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Telepresence Could Help Lure Young Talent into the Government Workforce

August 3, 2011 - 0 Comments

How do the kids in your life spend their time after school? Do their activities involve video—either watching it, playing with it, or creating it?

For Cisco Consulting System Engineer Mike Harttree’s son, Tommy, after school time means gathering his Legos and those belonging to his neighborhood buddies, arranging them in elaborate constructions—like recreations of movie scenes— taking digital pictures of the arrangements, digitally gluing these photos together on a Mac, and uploading the glued photos in video format to YouTube.

Tommy is seven years old. His oldest friend/collaborator is 12. Check out their impressive work here.

Mike shared Tommy’s videos at Cisco’s recent Federal TelePresence User Forum. The reason for sharing them? To demonstrate his belief that when the millennial generation enters the workforce–including the military and the government–they will expect to work on an integrated video network. Such a network incorporates telepresence for communication, as well as video systems for content creation and collaboration on presentations and projects, Mike said.

Just to do a friendly check of the accuracy of Mike’s assertion about young people and video, I did a little research to see what factors might play a key role in drawing young talent to government positions. According to the grassroots organization Young Government Leaders, which was founded in 2003 by young government workers, one of the top ways to retain young talent is to “use modern IT and social networks to collaborate, communicate and coordinate.” Young government employees want to feel like they have access to the same cutting edge technology as their peers who work in other sectors.

Should telepresence rank among these cutting edge technologies? Well, according to Mike, by 2014 video will account for 90 percent of Internet traffic. With telepresence at the heart of video communication, it seems likely that a young workforce would demand and appreciate the benefits telepresence provides.

What do you think? If you were (or are) starting out in a government position today, what technology would you want at your fingertips?

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