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It’s a New Year: Let Us Think, Help and Do

It’s a new year, the traditional time to resolve to lose weight (again), and to replace bad habits with good ones. But this year, I’m not going there. Did I overeat during the holidays? Yes. But forget my weight gain. What I want to focus on is why are so many of us overeating when so many others are going hungry. Why aren’t we using technology to fix this?

Dozens of businesses are sprouting up around food and technology—with a focus on capitalizing on our desire for fine dining. I won’t pretend that I’m a stranger to social media platforms that tip me off to the latest new restaurant opening, but what I’d love to see is some of this mindshare going toward helping to curb hunger. I’m not even talking about world hunger (yet) – I’m talking about in our own backyards. According to Feeding America, 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households during 2010. And according to a New York Times article a couple months ago, the number of kids signing up to receive subsidized lunches is increasing, due to the economy.

Enid Borden, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels Association in America recently wrote about this very topic. In her article, she quite eloquently asks, “How do we harness the power of imagination and creativity and put them to work in the human services domain? How do we prevent the foolishness of hunger in a food-rich land?”

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‘Tis the Season … for Giving Back ….

December 22, 2011 at 10:32 am PST

In many cultures across the world, this is a time for giving.  In a departure from my previous blogs discussing data center servicescloud adoption and IT architecture transformation, I’ve decided to end the year by discussing how we in Cisco give back our time and money to help others, something that Cisco most definitely encourages. Here I’ll discuss how a few colleagues and I have helped out in one of the computing degree courses at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

You can read this full blog entry here on our Corporate Social Responsibility blog.    And look out for more blogs from me in 2012!  Best wishes everyone!

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‘Tis the Season for Giving Back …. With the University of Dundee in Scotland

December 22, 2011 at 10:20 am PST

In many cultures across the world, this is a time for giving.  In a departure from my previous blogs discussing data center services, cloud adoption and IT architecture transformation, I’ve decided to end the year by discussing how we in Cisco give back our time and money to help others, something that Cisco most definitely encourages. Here I’ll discuss how a few colleagues and I have helped out in one of the computing degree courses at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

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Your Next Group Activity

March 22, 2011 at 12:30 am PST

The next time the subject of a group outing or offsite comes up in your company or organization, I recommend getting your team together for a community volunteer activity. Last week our team helped out at Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose, CA.  Not only did we have a great time working together on a common project, but the food bank really appreciated all of the help we provided in sorted donated food.

Here are some pictures:

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Happy Holidays, Making a Difference with Video in Schools

December 25, 2010 at 10:54 am PST

Recently, my wife and I made a small contribution to an elementary school in Bosier City, Louisiana.  We found the class through a site called DonorsChoose.org, which lets teachers request donations for specific projects or general needs in their classrooms.

One particular request seemed meant to be: The teacher wanted two Flip cameras to teach podcasting, editing and photo journalism to her class. Of course, this punched my buttons since I work for Cisco and have a Flip camera of my own, which I love; and my wife works in TV news — and was actually born in Bosier City, Louisiana!

So, we made a small personal donation of a few hundred dollars that enabled the school to purchase the cameras and some related tools, and thought little more of it. Then, we got a note back from the teacher with profuse thanks: The students had put the cameras to work immediately, and are creating podcasts regularly as part of their classroom work.  And then the other day in the mail came dozens of hand-written Thank You notes from the students in the class. (You can see these in the attached video.) Read More »

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