Social, environmental, and economic barriers are interconnected, and governments, companies, and nonprofits must work together to address global issues. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can deliver meaningful and sustained outcomes to communities across the globe while accounting for differences in culture, society, and governing models.

Laura Quintana, VP of Corporate Affairs, helps shape and drive public-private partnerships (PPPs) at Cisco, including our longest-running PPP, Cisco Networking Academy. Laura recently led a #CiscoChat, “Developing Public-Private Partnerships to Achieve Large-Scale Impact,” during which she provided insight into her experience implementing successful PPPs across the globe.

She was joined by featured guests Sasha Kapadia, Director, International Development at Mastercard; Jane Jamieson, Senior Infrastructure Specialist at the World Bank; and Keith Davis, Executive Board Member of the Camden Dream Center; along with dozens of other organizations and individuals that shared their perspectives.

If you missed the conversation, take a look at the highlights and share your thoughts below.

What role do public-private partnerships play in addressing global challenges?

#CiscoChat participants and the World Food Program USA, a nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger, discussed the knowledge, expertise, and resources PPPs can provide to make progress on global societal issues such as economic development and education.

What are the most important pieces to determine before executing a PPP and why?

Participants agreed that executing a successful public-private partnership can be difficult. Sasha, Laura, and guest Colleen Wong offered ideas on how to ensure a PPP is effective, including the importance of being flexible and learning along the way.

What do you think is on the horizon for PPPs given the power of technology and innovation?

Digitization is connecting cities, companies, countries, and people, igniting growth in new ways. It is creating new jobs and offering new opportunities for nonprofits and businesses alike. #CiscoChat participants and guest partner NESsT offered insight into how they see and experience technology’s impact on public-private partnerships.

Can you share more about a real-world example of a PPP you’ve led that resulted in large-scale impact?

This was one of my favorite parts of the #CiscoChat – so inspiring! From debit cards that empower refugees, to bathrooms delivered to your door in Peru, to Cisco Networking Academy, participants showcased the inspiring ways they are working with partners to create long-lasting impact.

What would you say is the most important best practice to follow when developing and implementing successful PPPs?

The answers showed the importance of both knowledge and heart. For example:  determining mission alignment, ensuring that gaps are covered, listening, and letting oneself care about the success of the program.

We’re thrilled that such an experienced and inspiring group of leaders joined us to share their thoughts on public-private partnerships. We’d also like to thank everyone who contributed via Twitter. Have a best practice to share or a question that wasn’t answered? Leave us a comment below.

For more best practices on developing and implementing a successful public-private partnership, check out Laura Quintana’s five-part blog series on using PPPs to make progress on our world’s largest societal issues.


Austin Belisle

No Longer with Cisco