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How Empowering Women in IT Can Spur Economic Development

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post

It’s a startling pair of statistics: When women are able to earn an income, they typically reinvest 90 percent of it back into their families and communities. And, for every year a girl stays in school, her future earnings will increase exponentially.

These numbers, from the World Bank and the Council on Foreign Relations, respectively, highlight a simple, common-sense truth: The more time a girl spends in the classroom, the higher the return on investment for her time, and the beneficiaries are stronger families and communities.

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Business Innovation Meets Social Transformation at the United Nations

May 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm PST

Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of the sponsors of the Social Innovation Summit (SIS) at the United Nations in New York City this week. The summit connects global leaders in the corporate, investment, government, and nonprofit sectors and helps them collaborate to multiply the positive impact they can make in the world. The agenda includes presentations and discussions on key strategies and best practices for creating social transformation.

Cisco’s approach to creating positive social change has long involved collaboration with our partners and peers. By combining the power of human and technology networks, Cisco multiplies impact and helps accomplish extraordinary things, even under the most difficult circumstances.

 

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Extending Global Communication

In real estate, location, location, location is the most important thing to remember.  It doesn’t matter the condition of the house, the color of the walls, or whether or not there are stainless steel appliances. All of that is cosmetic and unimportant, as long as you are in a desirable neighborhood with safe streets and a grocery store nearby.

The only downside is that once you buy that house, you are locked into one location for the life of your mortgage payments.  The thought is daunting and requires quite a commitment.   Location can be a blessing or it can be something that holds you back.

For the 194 member states of the United Nations that participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), however, location was not a cause for concern.  For their 17th annual Conference of Parties (COP17), member countries from across the globe gathered to debate climate change strategies with a goal of coming to a global political deal between all attendees. 

Committed to their mission of reducing impact on the environment, the United Nations chose Cisco to provide HD and quality video communication tools and web conferencing capabilities for its expected 20,000 attendees to participate.  With trust in Cisco’s stable and secure communications network, attendees were able to engage face-to-face in conversations with each other from telepresence rooms and via desktop video from all around the world.

COP17 represents a milestone in the ability of the international community to work together on climate change by leveraging virtual collaboration capabilities as the parties agreed to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change by 2015.  Disparate locations could have limited the UN’s ability to effect transformation in global sustainability, but instead, TelePresence enabled each participant to bring his or her perspective from all across the globe to make change.

Read more about COP17 here.

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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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Cisco Employees Buzzing Over Volunteer Project’s Environmental Impact

November 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm PST

Employees take Cisco’s corporate culture of environmental and social responsibility seriously. Some so seriously that they don protective gear and venture to the rooftops of Cisco office buildings in France and the United Kingdom to cultivate a greener world.

These Cisco employees are not modern day superheroes, but rookie beekeepers, intent on cultivating colonies of endangered bees to pollinate wild plants and food crops.

The European beekeeping project illustrates how people can use human and technology networks to multiply the positive impact of something they are passionate about. Read More »

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