Last week, more than 200 leaders from dozens of technology companies and international humanitarian and conservation organizations came together at the NetHope Global Member Summit on our San Jose, California campus. Experts in humanitarian relief, emergency response, and conservation from around the world participated in nearly 30 brainstorming sessions, and I was fortunate enough to attend a few and speak with some of the summit’s most innovative leaders.
NetHope is a collaboration of 41 leading international nonprofit nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that provide humanitarian development, emergency response, disaster relief, and conservation programs. Cisco helped found NetHope in 2001, bringing together Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to better serve the developing world through smarter use of technology.
This week, we are proud to host the NetHope Global Member Summit at our San Jose, California campus. NetHope is an important organization – especially at a time when news feeds are filled with stories about disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and social conflict.
NetHope is a coalition of more than 40 international humanitarian and conservation organizations that provide programs to underserved people globally – often during natural disasters and other crises. NetHope helps its members use technology to deliver services better and faster, to improve communication while reducing its cost, and to reach more people.
After an earthquake in Haiti in 2010, NetHope restored broadband access, enabling 15 of its members to speed delivery of food, water, shelter, and medical assistance.
Hurricane season is upon us, and storms have already begun to harass the Gulf Coast with torrential rains and violent winds. The threat of such a storm doesn’t cross my mind as I sit in my cubicle in San Jose, enjoying the comforts of an air-conditioned office and a hot cup of coffee on my desk. But behind building J on Cisco’s San Jose campus, Rakesh Bharania and the Cisco Tactical Operations (TacOps) team are on 24/7 alert, ready to respond the moment an earthquake strikes or a tornado touches down anywhere in the world.
I had the privilege of visiting Rakesh and his team this week, getting a behind-the-scenes look at Cisco’s investment in using networking technology to help those in need when disaster hits.
After disaster strikes, the TacOps team can deploy within 72 hours – the most critical stage of a response. When a disaster cripples communications systems, the TacOps team can establish satellite-based communications so first responders, government agencies, and relief organizations can coordinate relief efforts and speed delivery of food, water, shelter, and medical care to those affected.
In the military, we have a phrase: “Shoot, Move, and Communicate”. However, it should really be “Communicate, Move, then Shoot”… because you can’t do either two without communicating first. However, I’m sure the first adage just sounds cooler… What’s that mean? In any great organization, one of the essential components of any plan is, “How are we going to talk to each other”, whether that be by a simple phone on the desk or a hi-tech secure data/voice/video capability. In order to have proper Command and Control (C2) over the battlefield and mass, organize, and develop precision maneuver, a plan has to be created that’s efficient, effective, and reliable… most importantly, it has to be REDUNDANT! Read More »