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Our Unique Focus on Making the World a Better Place

In a world of constant change, one thing that has remained consistent over my past 18 years at Cisco is that customers and government leaders truly believe in the transformative power of technology. As technology moves increasingly to the forefront of our daily lives, we know the power it has in driving economic progress, helping people thrive in the digital economy, and addressing critical issues facing our society such as climate change. What is good for the world and good for business are more closely connected than ever before.

I have always believed that Corporate Social Responsibility has to be woven into everything that a company does. At Cisco, our passion for making a difference around the world and improving lives is deeply engrained in our culture, our strategy, how we deliver value to our customers, and in how we attract top talent.

This is true now more than ever. With the recent events that have unfolded in Paris, Lebanon and Egypt, and in other parts of the world, Cisco is deeply committed to helping others and the communities we are a part of. It is simply who we are.

Our 11th Corporate Social Responsibility report highlights many ways that we’ve made an impact around the world. As an example, over the last 18 years, our Cisco Networking Academy program has helped more than 5.5 million students at 9500 learning institutions in 170 countries. With the skills they are developing, these students are helping to shape and build the digital economy.

Earlier this year, we announced Connected Caring, a unique partnership with singer-songwriter Keith Urban and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Children suffering from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who are being treated at St. Jude now have the opportunity to meet with Keith using Cisco’s video collaboration technologies. With this initiative, we’ve given children at St. Jude the opportunity to take their minds off their illness for just a little while as they share messages of hope while also having some fun.

Watch this video to learn more about the partnership.

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Behind the Scenes with the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team

Earlier this year, Cisco senior system engineer Josh Kittle attended Cisco Live in San Diego and had his first encounter with the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team – a group of students who are given the chance to gain real-world experience setting up massive networks at high-profile events like Cisco Live and the NBA All-Star Game.

The Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team at Cisco Live US 2015 in San Diego, California

The Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team at Cisco Live US 2015 in San Diego, California

Josh is a former Cisco Networking Academy instructor,  one of almost 9,500 who have taught 5.5 million students IT skills worldwide since 1997. The Networking Academy curriculum is licensed free of charge to learning institutions and is Cisco’s largest and longest-running Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Our courses provide in-depth technology training in the latest networking, security, and cloud technologies, preparing students for in-demand jobs and globally recognized certification.

Josh described the Dream Team as a way for Networking Academy students to gain “real-world experience at the logistics and execution of network design, installation, and support – at a hyper-accelerated pace.”

Read Josh’s full blog post here and learn how you can hire Networking Academy talent for your company.

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Cisco Celebrates Heroes on Veterans Day

Today in the United States is Veterans Day, where we give thanks to the millions of veterans who have served our country in wartime and peace. Originally called Armistice Day in honor of the cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in World War 1 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November 1918, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor American veterans of all wars.


In June 2011, Cisco started a corporate veterans program focused on helping veterans find career jobs and establishing career training resources. The veterans program augments Cisco’s successful employee organization, the Veterans Enablement and Troop Support Employee Resource Organization (Vets ERO). The Vets ERO consists of eight chapters and supports service members, active and retired, here and abroad, by creating greater awareness of veteran causes and helping veterans connect in our workplace and their local community. Two key activities of the Vets ERO are their annual mid-November Veterans Career Technology Day  and mentoring.

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Cisco’s Be the Bridge Campaign Empowers Employees to Change the World

For the past 15 years, Cisco’s helped raise more than $40 million and deliver nearly 160 million meals as part of its global hunger relief efforts. We’ve changed millions of lives, and now, we’re expanding our impact beyond the global hunger crisis. Every day, a lack of shelter, access to clean water, and malnutrition cripple underserved communities. Things we take for granted, like the roof over our heads or a simple bottle of water, are a luxury to millions of underserved people around the world. Fortunately, you and I can make a difference, starting today.

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As part of Cisco’s new Be the Bridge campaign, employees can support social issues that are important to them or their communities. The campaign, which launched earlier this week, empowers employees to “Be the Bridge” for those in need by providing direct aid to people with uncertain access to life’s necessities. Between now and December 11, Cisco will match employee donations of US$50 or more to over 400 eligible non-profit organizations in 15 different regions around the world.

To kick off the campaign, Cisco campuses in San Jose, India, Texas, and North Carolina hosted volunteer events, where hundreds of employees came together in a collective effort to “Be the Bridge” and create social change.

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Cisco, North Carolina Partner to Empower Military Veterans

On Tuesday, October 20, North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory swore in retired U.S. Marine major general Cornell Wilson as the state’s first cabinet-level secretary of the new Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. Cisco’s Stan Roberts, a Research Triangle Park-based customer support engineer and former Marine wounded in Afghanistan, was invited by General Wilson to represent Cisco and the North Carolina veterans community.

Like more than 27,000 military service members in North Carolina who left the armed forces in 2015, Stan struggled to translate his military experience to the civilian workforce. Veterans have a strong work ethic, can make quick decisions under pressure, and understand the value of teamwork, but those skills don’t always resonate with hiring managers.

Stan is introduced by Governor McCrory, thanking him for his service and Cisco’s veterans work in North Carolina through the North Carolina for Military Employment (NCME ) program, which was launched in March of this year.

Stan is introduced by Governor McCrory, thanking him for his service and Cisco’s veterans work in North Carolina through the North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME ) program, which was launched in March 2015.

As part of the NC4ME program, North Carolina and Cisco are empowering veterans with the tools and skills to thrive in a connected world long after they’ve finished their military service. Earlier this year, we launched the NC Military Pipeline, a sophisticated online platform that maps military occupation codes to civilian career paths and job openings. This tool is helping veterans find jobs that match their skills, and the Cisco Networking Academy is helping them discover new passions that can lead to certifications and fulfilling careers in the IT industry.

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