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Featured Nonprofit Partner: One Global Economy

August 7, 2012 at 11:00 am PST

At Cisco, our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy centers on a simple question: How can we use the power of the Internet to benefit individuals and communities? More often than not, the answer involves collaborating with other organizations-- nonprofits, government agencies, or healthcare facilities, for example--to multiply the impact technology can have.

I’d like to introduce you to one of those partners: One Global Economy. This Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit provides people in underserved communities with greater access to technology, Internet connectivity, online content--and the training and support to use it all.

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What Helps Students Love Math?

multiply impact on students math skills

Photo courtesy of MIND Research Institute

Encouraging highly successful nonprofits to collaborate with each other on shared goals can often be a challenge. Part of their success hinges on laser-like execution of their own program and on getting results. But occasionally, two programs are so complementary that the combination greatly magnifies what they could ever achieve on their own. Cisco has been a longtime partner and supporter of both City Year, an education-focused nonprofit working in underserved schools, and MIND Research Institute, provider of innovative math learning software. Both held admirably strong track records with their approaches. City Year places young volunteers in schools to assist with multi-subject tutoring, before, during, and after school, in a Whole School, Whole Child approach. City Year staff measure their results by tracking what they call the ABCs: attendance, behavior, and classroom performance in literacy and math.

CityYearMIND

Photo courtesy of City Year

MIND Research provides ST Math, a set of cloud-based learning games for K-12. These games are non-language based, which has helped students succeed in learning math regardless of their language of origin, gender, and even, in some cases, learning disabilities. Two years ago, it occurred to Cisco’s Community Relations lead, Ricardo Benavides, that combining the programs in the same underserved Alum Rock district schools in the San Jose, California area might lead to even better outcomes. Read More »

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Using Human and Technology Networks to Tackle Homelessness

July 17, 2012 at 10:44 am PST

This post was written by Molly Tschang, customer solutions director, advisory services, reflecting the teamwork started by 20+ members of Cisco’s New York City public sector team

Ten to fifteen percent of America’s homeless population is chronically homeless. Yet they utilize more than 50 percent of public resources available to help the homeless.  Housing people permanently reconnects them to society and amounts to annual savings of US$30,000 to US$40,000 per family in New York City, money that could potentially support other city services.

Community Solutions is a leading social enterprise, assessing the roots of homelessness and addressing them with long-term solutions. Partnering with Community Solutions, Cisco’s New York City public sector team is tapping a broad range of Cisco’s assets--human and technology--to help end homelessness. At the same time, they are achieving the business aim of better understanding their customers’ mission and having greater, more meaningful impact as a business partner.

Networks tackle homelessness

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Poll: How many mobile devices do you typically bring to the office? You could win an iPad or AppleTV

Last week I polled, What’s the one place at work where you’d like better wireless connectivity? and was honestly a little surprised by the number one answer. The second-place place where people wanted better wireless coverage was conference rooms, which makes sense. At some of the smaller companies I’ve worked at conference rooms were usually on the perimeter of the building and the coverage was poor.  Even within Cisco just a few years ago, a common refrain in meetings was complaints about the spotty coverage. We knew what rooms had better connectivity, and which rooms were to be avoided. So this answer wasn’t much of a surprise.

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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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