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Immigration in the Spotlight…or is it Education?

SAN JOSE, CA – Today, and recently, there has been a big focus on the immigration debate in the U.S….as well as in other developed nations. Since I’m in the U.S. and a little closer to this debate, I’m going to focus my thoughts on this side of the ponds…and less on amnesty or a worker program then on the highly-skilled and highly-educated workers that are needed to motor economies.In this “world is flat” or world 2.0 era, if you will, the jobs will go to where the best educated workforces are – and (commercial) Cisco provides the technologies that allows for anywhere, anytime, seamless communications. The U.S. still has great universities that attract the best talent around the world. Noted Silicon Valley venture capitalist and education advocate John Doerr has stated that he thinks that all advanced degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math (the so-called STEM majors) obtained by foreign nationals should have a green card attached to them. Those U.S. educated workers, he argues, should be encouraged to stay and contribute to the U.S. economy rather than being forced to go back to their home countries – where, by the way, there are more and more opportunities for them. Read More »

2006 U.S. Elections…and, of course, 2008!

I’m in DC now having just finished up our internal government affairs team worldwide offsite (which when I started in government affairs at Cisco, by the way, could have been done at the water cooler). One of our external speakers was from the noted political poop-sheet The Hotline, published by National Journal. He spent his time talking about the ’06 election prospects as well as what he saw shaping up in ’08. I will attempt to paraphrase some of his thoughts as well as insert some of my own expert analysis.He (I will err on the side of caution and not name him as I did not tell him I would blog on this, although I’m sure he didn’t share anything that he wouldn’t have said to any external audience) currently sees the Democrats having a good chance of winning the Senate with possible pick-ups in OH, PA, MT, RI and MO. He said the tougher ones that could be possible pick-ups for the Democrats include VA, TN, and AZ. Read More »

In the event of a water landing…

I just got to DC from San Francisco International Airport, so I obviously flew-and boy are my arms tired. Thank you, Henny Youngman. The flight attendants were giving the safety briefing and they spend the majority of the time, it seems, on the”water landing.” Like most fellow passengers, I already know how to buckle a seatbelt and I will definitely put my oxygen mask on first before helping others, thankyouverymuch. However, will I really be using that seat as a flotation device? Will the slide from the emergency exit door really be used for a raft? I guess what I’m getting at -and I hate to sound fatalistic here -is, IF we really did have a”water landing” would any of these water devices be used? Have they EVER been used? Or, as I suspect, is all the”water landing” information meant to make us all feel a little better as we jump on the plane yet again?What is the technology equivalent of”in the event of a water landing” instructions? I suspect it is very much like”please refrain from using your typewriter until we have reached our cruising altitude.” Or, perhaps,”if you help that nice Nigerian son of the Treasury minister get his money to an U.S. bank account, you really WILL get a handsome helpers fee.” Or, better yet,”giving all your personal information online in order to win that free IPOD will, in no way, ever be used by spammers.”Okay, perhaps I’m just a little cranky from traveling.

Are you a head of state? Come to Cisco.

You may have seen that U.S. President George W. Bush visited Cisco’s campus last week. He called Cisco,”one of America’s most innovative companies.” Very nice of him to say that and I must agree, although, I probably would have said”world’s most innovative companies,” but still-He was in Silicon Valley to talk about his competitiveness initiative and we were all pleased that he chose Cisco in order to do so. Joining him, at a table of six, were our CEO, John Chambers, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger among others (who a friend suggested we may need to get a cube for him as it was his second time visiting Cisco in as many weeks.) The President’s full remarks can be read here.Anywho, President Bush is not the first head of state to visit Cisco’s campus in San Jose, CA. Since I have been at Cisco (circa 1999) we have also hosted the Presidents of Chile and Mexico, as well as the King of Jordan, and in 1998, then-U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin…this is not an exhaustive list, however.What does a head of state get out of meeting with Cisco? First and foremost: knowledge. Cisco invented the technology that forms the core of the Internet. We use the secure internet to run our business and save billions of dollars in operational costs and efficiencies. We can help governments do the same. Read More »

Governor Schwarzenegger At Cisco

Last week, Cisco hosted California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who sat down with our CEO, John Chambers, as well as 20 or so other CEOs and high-tech executives from California. This meeting was put together by two technology trade associations of which we are members: TechNet and AEA. While it was a private meeting and I can’t report on the meeting proceedings, I can tell you what John Chambers talked about to the group…competitiveness.His presentation to the Governor and group of executives was framed by the four key pillars of what, in his view, it takes a state…or a nation…or be competitive in this increasingly flat world. Here they are: Read More »