovakia and several other organizations have joined as supporters and Frantisek Jakab, Cisco Networking Academy manager is leading the IT Fitness Test project and acts as chairman of the Testing Committee.
In case you missed these on our main ‘the Platform’ blog, some interesting insights on the role of emerging markets within the global economic environment came out of our presence at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland over the weekend.
Firstly Paul Mountford, Cisco’s president for Emerging Markets outlined the differences between the somewhat gloomy atmosphere last year and a more upbeat focus on rebuilding, redesigning and rethinking this year.
Cisco CEO John Chambers also addressed the broad question of growth in emerging markets in an interview with Mario Bartiromo on CNBC during WEF. Based on his discussions with leadership in China, India and 5 leaders in the Middle East that he met with last week ahead of his visit to Davos, Chambers talks about his view that emerging markets are poised to come back in a big way.
CNBC writes: “Most of the global economies have stabilized,” John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, said. “Here in Davos, the mood is much more positive than a year ago, especially for the technology companies. And that’s natural because when economies start to recover, you apply first technology – get your productivity up – then you add jobs.
You can watch John’s response here directly on CNBC’s website here.
What’s your view? Are emerging markets coming back in a big way?
On January 19, Andrey Kharitonov, Alexey Lukatsky, Oleg Snigirev, Sergey Timofeev and Vasily Tomilin from Cisco’s Moscow office joined some 30 thousand Muscovites to celebrate Epiphany in a centuries-old tradition.
Like many other Russian Orthodox followers they braved the chill, typical for this time of the year (less than 2 degrees Farhenheit), and took a swim in a hole cut in the ice covering the Moscow river.
Our goal was to showcase the important role information and communication technologies play in driving societies towards innovation and achieving economic growth and prosperity.
A global team of 27 Cisco volunteers came together in Sohar, Oman, with Fast Lane, a Cisco Learning Partner, to promote discussions on how ICT training can facilitate the transformation of Oman’s society by developing and empowering Omani youth; the main source for local IT talent.
Business Outreach: Setting the Course
Cisco’s Middle East Employee Resource Group brings together employees who want to enhance their careers, support the community, and grow the business by facilitating business partnerships between Cisco and the community. As part of the Business Outreach Program, they were part of a global team representing employees in Dubai, Egypt, KSA, Lebanon, Belgium and the US.
They started this journey by agreeing to deliver a pilot training program to college and high school students with the objective of:
Increasing technology awareness,
Enhancing technical and business skills for local workforce development, and
The reason, I learned when I recently interviewed Dr. Luis Carniglia, who is in charge of Garrahan’s Reference and Counter-reference Program, is that many parents whisk their kids off to the Buenos Aires hospital simply because they do not trust the medics in their local healthcare center. The Garrahan is one of the top pediatric hospitals in the region—and as a parent myself I know what it is like to want the very best for your children.
But a high proportion of cases the Garrahan’s doctors get to see could easily be treated at a local hospital, says Dr. Carniglia, if only parents could somehow be convinced that the medical attention there is just as good as it is in the capital. Mindful of this, Dr. Carniglia is heading a project to extend the Garrahan’s 12-year-old remote patient consultation service with Cisco TelePresence and Unified Communications, so Buenos Aires-based doctors can give real-time support to medics doing consultations in regional centers.
In practice, this means parents can now have the reassurance of seeing a Garrahan specialist—over TelePresence or via Unified Communications—alongside their local pediatric doctor.
This reinforces parents’ confidence in regional healthcare staff and removes the need for costly and time-consuming travel.
You can also see the system in action in this video (in Spanish, with English subtitles) featuring Dr. Carniglia, members of the Cisco team working on the telemedicine project, and Telefónica, the service provider involved.