Fall is just around the corner, and communities around the world are preparing for change; for some, a change as they return to school, and for others, a change in the seasons. Cisco employees are also gearing up to “Be the Bridge” and become the change in their local communities.

Enter our second annual Global Service Month. This month-long initiative, which runs the length of September, is an incredible opportunity to celebrate Cisco’s commitment to making a collective impact in the communities where we live, work and play.

Cisco’s Global Service Month is also a part of My Making a Difference, one of Our People Deal Moments that Matter. During the month, Cisco employees can come together and collaborate on numerous projects that address critical needs in different countries and give back on-campus, off-site, and virtually.

Last year, the program ran via a week-long initiative, spanning 26 countries, 85 Cisco office locations, more than 5,000 employees, and 20,000 volunteer hours. With all of the success of the past year  and employee feedback that we can do even more, we decided to expand into a month-long program.

Global Service Month Co-Executive Sponsors once again include Karen Walker, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, and Joe Cozzolino, SVP, Cisco Services, both strong advocates for empowering our employees to do good in the world and improve our communities at large.

As a global organization with employees who work both on-site and on a remote basis, we believe in the need to provide everyone with a diverse range of options to give their time, accommodating different schedules, geographies, and diverse styles of working.

In the spirit of this Cisco work culture, we have partnered with Missing Maps to provide virtual volunteering projects for teams that can gather around a conference table, dial in via TelePresence, or join from their desks from any location around the world.

What is Missing Maps?

A collaboration between multiple humanitarian organizations, including the American Red Cross, to map out the most vulnerable places in the developing world. Through this unique opportunity, people around the globe can use an open website to identify roads, structures and other key features on maps for use by first responders and aid agencies. Many of the places where disasters occur are literally “missing” from any map. The project enables first responders better access to relief efforts around the world.

The Cisco Foundation provided early stage support for the development of the Missing Maps platform in 2015 and the American Red Cross has been a longtime strategic partner of Cisco’s, with over US$21 million in donations to local, national, and international Red Cross programs.

Every dollar invested in disaster preparedness saves US$7 in disaster response, and mapping unmapped and vulnerable areas is a critical step to increasing the preparedness of relief agencies and communities to respond quickly and effectively in times of crisis.

Cisco Operations: Virtual Map-A-Thons During Global Service Month

Several Cisco business functions are conducting “Map-A-Thons” within their own organizations – an excellent teamwork opportunity! Cisco’s Operations, led by SVP, Rebecca Jacoby, is taking the lead in making a difference. As one of the largest organizations within Cisco, with almost 8000 employee across many geographies, organizing a singular, site-level event for Operations can be challenging.

Last year, the group had success in leading several giving back activities, and wanted to continue their momentum by coming together as one, cohesive Operations team, aligned with Global Service Month.

Cisco Operations is challenging their team to volunteer one hour with Missing Maps, in addition to the variety of giving back events spanning the group’s eight functions across the globe. In the spirit of friendly competition, the top individual Operations “mappers” from each of the eight functions will receive a mentoring session with an Operations leader.

With an organization of global scale, opportunities like Missing Maps enable virtual teams to collaborate, communicate and build new in-roads – both with colleagues and virtually!

Today, with disasters around the world that affect or displace millions, helping first responders to identify roads, buildings and other features aids those on the ground to make better-informed decisions during times of urgent need. No matter where you are in the world, you can lend a hand.

To join the Missing Maps “Map-a-Thons,” Cisco employees do not need to be a part of Operations. Multiple Map-a-Thons are planned throughout September, with a number of Virtual Map-a-Thons planned for September 12.

Cisco employees can visit our corporate online giving and volunteering platform to register for Missing Map Map-a-Thons and more!

Beyond Global Service Month, to help employees Be the Bridge to their communities all year, Cisco provides five calendar days per year of paid volunteer-time-off through our Time2Give employee benefit, a matching gifts program through the Cisco Foundation, and other global programs that align with our employees’ passions.

Together, we can all make a difference. Throughout September, spread the word on social media and share your stories by using #ServiceMonth, #WeAreCisco, and #BeTheBridge hashtags.


If you’re a Cisco employee, learn how you can make a difference by visiting the Global Service Month Jive page.



Megan DePorter Zeishner

Community Relations Program Manager