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Three Ways We Can Impact the Future of Society and the Planet

This blog is also featured on Huffington Post ImpactX.

As a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Cisco is committed to creating and implementing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. In partnership with other global leaders, we’re tackling new issues every year, from closing the IT skills gap to creating new economic opportunities for individuals worldwide.

This year, nonprofit leaders, influential CEOs, and diplomats will come together at the CGI Annual Meeting under the theme of “The Future of Impact,” where they’ll collaborate to turn inspiring ideas into real-world results.

Together, CGI members have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. Through countless public-private partnerships, we are preparing people around the world with the skills, technologies, and resources they’ll need to thrive in a connected world.

Through both our CGI commitments and our own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, we’ve learned what works to speed the pace of social change in communities worldwide:

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A Journey from WorldSkills to Cisco

closeupThis post was written by guest blogger Jean-Philippe Desbiens, 23, a Cisco Meraki consulting systems engineer. Cisco CCNA certified since age 17, Jean-Philippe is now CCNP certified and studying for his CCIE. He is involved in his community and is always eager to learn new technologies.

Did you know that every two years, a global competition for professional trades is held somewhere in the world? That event, called WorldSkills, happened last month in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

WorldSkills is an International competition that brings together young people from all around the world to fight for the title of “best of the world” in their trades. I was one of them, as I represented Canada in the category IT – Network Systems Administration in 2013 in Leipzig. I finished 6th out of 30 competitors and received a medallion of excellence. However, before getting in the world’s top 10, I had to follow a specific and special path.

Jean-Philippe competes at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany

Jean-Philippe competes at a prior WorldSkills event in Leipzig, Germany

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Robots Invade Cisco RTP Campus this Weekend

The Cisco Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina campus, normally quiet over the weekend, will be alive and buzzing with activity this Saturday, September 12, as hundreds of students, robots, coaches, and volunteers gather for a day of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning.

For the second year, Cisco RTP is hosting the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Kick-Off in partnership with North Carolina A&T State University (North Carolina FIRST Affiliate Partner for FTC) and NC FIRST Robotics. The centerpiece of the day: Congressman David Price will present the “Game Reveal”—when wide-eyed students learn the rules and guidelines for this year’s robotics competition, and are able to see the field of battle for the first time.

U.S. Congressman David Price attended the "Game and Field Reveal" during the First Tech Challenge Kick-Off event at the Cisco Research Triangle Park campus on September 12, 2015

U.S. Congressman David Price attended the “Game and Field Reveal” during the First Tech Challenge Kick-Off event at the Cisco Research Triangle Park campus on September 12, 2015

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How The Internet of Everything Will Change The Job Market

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post

Students in Milan learning the importance of the Internet of Everything during their hands-on lessons in IT.

Students in Milan learning the importance of the Internet of Everything during their hands-on lessons in IT.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is poised to generate broad implications across technology and business markets — and especially jobs. Last year, there were more than 201 million people unemployed globally, and this number is expected to increase by three million in 2015 and eight million in the following four years. In fact, the World Economic Forum ranked unemployment as the highest economic risk in terms of probability of occurrence. There is a clear connection between IoE and the job opportunities it creates, which can help alleviate this unemployment challenge, especially among youth.

A new Gartner study, supported by Cisco Corporate Affairs – the “Cisco IoE / IoT Employment Opportunity Creation Analysis” defines the landscape of job opportunities related to IoE. This will be the most exciting phase of the Internet yet, and Cisco believes its impact on society will be five to 10 times greater than the impact of the Internet to date. According to Vision Mobile, there will be 4.5 million entrepreneurs, innovators, and developers working on projects related to IoE by 2020.

In this new report, Gartner predicts that by 2020, four industries will comprise the majority of business services and applications spend: manufacturing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. In addition, the fastest growing job families from 2014 to 2020 will be digital security and privacy by 28 percent; applications development by 26 percent, application support by 30 percent; systems operations by 29 percent; business analytics by 30 percent; and product design and experience by 29 percent.

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An Enduring Commitment to Strengthening Cisco’s Communities

It started one day with a quiet knock on a classroom door where I was volunteering. A student at Joseph George middle-school in East San Jose asked if she could continue building her solar car at lunch time. Soon, she was joined by a one friend, then another. Pretty soon, they would come three or four at a time during snack, lunch, and after school to perfect their vehicles and get them ready for the street.

The students thought they were having fun; but in reality, they were learning the fundamentals of engineering – friction, gear ratios, motors, solar energy and wind resistance. These students, several of whom faced significant struggles early on in their solar car classes, had found a place they could succeed. They approached their solar cars work with a newfound dedication and focus that blew their teachers and parents away.

This opportunity was facilitated by Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization that works with working professionals to teach volunteer apprenticeships to middle school students in low-income communities. Citizen Schools is one of 92 nonprofit / nongovernmental organizations around the globe that received funding this year through the Cisco Foundation’s signature community granting program, called Community Impact Cash Grants, or CICG for short. One of the core values at Cisco is building strong relationships with partners in the communities in which we operate, and the CICG program is at the heart of those efforts.

Cisco support helps Citizen Schools encourage students to stay in school

Cisco Foundation grant support helps Citizen Schools expand the learning day for underserved middle school students by offering apprenticeships that get them excited about learning and encourage them to stay in school.

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