Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility’s (CSR) goal is to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025 and at last week’s Cisco Live US 2017, we took significant steps (literally) to get there! As part of the social impact efforts, we joined more than 28,000 attendees for “Network to Light,” harnessing two million steps worth of energy for students in Nepal.

As part of this activity, we hosted one of the event’s three kinetic tile areas in our CSR Lounge. Our goal was to harness the energy of 1 million steps at Cisco Live — enough to provide electricity to 40 schools in Nepal for a minimum of four days, impacting 30,000 students. But at the end of the week, with help from men in kilts, dinosaurs, and hundreds of IT superheroes, we more than doubled our original goal.

The efforts of global problem solvers at Cisco Live generated nearly 5,000,000 joules of energy, but our work didn’t stop there. Here are a few of the highlights from the whirlwind week in Las Vegas:

Before the event began, the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team arrived for a back-stage pass to Cisco Live. Every year, 12 stellar NetAcad students from the US and Canada are nominated to the Dream Team, a unique development opportunity to shadow nearly 100 team members who deploy and support the event Network Operations Center (NOC). Last week, with the help of the Dream Team, engineers set up 2,304 wireless access points, creating 2.8 million square feet of wireless access for attendees!

On Sunday, 10 local NetAcad students attended the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network event, where they met CDW, a Cisco partner that has hired former NetAcad students. The 10 students, who were selected to attend from a pool of applicants, saw firsthand how Cisco and its partners are working together to fill the IT skills gap with qualified talent.

Then on Monday, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins highlighted CSR in his opening-day keynote. He shared a new video about our work to accelerate global problem solving, and gave an update on our goal to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025, which currently stands at nearly 80 million!

Then on Wednesday, Tae joined Shari Slate, Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer, on Cisco TV for a live broadcast. She highlighted global problem solvers before the action transitioned to the CSR Lounge, where we celebrated NetAcad’s 20th anniversary! Dream Team members, NetAcad students, and instructors threw confetti, wore hats, and rung in the “birthday” with a huge celebration, captured live for all Cisco Live attendees online and in Las Vegas.

NetAcad has the power to change people’s lives, elevate careers, and transform communities. In 20 years, it has reached 6.9 million students in 170 countries around the world, delivering a pipeline of talent to fuel business transformation and take on global problems.

To catch up on all of the activity you may have missed, follow Cisco CSR on Twitter!


Austin Belisle

No Longer with Cisco