Why does Cisco invest hundreds of millions of dollars around the world each year to help improve access to education, healthcare, critical human needs, and disaster relief? Cisco CEO and Chairman John Chambers said in a recent CNN interview that “corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a must for the future of capitalism.” He shared his insights on a panel interview at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City, which aired on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live show September 26th. Fellow panelists included host Piers Morgan, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, and Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.
This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post
This week, heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, nonprofit leaders, and influential CEOs will attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) — whose mission is to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
I am excited about the opportunity to discuss with other global leaders how we can work together to address global challenges. In preparing for the event, I sat down with Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, who is also attending, to talk about the role of technology in driving positive change.
Tae Yoo: This is a busy week for business and political leaders in New York. What is on your mind as you attend this year’s Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting?
John Chambers: Top of mind for me is how we can all come together for a collaborative approach to solving our world’s most pressing issues, such as education, health care, and the global economy. When I think about developing solutions, I think about how we can use technology to make a difference. Let me give you an example. In Jordan we are using Cisco technology to improve health care access in communities with few or no specialists. People who might normally have to travel hours to a distant city to see a cardiologist can now do so virtually, through Cisco technology, at their local hospital or health clinic. Clinicians use technology to share patient reports and diagnostic images and collaborate on cases. As a result, doctors can serve more patients, and more patients can get care.
Seventy-five million youth around the world are unemployed, yet in Brazil, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States, more than half of all employers are unable to find enough skilled entry-level workers. How do we help youth around the world get the opportunities to build a bright future for themselves and become forces for positive change? This is the topic that Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers will be discussing at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting this week in New York. He is speaking Wednesday morning, September 25, in a breakout session entitled CGI Conversations hosted by CNN’s Piers Morgan, along with Chelsea Clinton; Muhtar Kent, the Chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company; and Peggy Mativo, Founder and Executive Director of PACEmaker International. The panel discussion will be recorded for broadcast on CNN.
Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers joined Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein and Dow Chemical Company President, Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris on a panel discussion moderated by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. The title of the panel was “Business by Design: Growth and Opportunity.” (An edited portion of the panel will air on CNN soon…watch this space for the air date).
Zakaria said that he was an optimist overall when it came to the United States and our prospects for the future. He spoke about the economic troubles the U.S. has had over the past decades and how we have consistently overcome them. The trouble with this recovery and economy, he said, is that it is taking jobs a lot longer to come back than what has been historically ordinary.
All of the speakers agreed (generally) that there was optimism to be had in the United States economy, regardless of who is elected President in November. All of them also agreed that government and business have to partner together to help solve our nation’s problems and take advantage of our many assets. Blankfein said that many of our problems are self-inflicted and could easily be resolved, such as having a budget for the country.
Doing good is not that easy, and sustaining good on a grand scale is almost impossible. But once again it is being done at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, Sept 22 to 24. I like to say it’s a place where highly influential people go behind closed doors to do good.
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, CGI convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI annual meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and nongovernmental organizations, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries.
As part of our involvement in CGI, Cisco along with several nonprofit, NGO, and government partners, made a 4-year investment to support ICT-driven development strategies in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa — primarily through establishment of locally managed and self-sustaining community knowledge centers (CKCs).