It’s incredible to think that we are only a month away from closing entries for this year’s BIG Awards. This is the second BIG Awards competition we have run in the UK since the British Innovation Gateway programme was announced in January 2011 by Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers and Prime Minister David Cameron.
The annual open innovation competition identifies and offers financial and mentor support for the next generation of the UK’s digital entrepreneurs and startup companies.
It seems like yesterday that we were at the top of the Gherkin, launching this year’s competition and hearing about the great progress that last year’s winners – Snap Fashion, Digital Shadows, and Six 3 – have made over the past 6 months. Now the sun has come out (briefly), the football season is over, and we start to think about summer and the announcement of our 20 short-listed semi-finalists.
The field for this year’s DoGooder Video Awards is down to a handful of superb finalists. Now you can help choose the winners.
With great difficulty, the DoGooder team has narrowed an incredible array of funny, moving, and compelling videos that communicate important messages down to several finalists.
Voting is easy; just select your favorite video or videos in each category. Visitors can vote once per day through April 5, 2013. This is a great opportunity to get involved with cause video and have an impact on organizations doing crucial work.
Each year the Schwab Foundation presents Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards to people who apply innovative, practical approaches to resolving social and environmental challenges.
Three of the 24 awardees announced on February 15 lead nonprofit organizations that Cisco partners with to promote education and economic empowerment around the world.
These visionary leaders have leveraged our support to continue investing in innovative solutions that create opportunities for underserved populations. In fact, their organizations are so effective that Cisco has approached them to support several of our own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.
The 3 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year we are proud to support are:
Janet Longmore, founder and president and CEO of Digital Opportunity Trust. Janet has dedicated her career to helping youth, particularly young women, in less fortunate societies improve their lives. Cisco has partnered with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) for more than 10 years, beginning with early support of its education and economic empowerment initiatives. Based on the solid results and impact of those programs, Cisco extended its support to DOT to partner on large-scale Cisco initiatives.
For example, after Hurricane Katrina destroyed communities in Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005, DOT joined Cisco’s 21st Century Schools Initiative, a 4-year US$80 million investment to improve student engagement and performance by equipping classrooms with technology tools and helping educators integrate those tools into the curriculum. DOT trained and placed more than 100 interns in schools to troubleshoot technical issues and assist 3500 teachers in adopting the new Internet-driven tools.
As part of Cisco’s 21st Century Schools Initiative, DOT interns helped educators integrate technology into classroom instruction.
DOT’s involvement was critical: The interns helped teachers become comfortable with the new technologies, tools that in turn helped 60,000 students develop critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaborations skills. As a result of the initiative, drop-out rates declined by 50 percent in Hattiesburg, Mississippi from 2006 to 2009, and student behavior incidents declined by 64 percent in Harrison County, Mississippi from 2008 to 2009. DOT has supported similar Cisco efforts to technology-enable schools in Lebanon, China, and Mexico. Read more about the 21st Century Schools Initiative.
Kristin Peterson, co-founder and CEO of Inveneo. Inveneo designs and delivers affordable information and communications technology (ICT) solutions and training for organizations that serve people in underserved areas of the developing world. Inveneo’s solutions are specially designed to overcome challenging circumstances, such as hot and dry weather or low electrical power. They help community organizations reduce costs, build capacity, and connect residents to life-changing information and resources that can improve their quality of life and open doors to better healthcare, education, and economic opportunities.
Cisco was an early investor in Inveneo solutions and initiatives. Building on the organization’s solid track record of on-the-ground implementation success and impact, Cisco approached Inveneo to be a key partner in our Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment to promote economic development and reduce poverty sub-Saharan Africa through access to technology and information.
More than 190,000 people in Africa have obtained valuable online resources and learned basic ICT skills at Community Knowledge Centers developed by Inveneo, Cisco, and other organizations.
Cisco and Inveneo established community knowledge centers (CKCs) that provide technology access, plus locally relevant information on agriculture, health, education, jobs, and finances. Some CKCs provide information about basic healthcare or agriculture, while others offer career development resources, financial consultation, or English language courses. For example, at the Sekenani CKC outside the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya, wardens received training in Microsoft Excel, which helped them pass a test and earn pay raises. More than 190,000 people have obtained valuable online resources and learned basic ICT skills at CKCs in Africa. Read more about Cisco’s partnership with Inveneo.
Chuck Slaughter, founder and president of Living Goods.Living Goods empowers micro-entrepreneurs to earn a living, while helping families improve their health and well being. Networks of independent, mainly female, micro-entrepreneurs — or agents — go door-to-door selling affordable and effective products that can lead to better health: fortified foods, insecticide-treated bed nets, de-worming pills, malaria treatment, water filters, and soap, for example. Most Living Goods products are priced below retail, making them more affordable for their low-income customers. Their model is a win-win, in that it provides a source of income and livelihood for the entrepreneur agents, as well as improving health outcomes for individuals and their families.
In 2012, Cisco made an initial investment in Living Goods to develop and implement a mobile technology platform that their agents can use to report sales, manage inventory, and send automated healthcare reminders to customers, further multiplying the impact of its product line. Read more about Cisco’s support of Living Goods.
It’s so rewarding to know that organizations we partner with, thanks to their strong leadership, are now recognized by the Schwab Foundation as global role models for improving health, education, and creating economic opportunities for vulnerable and underserved people and communities around the world.
Read more about Cisco’s current nonprofit partners at csr.cisco.com.
KLAS recently released its “2012 Best in KLAS Awards: Medical Equipment & Infrastructure” reportand for second year in a row, Cisco’s wireless infrastructure, specifically the Cisco 7900 series phones earned the top spot in the industry. As stated by KLAS, the Best in KLAS awards are based solely on the data from customers who provide feedback with the goal to ultimately improve healthcare through better technology. The awards recognize companies that offer excellent service and meet provider needs with product functionality. This report includes a total of 3,765 provider evaluations, including interviews with hospital and clinic executives, administrators, physicians, nurses, clinicians, directors, and managers interacting with healthcare equipment and infrastructure solutions. Specific details on Cisco wireless products and infrastructure can be found in KLAS’s wireless infrastructure report.
Certainly this is very exciting news for Cisco, but I am even more excited about the fact that technology continues to improve quality of patient care and clinical workflows that ultimately enables a superior patient experience. Wireless continues to be one of the key technologies that is truly transforming the healthcare arena – whether it’s a doctor accessing patient records (in a secure manner) on his/her mobile device from any place -- any time or a smart pill ingested by a patient that is wirelessly dispensing the appropriate medication dosage based on patient vitals. The graph below illustrates some of the key examples of patient care improvement that are being impacted by wireless technology.
Examples of Patient Care Improvements
We can all have differing opinions on what is the most effective way of lowering cost within our healthcare system, but one undisputable fact is that technology continues to improve every aspect of the healthcare eco-system and I am really excited as to what awaits us in the next few years. What do you think?