Impact Multiplied Summer 2012
Impact Multiplied Summer 2012
Welcome to Impact Multiplied
Welcome to Impact Multiplied, a quarterly newsletter produced by the Cisco community relations team. What is Impact Multiplied? It’s what happens when you harness the power of people and the network to meet the unique needs of communities around the world. In this edition, we discuss the concept of shared value and how it’s changing the way corporations approach community investment strategies. We’ll also preview a new initiative, Cisco VolunteerX, and share insights and news from Cisco community activities throughout the world.
We welcome your thoughts and feedback, and hope this newsletter will arm you with ideas on how you can multiply impact in your community.
Director, Global Community Relations
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Supporting STEM Education in Silicon Valley
Support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is a pillar of Cisco’s community relations strategies, and that commitment took center stage with Cisco’s presenting sponsorship of the 25th annual The Tech Challenge in San Jose this spring. The annual team competition introduces the engineering design process to fifth through twelfth grade students by providing them with the ability to solve a real-world problem through hands-on learning.
Beginning in January, over 1,400 students worked on this year’s theme, “Shake, Rattle and Rescue,” which asked them to create a solution to rescue earthquake survivors trapped on a severely damaged bridge. More than a third of the students were from disadvantaged schools, many who previously hadn’t been exposed to engineering. Nearly half the participants were girls, a significant increase over most STEM competitions.
Cisco Chief Marketing Officer Blair Christie presented awards to winning teams and spoke to the crowd of more than 4,000, encouraging them to continue to invent, create, and dream about the future. When students are engaged through education to design, build and test, they become the engineers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
Over 150 Cisco volunteers also participated in this year’s event, including Cisco’s Tactical Operations, a team that provides emergency communications during crises to showcase how the network can play a critical role in facilitating communications during urgent situations.
Manager, Community Relations, Silicon Valley
Cisco's Journey to Creating Shared Value
By Sandra Wheatley, Director, Global Community Relations
The discipline of community relations has evolved dramatically in recent years. Recognizing both the responsibility to support their communities and the business benefits of a positive reputation, companies have invested billions of dollars and millions of hours, resulting in a substantive impact.
Yet for many organizations, corporate social responsibility is on the verge of the most dramatic change yet. It’s a shift to the concept of creating shared value, which tears apart the traditional lines between a CSR program and the business it supports. In many ways, it makes community relations obsolete, as the entire business becomes a community relations effort unto itself. The emerging practice of creating shared value can transform how companies grow and impact communities around the world.
Through shared value, a company places an understanding of community needs such as housing and food at the center of its business and product development process. It doesn’t simply try to meet community needs through a program that sits on the side of the business – it makes those needs a business focus. By meeting the demand for critical human needs, a company strengthens communities while tapping a burgeoning underserved market. Read more.
Cisco VolunteerX : Community Service is Good Business
By Jenna Abeyta, Community Relations Manager
When Steve Martino, Cisco’s vice president of information technology, drives along Route 101 in San Jose, Calif., he thinks about deadlines to meet, programs to initiate, and teams to lead through upcoming projects. But there is another set of thoughts which permeates his mind– those of the Habitat for Humanity projects he has led, which he can actually see from the highway.
“I enjoy being able to drive past a home or development that we worked on, see that result and say ‘I had something to do with that,’” Martino said. “Those people have a home and are happy in part because I invested time in it.”
Martino’s story is just one example of the ways Cisco managers are leading – both at Cisco and in their communities. That commitment received a boost on May 22-23, at the annual gathering of Cisco’s 3,500 senior leaders to discuss business objectives and goals for the upcoming year. Called the Senior Leadership Experience (SLX), this global meeting marked the launch of Cisco’s VolunteerX, a year-long, global initiative designed to reinvigorate community service among Cisco’s executives with Cisco’s core volunteering beliefs.
The goal is to inspire senior leaders to drive community engagement throughout the company. The community service effort actually kicked off right at SLX, with 36 different volunteer projects for Cisco’s senior leaders, at 20 world locations. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE AMERICAS REGION
Toronto Bowls for Kids
Each year, Cisco Canada employees support Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) through “Bowl for Kids Sake,” Cisco Canada’s largest fundraising event. BBBS’ premier fundraising event, Bowl for Kids Sake brings people together for a night of bowling to advance mentoring programs in the community.
In the spring, 175 Toronto Campus employees took part in the event, raising over $48,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto. The money raised will help BBBS connect 32 children, in need of mentoring and support, with a Big Brother or Sister.
To add to the fun, Cisco employees put together their own teams and costumes to coincide with the year’s theme, which in 2012 was “Neck-ccessories,” inviting participants to wear boas, oversized pendants, and other fun neckwear. Prizes were awarded to the employees that raised the most donations and bowled the best game.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Bowl for Kids Sake and Cisco’s eighth year supporting the event as a national sponsor of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Canada’s leading child and youth mentoring charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters is respected for the important mentoring services it provides to local children and youth.
Jenn Madden, Toronto Civic Council
Herndon Hosts Blood Drives
In May, Cisco’s Herndon, Virginia campus hosted a blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross. This drive represents one of many events in the history of Cisco’s work with the American Red Cross.
The Herndon campus began sponsoring American Red Cross Blood Drives in 2000, collecting over 1,000 pints of blood since then.
Blood drives have been a long standing tradition for the campus, starting twice yearly and increasing to quarterly in 2007, due to popular demand. Every two seconds, someone in the region needs blood, which is what makes blood drives such so critical.
As there is constant demand, each drive averages approximately 25-30 donors, helping to save lives in the community; each blood donation can help save up to three lives, with 25 percent of the donations going toward cancer patients.
To raise awareness of the importance of donating blood, this Cisco drive was open to people outside the company, in addition to our employees.
As raising awareness helps increase participation, the Herndon campus typically opens its doors to new blood donors and walk-ins, and they have built a core group of donors since the drive’s inception.
Jasmin El Kordi, Herndon Civic Council
Earth Day in Lawrenceville
Education and a commitment to the environment are key elements of Cisco’s community relations programs around the world. Both came together in April, as the Lawrenceville campus celebrated Earth Day 2012 with a landscaping project on the campus of Gwinnett Technical College. Volunteers gathered to plant shrubs and spread pine straw, providing the Foundation with a greener environment while raising awareness about Earth Day.
Gwinnett Tech is a key partner with Cisco. Not only does the college house the Cisco Networking Academy, but it also is a recipient of a Cisco Foundation Community Impact Cash Grant (CICG). Considered the flagship technical institution in the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE) network, Gwinnett Tech Foundation works to support and enhance higher education by providing student scholarships and funding development opportunities for faculty and staff.
Nationally noted for its commitment to effective community forestry management, Gwinnett Tech was named a 2011Tree Campus USA finalist by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Cisco community relations team hopes the Earth Day event will boost future participation among other companies and create awareness of the college’s focus on providing education to the community.
The Lawrenceville campus also held a closing reception for the Lawrenceville 2012 Community Campaign for the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. The shelter is a residential care facility that provides long and short-term services to youth 12 to 21 years old who have experienced abuse, neglect, violence, abandonment, or homelessness, and need supervised care. Now in its 25th year of operation, the shelter provides services to approximately 200 children each year. There are about 7,000 youth that are impacted by the shelter’s education and outreach; and approximately 100 families served through parenting classes and counseling services.
At the event, the Cisco Lawrenceville Civic Council, which led this highly successful fundraising campaign, presented a check for over $66,000 to the shelter’s executive director. Given the success of the campaign, additional donations are expected to come in from Cisco employees.
Connie Jackson, Community Relations Program Manager, Employee Community Engagement Lead, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Richardson Addresses Hunger
Cisco’s Richardson campus has been actively involved with the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) since 2000.
Each month the NTFB distributes food to more than 53,000 families through a network of 300 member agencies and 1,000 feeding and education programs in 13 counties.
This year, the Cisco campus went above and beyond contributing to NTFB through the company’s Global Hunger Relief program.
In addition to presenting a check for $47,332 – equating to 141,996 meals – to the NTFB during the Global Hunger Relief Campaign, the Richardson campus donated more than $750,000 worth of Cisco technology including security cameras, networking equipment and a complete phone system upgrade to the organization.
The largest in-kind donation the NTFB has received, the technology upgrade will allow the food bank to more effectively serve the residents of North Texas.
Cisco also provided a $25,000 grant for the expansion of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). By 2014, as many as 40 percent of the meals the North Texas Food Bank provides will be SNAP meals.
For the efforts of local employees, the NTFB presented Cisco Richardson with the “Corporate Innovator of the Year” award at its annual “Dishing Out Gratitude” gala held this spring.
At the event, the food bank presented awards to 16 corporations and individuals who have embraced the NTFB's five core values:
- Do what needs to be done;
- Do what is right with urgency;
- Steward and leverage resources with integrity and in an authentic, transparent way;
- Respect diversity of individuals, thoughts and viewpoints; and
- Celebrate passion for our world and the people who live in it.
Beth Kolman, Community Relations Manager, Richardson, Tx.
Boxborough Casino Night
Cisco’s New England Development Center (NEDC) held its fourth annual Boxwoods Night this spring. Amidst the money wheels, black jack tables, slot machines and Texas Hold ‘Em tables, the Community Relations team invites one main non-profit partner to participate each year.
This year, the Greater Lowell Chapter of the Habitat for Humanity attended a celebration of Cisco’s partnership of over a decade and recent commitment to a multi-year project to revitalize the Acre section of Lowell, Mass. Habitat for Humanity’s Interim executive director, Brenda Gould; development director, Dan Bush, and community relations director, Kim Trainor, addressed over 400 employees about the project and the NEDC’s longstanding relationship with this chapter.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell also recognized Cisco employees for their longstanding support of the organization’s mission. The partnership with Cisco enabled the Lowell chapter to house nine families, totaling 19 people, to date.
Cisco also provided a $20,000 Community Impact Cash Grant to the Lowell chapter, allowing the organization to extend its volunteer base to high school students; 130 students from Shawsheen Regional Technical High School built one of the Bedford homes.
Cisco has been instrumental in Habitat for Humanity’s global and local fight against poverty housing, by providing funding, volunteers, and leadership involvement through its Civic Council.
Peg Lovett, Community Relations Program Manager, Employee Community Engagement Lead, Boxborough, Ma.
Raleigh Feeds Families
This spring, the Cisco Research Triangle Park Campus in North Carolina brought together more than 400 volunteers from Cisco and other major businesses, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, IBM, and BASF, for “Sort-a-Rama,” a community food sort with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
Volunteers gathered in the Dorton Arena at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh to sort 50,000 pounds of dried rice, which will ultimately provide more than 35,000 meals to local families.
This event raised significant awareness for the work that the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina does to feed the community and for the growing needs of local families.
The Cisco community relations team also hopes that the resulting publicity will increase future participation among other companies, as the Food Bank aims to distribute 40 to 42 million pounds of vital food and non-food essentials for more than 800 emergency and non-emergency non-profits.
Cisco was also recognized at the Triangle Business Journal’s 2012 “A Better World Awards – A Salute to Corporate Philanthropy.”
The award honors for-profit companies for their financial contributions, volunteer and board service, and other unique contributions to Triangle area charities and nonprofit organizations.
Megan DePorter, Community Relations Program Manager, Employee Community Engagement Lead, Research Triangle Park
NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
Bedfont Lakes Fights Poverty
For 10 years, Cisco UK has supported Comic Relief, a UK based charity that strives to create a just world free from poverty through projects in the UK and across Africa. The theme for this year’s Comic Relief fundraising efforts is Sport Relief.
In support of this year’s Comic Relief theme, Cisco UK is participating in a variety of sports-themed fundraising events, which, to date, have raised more than £175,000. Some highlights of Cisco’s participation include:
Cisco Green Park Triathlon – Representatives from 52 companies, including Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft, participated in the Green Park Triathlon. In total, over 317 competitors – 66 teams and 123 individuals – competed, raising more than £37,000.
This is the third year Cisco has organised this event and each year it has seen more engagement and participation from the community.
CEO Leader Board – Thirty of the UK’s top CEOs and executives, including Phil Smith, VP of Cisco UK and Ireland, competed in the inaugural Leader Board Triathlon Challenge for Sport Relief. Fundraising that took place led up to the Blenheim Triathlon in June. Each CEO took business competitiveness outdoors and together raised £250,664.
Since 2002, Cisco has raised more than $1million for the Comic Relief cause as well as donating a significant amount of Cisco products and services to support their fundraising infrastructure.
Kathryn Baddeley, UK Civic Council
Milan Makes Music for a Cause
In the spring, when the idea was suggested to form an employee rock and pop band for charity, no one had any idea how much community impact would come from this quirky idea.
The Donation Bay Band – comprising Cisco employees and partners who perform exclusively for charity – debuted on May 9 before 700 people at a Cisco partner event in Riccione, raising € 9,000 for Emergency, an Italian ONG which provides free medical and surgical treatment to victims of war, landmines and poverty; and Peter Pan Onlus, which serves families of children with cancer in Rome.
With only one month of rehearsals before their first live performance, the band played like they had been performing together for years, and with incredible passion and energy.
The band members hail from a wide range of musical backgrounds and tastes, performing a mix of standard British and American pop and rock songs from the 1970s to the 1990s, including those from the Doors, Faith No More, the Ramones, Clash, Oasis, and U2, as well as ballads and traditional Italian songs. The band feels that performing a wide variety of music is vital to creating positive energy between the band and the crowd – and it certainly worked at the debut.
This month, the Donation Bay Band performed at Comunita’ Nuova, a Milan-based therapeutic community for people with drug and alcohol addictions. To learn more about the band and its upcoming performances, “like” the Cisco CSR Facebook page.
Francesco Benvenuto, Italy Civic Council
Singapore Mentors Youth
As part of Singapore’s ongoing deep partnership with the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA), numerous Singapore employees have engaged in a series of volunteering and fundraising activities this year.
Social Enterprise Initiative
Cisco supported AWWA’s Valentine’s flea market, where eight teams of two to three young adults competed to earn the highest profit from their booths at the Scapes Bazaar in Singapore. The 19 participants sold everything from clothing to chocolate to nail art services. To prepare them for the market, Cisco volunteers provided workshops on business planning, marketing and accounting, plus three weeks of mentoring. Also, each team received a loan of SGD 200. After returning this amount, participants retained additional profits.
This initiative helped motivate the youths, instill a sense of independence, and sharpen their entrepreneurial skills. It’s a great example of how corporations such as Cisco can support the community not only financially but in terms of time and transfer of skills.
Global Hunger Relief Campaign
The Singapore campus also raised SGD 7,513 for four local non-governmental organizations during Cisco’s annual fundraising campaign, and collected a trolley of food for the AWWA. In addition, a number of employees volunteered their time and services, preparing lunch and tea for 120 elderly people, and spending time with them dancing, and playing games like ping pong and bingo.
Kennie Wong, Singapore Civic Council
Shanghai Shows Heart
This Spring, the Cisco Shanghai campus teamed up with River of Hearts, an outreach program of the Community Center Shanghai, to sort various household items for families in need.
Throughout the day, more than 45 Cisco volunteers sorted clothing, accessories, bedding, shoes and toys, which were packed onto a truck and shipped to Jiamusi in the Heilongjiang province.
For this event, Cisco went beyond recruiting employees to volunteer, also including their children, to introduce youth to the importance of giving back to their communities at an early age.
Many of the children were directly involved in tracking the bags and boxes that were loaded onto the truck, as well as sorting clothing and other items.
At the end of the day, volunteer efforts provided more than 260 bags of clothes and bedding, as well as 35 boxes of shoes, backpacks and toys to Jiamusi.
As Jiamusi is located in an extremely cold part of China with long, harsh winters, new clothing and bedding will be crucial to its residents.
Established in 2003, River of Hearts provides people who live and work in Shanghai with an opportunity to donate new and gently-used items to needy families.
Once these items are sorted, they are shipped to designated drop-off locations and distributed to economically disadvantaged communities in China.
Rao Talasila, Shanghai Civic Council
Bangalore Beautifies School
Many Cisco employees have rallied behind primary education efforts in Bangalore. This spring, the Campus collaborated with Children's Lovecastles Trust (CLT) on a school beautification project.
Together, Cisco and CLT employees completed the painting and cleaning of a school located near CLT’s premises.
In addition to painting, the team helped build and paint a tree house for the children who visit CLT.
Founded in 1997 in Bangalore, CLT is a non-profit, non-governmental organization devoted to the idea that every child has the right to equal learning opportunities and quality education. In its efforts to strengthen government schools in India, CLT has created a dynamic process by effectively bringing together three-way collaboration among government, non-governmental and corporate sectors for Partnership for Learning.
CLT works closely with the government schools that are India’s mainstream education system and the only available option for the majority of children.
In addition to providing education for underprivileged children, CLT also conducts after-school programs that give children a safe and nurturing place to play and interact with their peers.
More than 70,000 people have been impacted by CLT since its inception.
To date, the Cisco team has adopted six government schools through The School Adopt program in partnership with CLT. Activities have included picnics, academic assistance, teaching arts and crafts, and organizing construction and maintenance of rain water harvesting structures.
Additionally, money generated through Cisco Volunteer hours go toward teachers’ training programs, resource materials to support school curricula, as well as providing extra teachers and technology-aided learning to schools in need.
Cisco looks forward to continuing its partnership with CLT to further the cause of strengthening the education system in India.
Shilpy Prakash, Bangalore Civic Council
Amsterdam Enables Clinics
The Amsterdam campus has been busy lately improving communications for a roadside health clinic in Africa and spending time with young girls to spark their interest in science and technology.
Improving North Star Alliance’s communications
This year, employees started working with North Star Alliance, a nonprofit that builds networks of roadside health clinics in Africa in order to provide mobile workers and roadside communities with sustainable access to health and safety services.
North Star Alliance has 105 employees working around the globe – from its headquarters in Utrecht, Netherlands, to two African regional offices and 25 health clinics throughout Southern and Eastern Africa – so it’s essential to share knowledge and discuss recent information and trends on health-related subjects.
Cisco recently donated $50,000 in hardware and WebEx technology. By creating a more reliable, secure and higher quality internet connection, along with the opportunity to hold professional online meetings via WebEx, North Star has improved the effectiveness and efficiency of its work and enhanced its internal communications.
Girls’Day at Cisco
This spring, Cisco Amsterdam participated in Girls’Day, a European initiative to increase the involvement of girls in science and technology education.
The campus was one of 28 Cisco sites that participated in the event, organized by Cisco Connected Women, an employee resource group that aims to enhance the company’s success in attracting, developing and retaining talented female employees.
Sixty-four girls from two pre-university schools visited Cisco for a half-day program to understand what Cisco does and what it would be like to work for the company.
Five Cisco women in various job roles talked about their work, an interactive game was played, and there was a lively discussion among six video conferencing rooms in Amsterdam and one Cisco TelePresence room in Istanbul.
Camilla Ramberg, Netherlands Civic Council