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How and Where Will You Work in the Future?

My previous blog post considered enterprise agility and our individual responsibility to take some level of ownership by being more present and connected. This week at UC Expo in London I met many industry colleagues, and it sparked off some interesting conversations.

Two themes emerged that made me think about what work might look like in ten years time:

1) Balancing artisan creativity with the art of making money

We agreed that the mass-market appeal and adoption of some technologies and devices have lead to quite bland output by some teams. We have, to some degree, lost the ability to be creative at scale. The pressure of time and money and the corporate iteration process often distil the essence of something beautiful down into something quite vanilla – generic tools often force us down the road to blandness.

Thankfully, some emerging approaches and technology are starting to Read More »

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Seeing the Connected World Through the Eyes of Children

Creative. Problem Solver. Team Player.

These could easily be a part of a job description in LinkedIn, but for me these words describe the group of 5th and 6th graders I had the privilege to meet last week.

Through a Cisco volunteer program called Programa Escuela, elementary school students have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the latest technology from Cisco employees: from connecting things through the Internet of Everything to how cities are becoming “Smart.” This is especially relevant to the classrooms we visited in Barcelona as their community is continually referenced in the Smart City space.

The goal of the program is to teach children about technology, inspire them to keep up their studies, especially around STEM-related areas (science, technology, engineering and math), and to engage them in a hands-on project where they can apply their knowledge. They also receive coaching and mentoring around project work and communication skills.

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#CiscoChat Recap: Why the World Needs More Girls in Tech

The number of women in the ICT workforce is unfortunately very low – hovering around 30 percent. But if the insightful feedback, eye-opening observations and encouraging outlooks expressed by our #CiscoChat participants is any indication, the future for women in both ICT and STEM is on track to be exceptionally bright.

From the value women bring to ICT, to best practices for encouraging girls to explore careers in these fields, “Why the World Needs More Girls in Tech” #CiscoChat participants were not shy in speaking on this subject. If you missed the conversation, led by our own Monique Morrow, CTO Evangelist-New Frontiers Development and Engineering at Cisco, take a look at some of the highlights and share your thoughts below.

1. What can attract girls to pursue a degree in ICT?

Without a realistic expectation that they can succeed in ICT, it’s inevitable that young women may not actively pursue ICT or STEM-related degrees. Thankfully, participants had amazing ideas on how to positively push young girls toward higher-education opportunities in ICT and STEM.

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2. What skills do you think women bring to the technology table? Read More »

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3,000 Minds to Inspire

This story was originally posted on Cisco Employee Connection, Cisco’s internal employee news site.

We are about to show more than 3,000 girls and young women around the world that they can be the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists—the dreamers and doers who will invent the future.

In April and May, in more than 80 Cisco offices in more than 50 countries, female students from local schools, Cisco Networking Academy classes, and non-profit organizations will spend a day with us, learning about technology.

It’s all part of this year’s Girls Power Tech event, when we open our doors to girls ages 13 to 18 for a day of site tours, presentations and mentoring. The girls will learn about the Internet of Everything and talk with us about careers in technology. They will imagine themselves in technical jobs—and experience the kind of technology they can help invent.

The activities are in celebration of International Girls in ICT Day, held on April 23. We are a top corporate supporter of this global effort to empower and encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in information and communications (ICT) technology.

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Cisco Employee Changes Lives Through Technology Donations

In 2013, Roland Holloway learned he was cancer-free. For 9 years, Roland, a Cisco employee, had battled neck cancer, but a surprising recovery inspired him to give back to his community. With the help of Cisco’s Employee Purchase Donation Program (EPDP), Roland is empowering a local nonprofit with new technologies and helping others in need.

Roland, who will celebrate his 20th anniversary at Cisco later this year, is taking advantage of his newfound health to create change in his own neighborhood. “I’ve had a lot of good fortune come my way,” he said. “I enjoy giving back; I can’t change world politics, but I can definitely help my local community.”

After recovering from neck cancer, Roland enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren

After recovering from neck cancer, Roland enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren

He started by visiting his childhood friend, Johnny Taylor, who founded a veterans’ outreach nonprofit called Promised Land Foundation. Doctors diagnosed Taylor with polio as a child, forcing him to use an electric scooter for transportation and making his goal of serving other veterans difficult. Roland saw his friend struggling, and helped Taylor purchase a wheelchair-accessible van in 2013. “I wanted to help him fulfill his aspirations to help veterans,” Roland said. “I saw him struggling to get around, and he’s using the van to make veterans’ lives easier.”

However, Roland didn’t stop giving back. In 2014, he learned about Cisco’s EPDP through a colleague who had used the program to donate equipment to his daughter’s school. Roland realized that as a Cisco employee, he could purchase equipment at a 75% discount for donation to qualified nonprofits and schools in the United States.

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