Calling All Global Problem Solvers: Enter Cisco’s 2018 GPS Challenge

Innovative ideas and technologies drive Cisco’s goal to positively impact one billion people by 2025. With digitization and the surge of connected devices, good ideas can make a difference more quickly–and in more places–than ever before.

But without people, such innovations wouldn’t exist.

In schools, dorm rooms, and home garages around the world, students and young entrepreneurs are cooking up the “next big thing” in technology solutions — some of which can help address the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. We know this because we met hundreds last year as part of the first-ever Cisco Global Problem Solver (GPS) Challenge.

From our grand prize winner, Project Vive, to People’s Choice selection ODA Systems, our prize funding is helping turn breakthrough technologies, products, and services into real-world solutions. It’s a unique opportunity, one that offers students a chance at global recognition for their drive to do more good.

We’re excited to announce that registration is now open for the second-annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge. Individuals and teams of five can submit applications until December 1, 2017 at 5 pm PST. In order to register, individuals or at least half a team’s members must be currently enrolled as students or be recent graduates*.

Submissions for the second annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge will be accepted between October 9 and December 1, 2017

For more details on the Challenge, how to apply, and a timeline of events, please visit the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2018 site. Applications close December 1 at 5 pm PST!

* Recent graduates are anyone who received an undergraduate or graduate degree after March 1, 2016.

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  1. These are really wonderful initiatives Cisco is moving forward on – combining technology and critical needs for people around the world. In some areas though, people need the basics before they can even get to a point where technology can assist. We need to feed and educate children in impoverished areas like Zambia first. When we do that then technology can be brought in at the next level to really help these children.

    • Eric, thanks so much for your thoughtful reflections. We agree. Helping people meet their basic human needs – like access to food, clean water, shelter, disaster relief and health services – reflects our most immediate concerns as well. That’s why Cisco CSR critical human needs efforts leverage our global employee network and make startup-like investments in early stage nonprofit solutions that are using technology to meet more people’s needs more quickly.

      For years, we have been working with the World Food Programme (WFP), which is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting global hunger. Our support has enabled the organization to become much more efficient and effective in combating food insecurity.

      We’ve also supported organizations like Water for People. Using smart phone and web-based technology, developed with Cisco support, Water For People monitors water investments by collecting and analyzing data from remote and difficult-to-reach field locations. The data helps increase the water delivery sector’s competency, accountability, and transparency.

      Our Foundation, Tactical Operations (TacOps) team and employee giving initiatives have been especially busy lately, working with communities that have been devastated by an unprecedented number of concurrent natural disasters. This includes a current mission that has TacOps in Puerto Rico, working with government agencies and NGO partners to provide much-needed connectivity in this hard-hit region.

      These efforts are only a small sample of some of the work Cisco is doing with many organizations across the globe. If you’re interested in learning more about our CSR efforts to address critical human needs, please visit:

      If you know of an NGO that is using the power of technology to address some of the challenges you shared in Zambia, please encourage them to apply for grant funding:

      If you know of a student or recent graduate who has a technology-based solution that could help, please encourage them to apply to our Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2018.

      Thanks again for your considerate comment.