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Goal. Partnership. Influence. – Cisco Blogs

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Final month, Cisco introduced we exceeded our ten-year aim to positively impression one billion lives – a couple of 12 months early. The 1.1 billion lives we’ve modified for the higher symbolize roughly one-eighth of the world’s inhabitants.

The announcement was simply step one in our dedication to share the tales inside our journey to at least one billion lives, and to share our strategy and learnings to empower organizations of any measurement in driving actual change and lasting social impression in communities world wide.

See how we met our One Billion Lives aim video (1:24)

Cisco Govt Vice President and Chief Individuals, Coverage, and Goal Officer Fran Katsoudas illuminates this tenet in Cisco’s FY23 Goal Report. “Once we outlined our Goal, to Energy an Inclusive Future for All, we operationalized the work of our groups to co-innovate with companions leveraging connectivity; tackle the digital expertise hole; drive sustainability, inclusivity, and social justice; and help new concepts with partnerships and impression grants.”

To realize our aim to positively impression one billion lives, Cisco solid over 100 partnerships and invested in tons of of initiatives in practically 2 hundred nations, in each area of the world. We put folks on the middle of our work and targeted on optimistic impression within the areas of disaster response, studying and digital expertise, and financial empowerment.

We additionally created what we name “the Blueprint for One Billion” to align our partnerships and our initiatives with the guiding rules that intersect our enterprise, expertise, and innovation along with our Goal, and permit us to focus the place we may have the deepest impression.

We imagine that our guiding rules could be utilized to organizations of any measurement to drive elevated and lasting social impression.

The Blueprint for One Billion: Aligning objective and partnership to drive impression

Begin with “why”

Cisco volunteers
A gaggle of Cisco volunteers holds up luggage of freshly harvested produce

Begin with defining your “why.” For every firm, that is going to look a bit of totally different­––and that’s a great factor. Root your “why” within the services and products for which your organization has experience­, and within the areas of Goal which can be passions to your folks.

Cisco services and products energy the Web, together with networking, safety, collaboration, cloud administration, and extra. So, our “why” was deeply rooted in connecting the world and discovering a solution to a seemingly easy query, “what number of lives may we alter?” It was rooted find out what was doable if we pushed ourselves and our firm in new methods, leveraging our core enterprise of connection and innovation, and investing in partnerships and progressive options.

We have been pushed to attach longstanding challenges with new potentialities to beat and to deepen our understanding of easy methods to create lasting change. Alongside this journey, we articulated our firm’s Goal, to Energy an Inclusive Future for All.

Clearly outline your meant impacts

There are various methods to outline impression, so it’s necessary to get clear about how your organization will outline and measure it.

We labored with our nonprofit companions to develop a shared definition of optimistic impression. Collectively, we agreed that optimistic impression happens when a person has gained entry to a vital useful resource, realized one thing, or participated in a significant manner.

For instance, for job seekers, optimistic impression is achieved by finishing a coaching program and acquiring a job that gives secure and enough earnings. For college kids, it’s gaining data and demonstrating proficiency in the subject material. And for a group in want of water, it’s having a dependable, inexpensive supply of unpolluted consuming water that’s obtainable to all folks throughout the group.

Construct a rigorous monitoring methodology

Monitoring and validating impression is a fancy however essential course of. That is vital for transparency and correct reporting, and figuring out whether or not you might be having the specified impression.

Our methodology targeted on discovering a stability between rigor to make sure consistency and accuracy and assembly the wants of our nonprofit grant companions.

Along with validating optimistic impression, our methodology ensures every individual counted is exclusive, and that they’re solely counted as soon as over time. For instance, some folks might profit from a number of applications inside a 12 months or might profit from the identical program over a number of years – they’re solely counted as soon as throughout the timeframe of our One Billion Lives aim.

Woman in field with harvest
A smallholder farmer exhibits her plentiful harvest (PC: myAgro)

We acknowledged that we couldn’t at all times precisely quantify the impression of some classes inside our Social Influence investments. To deal with this, we didn’t embody a few of our social impression grants the place the nonprofit companion didn’t have a approach to rely distinctive people positively impacted. This was the case, for instance, with a few of our nonprofit companions who tackle meals insecurity – as they don’t observe distinctive people who obtain help.

Cisco engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct an unbiased restricted assurance of our progress towards our aim and our accompanying methodology and validation processes between FY16-FY22, making certain our path to at least one billion was sound. We utilized the identical strategy and methodology in FY23.


Put money into potential

With an audacious aim, clear definitions of impression, and a rigorous methodology in place, we turned our consideration to executing towards our funding mannequin.

Cisco focuses on getting in early – offering vital seed funding to promising nonprofits to ideate, create, and check tech-enabled options. Whereas investing in confirmed options responds to speedy wants, figuring out and investing in new and progressive options can assist scale and amplify your impression over time.

Our technique of investing in tech-enabled options stems from who we’re. As a expertise firm, we imagine within the energy of expertise to attach the unconnected, and likewise to have impression at scale.

We help our nonprofit companions past money grant funding. We donate our expertise to allow our companions to ship their choices extra securely and successfully and join them to subject material specialists throughout the corporate, and to key organizations, companions, and funders. We do that to make sure that our companions can have sustained impression effectively past the lifecycle of our engagement with them.

Our Social Influence Grant companions get the time, house, funding, and suppleness to check their options. As these options are validated, we offer continued help to assist our companions replicate these options to new geographies and scale to succeed in extra folks. Cisco beneficial properties a greater understanding of the problem they’re fixing and what it takes to drive true impression. All of us develop from innovating – collectively.

Two adults walking with small child
Two staff from a reduction group assist a younger youngster in Jordan (picture credit score: Mercy Corps)


As we speak, we’re sharing with you our Blueprint to One Billion. As we ponder our subsequent impressed aim, we’re dedicated to sharing extra about what we’ve realized in positively impacting one billion lives and to understanding extra in regards to the challenges confronted by communities world wide. We are going to share tales of our companions, the work they do, the options we’ve funded, and the lives which were impacted in consequence.

  • Discover the inspiring tales inside our aim to positively impression One Billion Lives
  • Go deeper in understanding all that Cisco is doing to deliver the facility of objective to life inside Cisco’s FY23 Goal Report
  • Hear from Brian Tippens and Man Diedrich how we’re persevering with to develop our strategy to optimistic impression in The subsequent one billion lives


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