Cisco Blogs

Innovation Can Come From Anywhere

November 18, 2014 - 8 Comments

Innovation can be an overused word, but it’s a hot topic for a reason. The pace of change compels businesses, large and small, to reinvent themselves.

Cisco’s innovation strategy is multifaceted and focuses our efforts both internally and externally. Last week we announced a new Cisco IoE Innovation Center in Tokyo. This is the seventh IoE Innovation Center that Cisco has opened worldwide – joining Rio, Toronto, Berlin, Songdo, Barcelona and London. Our IoE Innovation Centers enable us to co-innovate vertical solutions with regional customers, partners, governments, universities and startups.

Another way Cisco stimulates innovation externally is through Grand Challenges. We sponsored three this past year and received over 1,000 entries across the globe, proving that innovation can come from anywhere.

It gives me great pleasure to announce a new Grand Challenge that is very close to my heart. I am passionate about advocating for women in STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), and I speak often about the advantages that women bring to technology leadership as it becomes more multidisciplinary. Cisco officially launches the IoT World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge today, and winners will be announced next year in May 2015. This program is designed to encourage young women to drive innovation in IoT and promote their interest in STEAM fields. We understand that it is critical to cultivate interest in STEAM fields early on and we are excited to recognize their talents.

Join me in getting the word out and encouraging young women in your lives to believe in themselves and participate in this Grand Challenge!

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  1. Its unfortunate that woman still feel intimidated in the science and tech fields after all this time. Its 2014 for Buddha sake. I personally dont like the fact that that is how it is, but each and every step forward is another step towards a better future.

  2. Great article, thats a complex theme… Your blog is awesome!

  3. I do not understand why companies so insist on trying to attract women. We do not need more men or women in tech, we need more people coming in, for the right reason. Women are 100% free to choose whatever line of work they want to, and they do not often choose tech. So why spend so much time and money trying to get the gender least interested in tech to get interested.

    Why not just try to have an open door policy for both genders? Why discriminate against men by having all these women-only programs?

    • i agree your point…let keep it open and choose their interest where their passion or heart is…

    • The open door policy has been in place for years but young women do not feel welcome in IT and engineering fields for a variety of reasons (read the research). Programs like this try to raise the visibility of women who are successful in the field and help make them feel welcome to the industry. Some fields do not need this type of help anymore (medical professions) but some fields do. Because the fields are understaffed, we must find a way to make minorities and women want to join these industries or lose the innovation race.

    • It’s not easy, or often welcoming to be the only woman at the table. Have you ever experienced being the only man on a team? I agree we need a healthy balance of diversity in every situation. It’s not about passion or interest. Research has shown that women problem-solve and interface differently. So new methods of education need to be created to ensure that women have equal opportunities to be successful. The greater a diverse workforce, the better the outcome for humanity. Padma’s program can help create new role models and break down barriers for all.

    • Learn about how diversity and inclusion benefits organization.
      Men and women think differently, thoughts and idea from different point of view will benefit companies in being more successful.