Exposing the Best-Kept Secret: Doing Good Behind Closed Doors

Sep 24, 2012 8:15 AM ET

By Mary Anne Petrillo Sr. Marketing Manager, Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility & Executive Producer, GETideas.org

Doing good is not that easy, and sustaining good on a grand scale is almost impossible. But once again it is being done at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, Sept 22 to 24. I like to say it’s a place where highly influential people go behind closed doors to do good.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, CGI convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI annual meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and nongovernmental organizations, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries.

As part of our involvement in CGI, Cisco along with several nonprofit, NGO, and government partners, made a 4-year investment to support ICT-driven development strategies in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa — primarily through establishment of locally managed and self-sustaining community knowledge centers (CKCs).

I don’t often get to rub elbows with renowned leaders or ex-presidents at events like CGI. But as an employee of Cisco working on CSR I don’t have to because I have a front-row seat to the good being done around the world. On September 24, I get to throw open the doors so the whole world can see not just what we are doing, but what innovators, nonprofits, and others are doing to create social good, when we launch IMPACT X, a new editorial hub on the Huffington Post.

IMPACT X: Where people, technology and social impact converge

The hub will showcase stories that exemplify the power of collective generosity, creativity, and commitment in a connected age. Where we were once limited to the impact of our individual efforts — with intelligent networks we can now join with others to act collectively, sharing global resources and talents to solve problems far too big for any one of us to solve alone.

Just like the network, which remains invisible to the eye, so too can social innovations remain invisible to the public. Workers who focus on improving the lives of many often forget the power of sharing their stories. Starting this Monday, you can learn more about the hidden good that is going on behind closed doors. You may even be inspired to multiply your own impact and make your job more captivating, too!

Participate in the conversations at #ImpactX                                

Follow on Twitter @CiscoCSR and visit our website at csr.cisco.com