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Exposing the Best-Kept Secret: Doing Good Behind Closed Doors

Doing good is not that easy, and sustaining good on a grand scale is almost impossible. But once again it is being done at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, Sept 22 to 24. I like to say it’s a place where highly influential people go behind closed doors to do good.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, CGI convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI annual meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and nongovernmental organizations, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries.

As part of our involvement in CGI, Cisco along with several nonprofit, NGO, and government partners, made a 4-year investment to support ICT-driven development strategies in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa — primarily through establishment of locally managed and self-sustaining community knowledge centers (CKCs).

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Military Veterans Need Support from U.S. Companies

July 4, 2012 at 10:17 am PST

This post was written by Michael Veysey, director of Veterans Programs at Cisco

Since September 11, 2001, men and women in the U.S. armed forces have fought in our nation’s longest wars. This all-volunteer force has endured sacrifices that most of us will never know or experience—all to protect our peace and freedom. So, hiring a qualified veteran into our ranks is our chance to say “thank you“ to our nation’s heroes.

Hiring veterans is not only a good thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Their knowledge, training, and experience, often under extreme conditions, demonstrate that they can thrive in a competitive and dynamic business environment.

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Community Service is Good Business

When Steve Martino, Cisco’s vice president of information technology, drives along Route 101 in San Jose, Calif., he thinks about deadlines to meet, programs to initiate, and teams to lead through upcoming projects. But there is another set of thoughts which permeates his mind– those of the Habitat for Humanity projects he has led, which he can actually see from the highway.

“I enjoy being able to drive past a home or development that we worked on, see that result and say ‘I had something to do with that,’” Martino said. “Those people have a home and are happy in part because I invested time in it.”

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Cisco’s Journey to Creating Shared Value

The discipline of community relations has evolved dramatically in recent years. Recognizing both the responsibility to support their communities and the business benefits of a positive reputation, companies have invested billions of dollars and millions of hours, resulting in a substantive impact.

Yet for many organizations, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is on the verge of the most dramatic change yet. It’s a shift to the concept of creating shared value, which tears apart the traditional lines between a CSR program and the business it supports. In many ways, it makes community relations obsolete, as the entire business becomes a community relations effort unto itself. The emerging practice of creating shared value can transform how companies grow and impact communities around the world.

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Molto Bene! Employees at Cisco Italy Exemplify Volunteer Engagement

May 18, 2012 at 10:04 am PST

In the summer of 2010, Veronica Recanati, Security Partner Account Manager for Cisco Italy, spent one month of paid time off volunteering at an orphanage in Tanzania. It turned out to be a life-changing experience not just for her, but for many of her colleagues in Rome.

Cisco Italy at Glorious Orphanage in Tanzania

In Tanzania, Veronica realized just one euro could buy ten meals for children. She realized more help was needed, not just in Tanzania, but at home in Italy and around the world. And she realized she wanted be involved.

“It was like a bomb that exploded in my head,” Veronica says. “I wanted to use my experience with Cisco to help.”

Today, Veronica is part of a very active Italy Civic Council – a group of Cisco employees that leads volunteer and charitable activities at the local level.

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