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.
Law enforcement and fire departments around the country are leveraging new technologies to better inform personnel, increase situational awareness, respond to emergencies, and protect citizens. Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) is becoming a reality for many local municipalities as they incorporate modern digital devices within their daily routines. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is really changing the game across the board in public safety.
The Chicago Police Department (CPD), recognized nationally as a technology innovator, is a terrific example. CPD’s CLEAR (Citizen and Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting) system is the largest transaction police database in the United States. CLEAR plays a major role in analyzing the City of Chicago’s Operation Virtual Shield (OVS) system, which has a network of over 25,000 cameras. The video surveillance system consists of fixed cameras, a private camera federation, and mobile assets such as video trailers, trucks, helicopters, and boats.
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.
Eleven days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security was appointed leading to the combination of 22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified, integrated cabinet agency when it was established in 2002.
The Department has a vital mission to secure the U.S. from many threats with capabilities that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity to chemical facility inspections.
The three day conference focused on a number of important topics including: