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The 2014 Hult Prize Demonstrates the Power of Innovation to Improve Health

As a visiting lecturer on “Transforming Health and Care” at the Hult International Business School in London, I was invited last March to be a jury panel member for the regional Hult prize competition. Named as one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and Time Magazine, the annual competition for the Hult Prize aims to identify and launch the most compelling social business ideas—start-up enterprises that tackle issues faced by billions of people. Winners receive US$1 million in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.

The 2014 Challenge: Solving Non-Communicable Disease in the Urban Slum

HultPrizeBlogThe 2014 Hult Prize “President’s Challenge” was focused on healthcare: Can we build a social healthcare enterprise that serves the need of 25 million urban slum dwellers suffering from chronic diseases by 2019? From a record 10,000 applications, representing more than 150 different countries and over 350 colleges and universities, regional finalists were selected to pitch their new and innovative social ventures in six regions around the world: Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Sao Paulo and Shanghai.

The Hult Prize Global Finals took place last month at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City, an event attended by Cisco CEO John Chambers and Tae Yoo, Cisco’s senior vice president of corporate affairs.

The six finalists pitched their solutions and business models to President Bill Clinton and a panel of distinguished judges, including Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus. The solutions comprised an eclectic collection of innovative and disruptive ideas—from a chewing gum-based solution to prevent tooth decay, to low-cost, locally designed and manufactured eye glasses, to bees that can diagnose diabetics. (This was “Bee Healthy” the European regional finalist from HEC Paris, which I was privileged to help select.)

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The Service Year: Unleashing America’s Potential

This week, I joined Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, along with heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, nonprofit leaders, and influential CEOs for 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.

When leaders and progressive thinkers of this magnitude join together, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the role technology can play in positively impacting lives around the globe. To date, members of the CGI community, including Cisco, have made more than 2800 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

The 2014 Annual Meeting brought CGI members together under the theme “Reimagining Impact,” guiding members in better measuring and assessing the outcomes of their work, and rethinking how we create value through new approaches to address complex global challenges going forward.

Big ideas can change the world, and that’s why I truly believe in the big idea of national service. Young Americans today are facing the crisis of unraveling traditional communities and social structures. In fact, 1 million students drop out of school each year, and 17% of youth aged 16 to 24 are out of school and work. This isn’t just a problem about unemployment or a weak future workforce – it escalates to encompass poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity, homelessness, and a lack of healthcare – leading to a weakened civilization.

Cisco Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Tae Yoo (second from left) joined representatives from the National Service Alliance and Lumina at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 22, 2014 to announce their commitment to promote and support national service opportunities.

Cisco Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Tae Yoo (second from left) joined representatives from the National Service Alliance and Lumina at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 22, 2014 to announce their commitment to promote and support national service opportunities.

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Cisco on CNN at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

October 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm PST

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.

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Mobilizing for Impact with the Clinton Global Initiative

September 23, 2013 at 11:15 am PST

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.

CGI_JC

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CGI2012 Panel: “Business by Design: Growth and Opportunity”

September 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm PST

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.

From Left: Fareed Zakaria (CNN), Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris and Cisco CEO John Chambers at CGI2012

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