At Cisco, making an impact is something our Corporate Affairs team works toward every day.

In 2016, we announced a goal to positively impact one billion people with digital solutions by 2025. Today we are proud to have impacted over 445M people through investing in tomorrow’s social change agents and nonprofits worldwide and our signature Cisco Networking Academy program. Additionally, our employees last year gave 424K hours of their time and $21.4M dollars (in donations and matching funds) to nonprofits worldwide.

We believe everyone can be a global problem solver—the bridge between hope and possible. However, bridges aren’t built by one, they are built by many. Problems aren’t solved in isolation, they are solved together. And there is no one way to change the world.

Cisco recently launched the Cisco Pledge, a call to action to join us in creating a more inclusive, equitable future where everyone and everything can thrive – people, society, our planet – and our businesses.

Here are a few examples of people who have already taken action:

In the case of Mary Elizabeth McCullough, making an impact started with a few syllables.

For Soraya Fouladi, it simply began with a vision for making education accessible to all.

For Vanessa Russell, helping others began as a way to heal herself and blossomed into much, much more.

Nearly 2,000 people have shown their support for the Cisco Pledge, and we hope you will too.

So what type of bridge builder are you? Where can you start to make an impact? Here are a few ways, across the areas Cisco focuses on, to get you started. Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I pledge to #BeTheBridge to basic human needs
such as food, water and shelter.

The cause: End food insecurity and ensure universal access to water.

Here’s How:

  • Volunteer at a local food bank or for an organization that promotes access to clean water, or access to food.
  • Support (and participate in) efforts to rescue surplus food and reduce food waste (food waste in the US consumes 21% of all fresh water)
  • Start a community or workplace food drive.

Support organizations like: Digital Green, Kiva Agricultural Loans, World Food Programme, Feeding America, Akvo, myAgro, Replate, Safe Water Network


The cause: Ensure everyone has access to adequate, safe and secure housing.

Here’s how:

  • Get behind local and national measures that support access to affordable housing and address homelessness.
  • Volunteer for organizations providing resources to the homeless in your area.
  • Organize or participate in an activity that brings awareness to the challenge of homelessness.

Support organizations like: Community Solutions, Destination: Home, Habitat for Humanity


The cause: Support the resilience of populations affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

Here’s how:

  • Volunteer for and donate to local aid organizations in times of disaster or crisis.
  • Mentor refugees to help them assimilate and access local resources.
  • Support or spearhead workplace initiatives that leverage resources to respond in times of disaster or crisis.
  • Organize or participate in an activity that builds empathy and brings awareness to refugee crises worldwide.

Support organizations like: HIAS, International Rescue Committee, NetHope, American Red Cross, Cisco Tactical Operations


I pledge to #BeTheBridge between educating someone and changing a life.

The cause: Encourage lifelong learning for all.

Here’s how:

  • Mentor someone. It’s a thoughtful, inspiring and a powerful way to guide someone towards a better future.
  • Champion an organization that is promoting access to education in your community or region.
  • Support (or spearhead) workplace initiatives to upskill and train workers at all levels.

Support organizations like: Cisco Networking Academy, Citizen Schools, First Lego League, Technovation


The cause: Ensure inclusive and equitable access to quality education.

Here’s how:

  • Volunteer or donate to organizations that promote educational opportunities for underserved populations, including minorities, those with diverse abilities and women.
  • Encourage your workplace to support and/or offer opportunities for those from underserved backgrounds to learn critical professional skills and gain workplace experience via internships or special projects.
  • Promote public and private sector initiatives to bring quality, free education to schools in your area.
  • Visit your local school and ask what school supplies they need. Start a school supply drive in your community.

Support Organizations like: Citizen Schools,Teach for All, 114 th Partnership,Cisco Networking Academy


The cause: Ensure that learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.

Here’s how:

  • Encourage your school, community or government to create programs that educate students on sustainable development and global citizenship.
  • Develop or support (by volunteering or donating) programs or initiatives that integrate curriculum on sustainability and social impact into education at all levels.

Tools and resources: Global Problem Solvers: The Series,  World’s Largest Lesson


I pledge to #BeTheBridge to a future without poverty.

The cause: Contribute to inclusive social and economic impact – locally and internationally.

Here’s how:

  • Connect people to opportunities through lending to alleviate poverty – at home or abroad
  • Contribute to organizations bringing banking, savings accounts, and financial literacy training to unbanked populations globally to ensure equitable access to resources, knowledge, and opportunities
  • Support organizations that discover and promote effective solutions to global poverty problems

Organizations to support: Global Citizen, Kiva, NESsT, Entrepreneurship for All, Opportunity International, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)


The cause: Promote full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Here’s how:

  • Support organizations that provide professional skills and technical training to marginalized populations to connect people to jobs and career pathways that facilitate independence and economic self-sufficiency
  • Promote programs that provide safe and secure working environments for workers, and give workers a voice
  • Donate your time and expertise to organizations that provide skills and entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and coaching to underserved individuals and entrepreneurs

Organizations to support: Global Citizen, Anudip, AnnieCannons, Laboratoria,


The cause: Protect the human rights of all people.

Here’s how:

  • Help marginalized or at-risk groups create a voice for themselves. Contribute to organizations that help individuals understand their basic rights and how to act when they are violated
  • Choose to work with, shop with, support business partners that have fair labor practices and protect basic human rights
  • Develop a human rights policy aligned to best practices.

Organizations to support: Global Citizen, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International


I pledge to #BeTheBridge to a thriving planet where humans and nature live in harmony.

The cause: Conserve resources like energy and water.

Here’s how:

  • Choose alternative and sustainable transportation methods (train, bus, carpool, rideshare).
  • Eat more plants, reduce meat consumption.
  • Turn off appliances and lights, at home, at work, and when traveling.
  • Meet virtually versus air travel.

Tools and resources: EatWell Guide, Cisco Collaboration Tools, Green MondaySimply by Christine Liu


The cause: Reduce waste that goes into landfill.

Here’s how:

  • Avoid single use plastics (straws, cups, utensils, packaging).
  • Skip disposable, go reusable (opt for a reusable mug, reusable shopping bag).
  • Pioneer or join waste reduction efforts within your company, business function or region.
  • Shop at the farmer’s market or participate in a CSA program for waste-free and local produce.

Tools and resources: TreeHugger’s Guide to Going Plastic-Free, Cisco Send IT Back App,

Cisco Take Back and Recycle, Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE)


The cause: Promote environmental sustainability within your network.

Here’s how:

  • Serve as champion for conserving resources within your company, business function or region.
  • Research what items are accepted by your local recycling program and educate others within your company, agency or community.
  • Join or volunteer with an environmental organization.
  • Implement a Green Team in your organization. Don’t have one? Pledge to start your own.

Tools and resources: EarthDay.org, World Wildlife Fund, Earth 911 Recycling, Cisco Greenhouse



Alexis Raymond

Senior Manager

Chief Sustainability Office