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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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Ensuring Proper Healthcare for the Next Generation

Two out of three deaths among children under age five could be prevented with effective primary healthcare globally. It is a generally recognized fact that regular medical care is essential for early diagnosis and treatment of illness and chronic diseases. And poor health causes developmental delays, affecting learning ability and a child’s ability to reach full intellectual potential. Sick children exact a toll on families, resulting in lost income and an overall compromised quality of life.

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Where are all the Women?

The future of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is exciting. Every day, people are using the Internet, computers and mobile devices in new and innovative ways.  ICT is changing the way we work, live, play and learn. And it’s opened up new employment opportunities that should appeal to men and women alike.

So, where are all the women?

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