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A Birthday Wish Can Change Everything for People Without Clean Water to Drink

March 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm PST

“Roughly one-sixth of the world’s population, or 1.1 billion people, don’t have access to safe drinking water.”

“Eighty percent of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water.”

“People in the developing world walk an average of 3.7 miles (6 km) a day to collect water for basic needs.”

These are just a few of the shocking statistics I discovered in the past week on Twitter, leading up to World Water Day--today, March 22.

But, I also discovered that by making a birthday wish, I could personally help solve this massive problem.

Read More »

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Bringing Worlds Together Over Cisco TelePresence

March 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm PST

UPDATE: Molly’s story was on CNN today (3/8/12). Take a look!

Today Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team had the unique privilege of bringing together two seemingly different groups of people: children who live in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya and their “video pen pals” in Rome. Cisco hosted the event using its TelePresence technology to support the World Food Programme’s video series “Molly’s World: A Girl Films Her Life in a Nairobi Slum.” (Learn more about the Molly’s World video series in my previous blog post.)

We multiplied the impact of this event by broadcasting it live to a worldwide audience via CiscoTV’s Ustream channel on the World Food Programme’s Facebook page. Children in classrooms from London to Brazil to Australia submitted questions through Facebook and Twitter, and Molly and her friends answered them live via Ustream. Read More »

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Stop the CSR Pity-Fest, Tell the Whole Story

I met Daniel last month in Mexico City.  He is an outpatient at a drug rehabilitation center where we sponsor a Cisco Networking Academy.  Daniel and I met at the center, and then went together to his home in one of the poorest parts of Mexico City.  As we stood on the porch overlooking his neighborhood, Daniel told me that his family doesn’t believe he can make his way out of this life, can ever do something more.  The odds are certainly low; making a different life for himself, a life he’s never seen modeled, would be a dream come true but also a miracle. Read More »

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Social Media Can Accelerate the Social Good

Recently, I participated in a conversation with our LinkedIn community on GETideas.org. The crux of the discussion was labels--should there be a universal taxonomy for terms such as Global Education, and would trying to foster global adoption of such terms speed up the transformation of the societal challenges we face today? It got me thinking about all sorts of terms that pop into our language stream. One day you’re talking about the “inequalities of the distribution of wealth and the effects of taxation on global markets;” the next day you’re texting an associate and summing up your thought stream with the word “Occupy”.

In my preparation for a panel discussion called Why enterprise Social Media Loves Social Good?, I poked around online to see if there was any consistency in the meaning for the term “social good”. Almost all the discussions and posts I found connected “social good” directly to its use within the business community. While businesses vary in their approaches to social good, this definition seems to be a common one: “A good or service that benefits the largest number of people in the largest possible way. Some classic examples of social goods are clean air, clean water and literacy; in addition, many economic proponents include access to services such as healthcare in their definition of the social or “common good”. (Source: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social_good.asp) Read More »

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Social Media in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

February 13, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

This post was authored by my colleague Jessica Kelly (@JessGoddesse)

If you’re wondering why social media should be an key  part of your communications strategy, just note these current statistics demonstrating the ubiquity of the medium:

  • Facebook now boasts more than 800 million active users worldwide, and more than half of these log on to the network on any given day.
  • Twitter too is no slouch (and growing), with 200 million registered users, one quarter of whom tweet daily.

Want more justifying numbers? A recent infographic on MediaBistro lists more compelling stats―like, say, the fact that 56% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook, and 20% of marketers have closed sales using Twitter.

Given that social media networks are timely (if not immediate) communications platforms that are interactive, and therefore― if used correctly (that is, authentically)―engaging, their success in marketing should come as no surprise. Read More »

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