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Cisco at World Economic Forum: Seven themes, one thread

by Stephanie Chan

Cisco at World Economic Forum: Seven themes, one thread

Why the company’s work incorporates the spirit of Davos.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), held annually in Davos-Klosters Switzerland, brings the world’s leaders together to discuss ways in which to improve the state of the world. This year's meeting promises to be another heady event with top minds coming together for global conversations focusing on this year's seven themes: Fairer Economies, How to Save the Planet, Healthy Futures, Tech for Good, Better Business, Future of Work and Beyond Geopolitics. In many ways, Cisco and WEF are aligned on these topics—the company focuses on skilling and re-skilling employees for tomorrow’s jobs, and Cisco is at the forefront of innovation to create an inclusive organization.

See also: CNBC Davos interview with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

Cisco has been an active participant at Davos for 18 years and touches many of these themes through technology, people and investments, and the Corporate Social Responsibility program. A common thread for Cisco is building toward a more inclusive future, one that raises everyone up through its Networking Academy program or finding innovative technology solutions through the Global Problem Solver Challenge.

CSR Report

As we embark into 2020, it’s important to look back on what was accomplished in the last year. Cisco’s annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report takes a deep dive into how the company accelerates global problem solving to improve people, the society, and the planet. Here are some incredible milestones that Cisco has made in 2019.

  • 469 million people were positively impacted by our cash grant investments and signature programs
  • 51 percent of employees donated or volunteered in fiscal 2019
  • 115 percent of goal achieved to avoid 1 million metric tonnes of GHG emissions in our supply chain from FY12 to FY20
  • In the first year of our Destination: Home partnership, 841 families and individuals were helped through the Homelessness Prevention program

Learn more about how Cisco is building technology for an inclusive future by checking out the CSR Report here.

Global Problem Solver Challenge

The Global Problem Solver Challenge calls on students and recent graduates for their best technology ideas that could solve the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. Cisco provides $350,000 in prizes to winners of this Challenge, in addition to industry validation and global recognition.

2019’s Grand Prize winner, Oorja, is an organization that deploys solar diesel pumps to groups of smallholder farmers. Solar pumps are the cost-effective and sustainable solution to the regular diesel pumps that farmers in India rely on. With a digital flowmeter and a payment technology, these pumps utilize a pay-per-use model that saves these farmers money and help grow high-value crops.

Learn more about the winners and how you can get involved by checking out the Global Problem Solver Challenge here.

Networking Academy

2019 was a big year for Cisco’s online and in-person IT training program, Networking Academy. Students can take courses in networking, security, packet tracer, IoT, and more, so that they can skill or re-skill for tomorrow’s jobs. There were a total 2.15 million students in 180 countries participating in Cisco Networking Academy in fiscal year 2019—Cisco exceeded their goal of reaching 2 million students per year through the program by 2020.

NetAcad has the power to change lives, with education as a powerful tool for transformation. South African student Soso Luningo was able to pull herself and her family out of poverty with the IT classes. Luningo is now a Chief Solutions Engineer and teacher of Networking Academy courses. Learn more about her journey and see what Cisco is doing with NetAcad here.  


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