In one week we’ll be together at Cisco Live, in person or virtually, fueling our personal and professional growth through keynotes, events, and training focused on Cisco products, solutions, and services. This year’s event continues to celebrate what we can all make possible in this world with vision, focus, effort and technology.

But imagine for one moment your life with a different story. One that starts and ends each day in a car, on the streets, or in a homeless shelter. Impossible, right? Think again.

  • On any given night, 552,830 people in the United States experience homelessness
  • California has the largest number of people experiencing homelessness
  • In San Diego County, nearly 9000 are experiencing homelessness

Homelessness is an outcome of severe and growing economic inequality, with factors such as slow wage growth, downsizing of some industries, or skyrocketing rents. Anyone is at risk of becoming homeless: your neighbor; your colleague; your friend. While treating homelessness is helpful, Cisco believes that solving homelessness is our responsibility.

Though homelessness seems intractable, I believe that it is a solvable issue. I also feel very strongly that we have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to do something about it.”  – Chuck Robbins

Cisco has joined the fight against homelessness, first in or own backyard. We’ve committed to ending homelessness in Santa Clara County and have partnered with Destination: Home’s Supportive Housing and Innovation Fund.

Through this commitment, we hope to increase the supply of supportive housing, support the expansion of homelessness prevention programs, and identify and implement technology solutions that will improve organizations’ ability to effectively and efficiently address homelessness.

While it won’t give shelter to those 552,830 deserving people across our country, it’s a start, and all journeys start with that important first step.

As you start your week in the beautiful city of San Diego, we ask that while you fill your mind and with knowledge, skills and a renewed professional energy, you also fill your heart by taking that first step—by participating in one or more Social Impact activities sponsored by Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility team.

We are excited to offer you several ways to make a difference. Once again, our Social Impact Zone will host activities for you to make an immediate impact, whether in-person or virtual.  Please read on for details on how you can get involved and join the fight against homelessness. We can all make a difference.

Social Impact Zone Activities

Cisco Live has partnered with Give2Get this year to offer volunteer activities that will benefit people who are homeless in the local San Diego community.

In the Social Impact Zone, you can participate in a variety of hands-on activities, including assembling meal kits, family food packs, hygiene kits, basic needs kits, art therapy kits, clothing packs, blankets, and furniture. All finished products will be donated to local nonprofits addressing homelessness and food insecurity.

While you’re in the “zone” we encourage you to learn more about homelessness and “Take the Pledge” to join Cisco in making a positive impact on the world.


Meal Kits and Blanket Making: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm


Meal Kits and Furniture Building: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm


Meal Kits and Kit Assembly (Hygiene and Clothing): 8:30 am – 3:00 pm


Meal Kits and Kit Assembly (Basic Needs and School): 8:30 am – 1:00 pm

Pop-up Times & Hours

If you’re attending, sign up in the app scheduler to reserve a spot, but walk-ups are always welcome. If you can’t make it to the Social Impact Zone, there will be pop-up locations throughout the San Diego Convention Center and Marriott for attendees to participate in activities:


In front of registration at SDCC, Hygiene Kits: 3 pm – 5:30 pm

Social Media Tweet Up at SDCC, School Kits: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm


In front of Keynote before doors open, Hygiene Kits: 8:15 am – 9:15 am


In front of Keynote before doors open, School Kits: 8:15 am – 9:15 am

In ITM & ES lobby at the Marriott, Art Canvas & kits: 12 pm – 5 pm


In ITM & ES lobby at the Marriott, Blankets: 10 am – 4 pm

Other Information

San Diego nonprofit representatives will be in the Social Impact Zone talking to attendees about where the donations will be going and how they are impacting the community. They include Feeding San Diego, Think Dignity, Townspeople, and the YWCA of San Diego County.

You can take the pledge in the Social Impact Zone and receive a pin that says “I take the pledge.”

The on-site Cisco Store will offer round up donations for anything purchased that is orange. One hundred percent of profits for any orange items purchased in the store will be donated to Feeding San Diego. If you buy a pair of Bombas socks, then 1 pair of socks will be donated to the homeless!

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego! If you can’t attend, be sure to follow @CiscoCSR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates throughout the week.


Austin Belisle

No Longer with Cisco