For the past 10 years, Cisco has had the unique privilege of sponsoring the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. This sponsorship has provided Cisco the additional opportunity to host global public sector leaders for a public services forum. I attended last month, where the theme of the forum was ‘Visioning Open Society’ and provided attendees the  opportunity to meet with eighteen government and education leaders from Japan, South Korea, Bulgaria, the United States, Sweden and more.

The forum schedule started with a wonderful private tour for Cisco guests of the Astrup Fearnley Museum, a brand new modern art museum designed by a collaboration team including Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Narud-Stokke-Wiig, located on the bay of Oslo, Norway. Later, we attended the CNN interview of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize recipients at City Hall. The interview with the three Presidents from the European Union shed a serious light on the current state of the global economy and a brief history of how the EU has brought peace to geography.


The following day, Cisco’s Visioning Open Society forum kicked off with an insightful keynote by the Retired Honourable Gordon Brown, MP. He spoke of the challenges that open government faces and the global potential to work more collaboratively with private industry. He also discussed that encouraging a more transparent public services model will help drive economic development. 


The rest of the day was packed with various sessions, including ‘Creating and Delivering Open Government’, ‘Combining Security and Open Government’, and ‘Empowering a Collaborative Relationship Between Public Services and Communities’. Forum participants engaged in table discussions and debates, sharing their own experiences and gaining insight from their global peers about open society and government.

After a content-rich day, Cisco guests dressed in their black-tie-best for dinner and the Nobel Peace Prize concert. Concert performers were Seal, Jennifer Hudson, Il Volo, and more. Attending the concert was an incredible experience, and Cisco was pleased to be able to share this experience with our government and education partners.  Although it was a cold three days in Norway, the concert was fun, and the forums were an experience of collaboration I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. Cisco will be finalizing the thought leadership paper that will reflect the discussions of the day soon, so stay tuned for the paper or pre- register here to receive it directly to your inbox.