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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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Cisco Champions: Why They Rock

As part of my job at Cisco, I get to spend time with Champions. Specifically, Cisco Champions.

As the Collaboration architecture lead for the Cisco Champions program, I get to interact directly with this select group of customers and partners on a regular basis. And it’s a chance for me to connect people on our technical teams directly with the people who use Cisco products every day.

Cisco Champions at CLUS

Cisco Champions at CLUS 2015, San Diego

I learn a lot from them. The technical level of conversations and threads in Spark sometimes threatens to melt my brain cells, but I get great perspective on where their interests are and how they use Cisco technology to do what they do. They’re always ready to tell me what works – and what doesn’t.

There’s an amazing amount of technical talent – and genuine camaraderie and humor – among this bunch. But don’t take it from me, see what a current Cisco Champion has to say about his experience.   Read More »

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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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Experience the Digital Community at Cisco Live

Cities, states, and other communities continue to face an increasing variety of challenges: traffic congestion, parking, public safety and security, waste and water management, and access to education and healthcare. As such, government leaders are looking to technology to solve these challenges, while also finding more efficient ways to provide better services, reduce the carbon footprint, and enhance livability.

SCC2Solutions enabled by the Internet of Everything (IoE), such as the Cisco Smart+Connected City Operations Center, can successfully enable communities to become digital and to address these challenges.

This means improved operating models to drive efficiency, safety, and better citizen experiences overall.

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Fighting the Tragedy of Hunger

In Silicon Valley – home to one of the greatest economic engines in the world – there is a silent tragedy that affects more than 250,000 people every month – and that’s hunger. Hunger doesn’t discriminate. It affects the young and the old, families of every size, shape and background.  The challenge, sadly, knows no bounds. Ten thousands miles away – in India – the problem is acute. Here, some students who go to government schools often don’t have enough to eat.  Mothers sometimes don’t have enough to feed their children.

A similar story can be told in Brasilia, Bucharest, Boston, and beyond. The faces of hunger are different, but the challenge of making sure that all have enough to eat is just the same.

In every community, in every part of the world, hunger afflicts far too many– 805 million people according to the United Nations. It is the single-most addressable health problem that we face. No scientific breakthroughs are needed to solve hunger. We have the knowledge, tools, and resources at our disposal to solve this problem.

That’s why Cisco has made a major commitment to stopping hunger in our communities. Over the course of 11 years, our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign has raised $39.9 million dollars for hunger relief, which translates into 159 million meals provided to those who need it most.

Donations from our 2013 campaign alone provided 23 million meals. These meals were provided through 162 agencies worldwide working to end hunger.

This year will be no different. Beginning on October 27, we launched a two and a half month campaign to raise $1.8 million in employee donations for hunger relief, which will be matched by the Cisco Foundation.

And the impact is incredible.

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