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Cisco’s New Purpose: Power an Inclusive Future for All


Cisco Systems has a new purpose -- "Power an Inclusive Future for All" -- and four related initiatives designed to deliver on that purpose, CEO Chuck Robbins says.

During a keynote at Cisco Live 2020 and in a related blog, Robbins said the networking giant realizes that the company's responsibilities don't end with technology. "It’s now about making the world we envision possible," he said. "Over the past six months, we came to the conclusion that our new purpose is to Power an Inclusive Future for All."

Multiple technology giants have escalated their social equality initiatives since a Minneapolis police officer was charged with murdering George Floyd in May.

But Robbins and Cisco were active on the social equality front even before much of the technology industry woke up to the issue. In a November 2019 Cisco Partner Summit keynote, Robbins called on the technology industry to tackle social and community issues together.

Cisco Builds Four Pillars for Social Good

Maria Martinez
Maria Martinez, EVP, Cisco Systems
Liz Centoni, SVP and GM, Cisco Systems
Fran Katsoudas, Cisco Systems

Tae You, TK, Cisco Systems

Fast forward to present day. Cisco has spent the past six months carefully developing a new framework for "how we will guide our decisions in how we respond to what we see as a crisis, an injustice or a global challenge."

Those efforts now focus on four primary pillars of response, Robbins says:

  1. The Most Vulnerable, led by Tae Yoo, SVP, Corporate Affairs, will focus on the non-profits and partners that support underserved communities and those disproportionately impacted by systemic issues and crises.
  2. Families and Community, led by Fran Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People Officer, will focus on expanding care and well-being services beyond our employees.
  3. Research and Resilience, led by Liz Centoni, SVP Emerging Technologies & Incubation, will focus on technology solutions that can advance healthcare research and address social inequities.
  4. Strategic Recovery, led by Maria Martinez, EVP and Chief Customer Experience Officer, will focus on helping healthcare and education institutions adapt their operations so they can continue to provide care to impacted communities and critical pathways to job opportunities during times of uncertainty.

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Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.