This blog was written by Ricardo Benavidez, a government and community relations manager at Cisco, and originally published by Citizen Schools, one of Cisco’s nonprofit partners.
If you walk through my neighborhood of East San Jose you will hear this same story told again and again. The story of men and women who have come to this country in search of a better life, in hopes of securing a better future for themselves and their families. Often this never amounts to more than a hope, but in the case of my parents the goal of securing a better future was secured.
I have the fortune of writing this not only as the government and community relations manager for Cisco, but as a testimony to what one can achieve if given the proper tools. My parents migrated to the US in the ’70s from Mexico– my dad a butcher and my mom a janitor. Neither had much schooling when they arrived to the United States. I took note at a young age how hard they worked and how little they made.
Years later after having been given a strong foundation, I found myself wondering what can I do with the opportunities I have in some cases been handed, in others had to fight for, and in many ways have just been lucky to receive. The answer was a simple one, pay it forward. By sharing my time, my experiences, and my resources I have become a part of a movement to help inspire under-served students to achieve.
As a volunteer, Ricardo teaches a 10-week after-school apprenticeship on a topic his is passionate about.
Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, employee volunteer
For years I suppose I was just like you, pretty cynical about the whole concept of “Corporate” social responsibility. Can an organization be truly socially responsible given the bottom line is selling product? Five years ago I left an industry I loved, education technology, and entered into the amorphous world of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Thanks to my tutor Teri Treille, who is a queen among luddites when it comes to articulating the intricacies of capturing, and tracking, a corporation’s commitment to society, my level of understanding for the movement of sustainability and socially responsible corporate actions has grown deep.
What I discovered about my company is that giving back to global communities to ensure they thrive is as integrated into our culture as is building networks. Over the years Cisco leaders such as Tae Yoo, Randy Pond, Kathy Mulvany and others have refined a strategy that is unique among our peers. By tying technology, partnerships, and expertise together they have built a strong network that is flexible and allows all employees to integrate CSR into their strategic plans.
There is no doubt that managed well, CSR can create great social and environmental value, support a company’s business objectives while reducing operating costs, and enhance relationships with key stakeholders and customers. But it is no easy task for executives to reconcile various CSR programs, quantify their benefits, and articulate the connection to the business goals while securing the support of his or her business line counterparts. When you see it happen it sometimes seems spontaneous. Digging deeper though you begin to understand that CSR is more than the framework by which to measure success: It is always about the people in the organization who care about taking initiatives to improve our world.
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Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, impact multiplied, impact story, impact X, Sustainability, website
Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has redesigned its external website csr.cisco.com.
The new format makes it easy to find and share impact stories that showcase how Cisco CSR is benefiting people, communities, and the planet. Bringing together technology, partnerships, and our expertise are important reasons for the success of Cisco’s CSR public/private partnerships and its flagship programs like the Cisco Networking Academy.
From the home page you can easily access blog articles by Cisco and sponsored posts on the Huffington Post Impact X section, highlighting how people and technology are converging for social good. The new News and Events page keep readers up-to-date, and our new social sharing feature makes it easy to share compelling content with your online communities.
Each Cisco CSR focus area has its own section: education, healthcare, economic empowerment, critical human needs, environmental sustainability, ethics, supply chain, and our people.
Please check out the new site at csr.cisco.com, share a story with a friend, and let us know what you think.
Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, impact multiplied, impact story, impact X
Community Solutions, a national nonprofit that Cisco has supported with cash and product grants since 2011, was featured on 60 Minutes this week for its 100,000 Homes Campaign — a collaboration of more than 200 communities working together to collectively house 100,000 chronically homeless people in the United States by July 2014.
Our partnership will enable Community Solutions to more effectively convene community members at Rapid Results Housing Boot Camps and webinars to transfer best practices, encourage and share innovation, and enable crowd-sourced problem solving. On average, participating communities are doubling their monthly housing placement rates in just 100 days.
George Siletti struggled with homelessness for about 30 years. In 2003, he was placed in an apartment in upper northwest Washington. D.C. Today, at 57, George is part of Friendship Place, a volunteer group that helps the homeless, and has a goal of getting his G.E.D. Photo: Friendship Place
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Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, homeless, veterans
This post was written by guest blogger Bernd Überbacher of Austria, a top scorer in the 2013 international Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders competitions. He is currently a Cisco Networking Academy student in Innsbruck, Austria and attended the first-ever “Academy Day” at Cisco Live in Milan, Italy, on January 27.
As I’m curious by nature, I definitely wanted to attend the Cisco Live! Academy Day 2014. Just a couple of days prior, Julie Chrysler from the Cisco Networking Academy team posted in a Facebook group I’m in for Cisco NetRiders winners. We had met in early January during our study prize trip to Cisco headquarters in San Jose, and she wanted to share the information with us, so I made a pretty spontaneous decision to hop on the train to travel the 450km from my town Landeck in Austria to Milan, Italy! On Sunday I started in the morning, spent a couple of hours on the train and after some stops I finally arrived at Milano Centrale. After getting to the hotel and having dinner I didn’t do much more, because I wanted to be rested for the Academy Day.
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Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, it competition, it training, NetRiders