On October 2, 2010, the day after Singapore celebrated Children’s Day, close to two thousand children and Cisco volunteers led by Edzard Overbeek, President of Cisco’s Asia Pacific and Japan theaters, created a little piece of history by attending the World’s Largest Art Lesson across 12 countries and 33 locations around the globe.
Sitting in Cisco’s Singapore office, Peter Draw, a gifted young artist with a passion to bring joy to the lives of underprivileged children through art, achieved his dream of reaching out to hundreds of children simultaneously thanks to Cisco’s technologies including TelePresence and WebEx.
The event was recognized by Guinness as a new world record but the real rewards lay in the squeals of laughter from the children who came from different backgrounds, different cultures and different nations; united for those few hours through a combination of technology and good old fashioned drawing.
For the Cisco volunteers, this wonderfully touching event was made more meaningful by the fact that the company was celebrating its 25th anniversary, and 25 years of giving back to the community.
Children from underprivileged backgrounds were invited to the event from many of the locations and the volunteers also raised funds that were donated to charity organizations and beneficiaries in Sydney, Adelaide, Hong Kong, Bangalore, Jakarta, Tokyo, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Manila, San Jose, Taipei and Bangkok.
“Connecting and collaborating with others is a key element of Cisco culture, and our technologies make the world a smaller place and enhance life experiences. I’m heartened by the commitment shown by my teams in all the offices and am even more excited by the opportunities we had to show these children how technology is changing the way we live, work, play and learn. Together, we are the future,” said Overbeek.
Peter Draw the artist considers what he does as the “sweetest gift”. This could equally be applied to the technology that Cisco and many other companies are bringing to the world.