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Cisco reaches goal of impacting one billion lives early
Fri, 8th Dec 2023

Cisco, the worldwide tech leader, has achieved its ambitious goal of having a significant impact in the lives of one billion people, a year ahead of its scheduled completion. Set by Cisco Chair and chief executive officer Chuck Robbins in 2016, the intention was to reach the milestone by 2025 by using its technology to make a tangible difference globally.

By exceeding the goal early, Cisco has shown its commitment to using technology for the betterment of communities around the world. It has channelled investments into non-profit organisations through its Social Impact grants and Networking Academy, providing resources to develop and scale tech-based solutions. These intended solutions address crucial challenges facing vulnerable and underserved populations worldwide.

Simultaneously, Cisco has collaborated with local and national governments to empower communities with IT skills, contributing to the development of future workforces and promoting digital inclusion. Cisco Foundation and the company's dedicated employees had a considerable role in achieving this objective which was accurately monitored by a rigorous tracking methodology.

Fran Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy and Purpose Officer at Cisco, commented: “Our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all, and this milestone is an important moment in our long history as an impact-focused company.” Nearly a decade in making, the achievement marks a considerable landmark in Ciscos’s endeavours, pushing the company towards advancing its global scaling efforts.

The Cisco Networking Academy plays a significant role in the achievement of this goal, having trained 5.3 million learners in the Asia Pacific region over a period of 26 years. The academy reached a historic milestone during the fiscal year 2023 by providing training for one million individuals in the region. The academy offers crucial digital skills consisting of networking, cybersecurity, and data science. Amid the cyber threats of the digital era, most of FY23's students elected to take cybersecurity courses over other curriculums.

Commenting on the crucial role of digitisation in today’s societies, Guy Diedrich, SVP and Global Innovation Officer at Cisco, said: “Education remains the lynchpin to sustaining innovation and digital transformation for generations to come.” He added that Cisco encapsulates pride of the breakthrough it represents, though it comprehends there is significantly more work to fulfil in empowering communities through technology and creating equal opportunities through education.

The accomplishment echoes from the annual Purpose Report released by Cisco. Highlighting its effect, goals, and progress on ESG topics such as environmental sustainability, social impact, digital access, philanthropy, supply chain, security, privacy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Celebrating its 25th year, the Cisco Networking Academy features in the report, shining a light on its efforts towards providing digital and cybersecurity skills training to over 20 million people in 190 countries.