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Cisco Supports Junior Achievement of Georgia to Help Middle School Students Thrive

Through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, we aim to give people the skills they need to thrive in a connected world.

To help achieve that vision, the Cisco Foundation recently completed a grant to the Junior Achievement Discovery Center in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The facility, adjacent to the Cisco campus in Lawrenceville, held its grand opening yesterday, with more than 600 attendees. In partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools, the center will serve more than 25,000 middle school students annually, helping to enhance their financial literacy and build skills for personal and professional success.

JA BizTown® presented by Cisco is one of two interactive venues within the Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center at Gwinnett.

JA BizTown® presented by Cisco is one of two interactive venues within the Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center at Gwinnett.

The students’ experience begins with 18 in-class lessons of JA provided curriculum, then culminates with a day at JA BizTown presented by Cisco — a venue where students are able to interact within a simulated macro-economy, and take on the role of employee, tax payer, and consumer. During the visit to JA BizTown, students receive unique job assignments and work in teams at their assigned business. By the end of the simulation each student completes a day’s work, develops a personal budget, deposits a paycheck at the bank and makes purchasing decisions.

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Cisco Innovation Highlights Microsoft Ignite

Today at Microsoft Ignite, Cisco continues to prove out our commitment to delivering the best data center and networking infrastructure solutions for the Microsoft portfolio. The proof comes in the form of new Cisco innovations that we committed to deliver as part of our joint multi-year go-to-market agreement with Microsoft in July 2014. Building on the great success we have achieved with the Unified Computing System (UCS) and Integrated Infrastructures, Microsoft and Cisco are now teaming to provide new solutions (see press release this morning) that simplify the movement and management of workloads between private and hybrid cloud environments. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V, and Cisco Intercloud Fabric provide a seamless pathway to Microsoft Azure with Cisco application intelligent networking services.

Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

Microsoft and Cisco have been committed to deliver the value of Application Centric Infrastructure to Microsoft users since the announcement of ACI. This video from Brad Anderson, Microsoft CVP, Windows Server and System Center demonstrates the value Microsoft sees in ACI since.

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Cisco Releases Tenth Annual CSR Report

I am pleased to announce that Cisco has released its tenth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. The 2014 Cisco CSR Report outlines our strategy to use our expertise, technology, and partnerships for social, environmental, and business impact.

Each day, people around the world face many challenges: access to quality education, unemployment, poverty, and climate change, to name a few. We’ve learned that when we bring people together, they find innovative solutions to address these problems. And when you add technology to the mix, we can multiply our impact and uncover even greater opportunities.

For example, in France, a team of Cisco Networking Academy students used the connections between people, process, data, and things to create a networked walking stick for the blind. Watch this video to learn more:

Our CSR Report contains many more examples like this, organized according to five pillars:

  1. Governance and Ethics: Promoting responsible business practices at every level—with employees, suppliers, distributors, and partners
  2. Supply Chain: Working closely with our 600 global suppliers to maintain our high standards for ethics, labor rights, health, safety, and the environment
  3. Our People: Attracting, retaining, and developing talented people through an inspiring workplace, engaged management, and flexibility
  4. Society: Combining technology and human creativity to solve social issues and help communities thrive.
  5. Environment: Creating new business value for our customers using sustainable Cisco technologies, products, and solutions

Here are just a few highlights from our 2014 CSR Report:

  • We updated our Human Rights Roadmap to align with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and we launched an online human rights training program for our employees.
  • 58% of our key suppliers set goals to cut their greenhouse gas emissions — up from 45% in 2013.
  • We ranked number 55 on the Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
  • We made $275 million in cash and in-kind contributions to community organizations worldwide; and our employees volunteered 136,000 hours to support organizations in their own communities.
  • Employee-led “Pack It Green” projects saved approximately 888 metric tonne of packaging material and are expected to save over $6 million annually through material and freight cost reductions.
  • 97% of Networking Academy students who participate in a selective internship program with local IT companies in Italy get jobs; the partnership is creating a pipeline of tech talent while combatting a youth unemployment rate over 40%.

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Two CSR Nonprofit Partners Win Tech Innovation Awards

Two of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) nonprofit grantees, Gooru and Worldreader, have won 2014 Tech Awards from the Tech Museum of Innovation for their work in applying technology to some of the world’s most urgent educational challenges.

Gooru is a free, open-source education search engine. Educators worldwide can use it to personalize and share instructional K-12 content customized to individual students’ needs. The website contains over 16 million videos, slides, digital textbooks, and interactive content that provide engaging ways to teach K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Cisco support is helping Gooru integrate Lessonopoly – a repository of more than 11,000 teacher lessons and study packs – into its platform.

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Children Learn Coding and Collaboration at Cisco

“If you want to use the music from Frozen in your game, do you know how to download a gif to match?” Not the average question I have heard in a conference room at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California, especially when asked to 7-year-old girls! The girls were part of a group of 14 children participating in a coding camp held at Cisco and put on by Embark Labs. The goal of the event is to teach 7 to 10 year olds to have fun while learning how to program.

Teacher Brian VanDyck and Embark Labs Founder Jessie Arora watch as the students work on their coding projects

Teacher Brian VanDyck and Embark Labs Founder Jessie Arora watch as the students work on their coding projects

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