How do we as a planet go from poverty to prosperity? From hunger to abundance? From vulnerable to protected? These are some of our most complex challenges, and they will take a sustained, collective effort to solve.
But around the world, global problem solvers – individuals, businesses, and other organizations — are using technology to find creative solutions.
With the power to create a bridge between what’s hoped for and what can be, technology is a driving force for change more than ever before.
For example, in India social-enterprise Anudip trains rural women and youth who are educated but have limited employment prospects on technology skills that are in high-demand, allowing them to break the cycle of poverty. Anudip has trained more than 85,000 people since 2007, helping 75% of them to start careers in technology.
NetHope, a nonprofit organization that uses technology and network connectivity to empower underserved communities, helps countries and communities to reestablish communications after natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes. For example, after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico last year, NetHope established public wifi in more than 70 locations throughout the island, facilitating relief efforts and allowing citizens and local businesses to communicate with the outside world again.
In Africa, social enterprise Living Goods is using mobile technology to help local women create a livelihood by becoming “health promoters,” selling hygiene products and other items much in demand in their communities. As of 2014, Living Goods was supporting 1,300 health promoters who served a population of roughly one million. Living Goods is currently working toward the goal of reaching 6,000 health promoters who will serve more than five million people.
Also in Africa, Dimension Data is helping conservation-minded organizations to use innovative networking solutions to turn the tide against poaching and protect endangered rhinos and elephants. Instead of tagging and tracking the animals, the connected conversation solution monitors human activity in and near reserves to give rangers the advance warning they need to protect these species. Initial pilot programs have reduced poaching by 96%, and Dimension Data is looking to expand the solution to other species and other continents.
International technology company Cisco believes in the power of technology to help solve the world’s biggest challenges, and supports all these global problem solvers through partnerships or donations of equipment, expertise, or cash grants. It’s all part of Cisco’s goal to positively impact one billion lives through digital solutions by 2025. Cisco just released a new video that highlights how the next generation can use technology to address global challenges, and you can watch it above.
With all these efforts and many others, Cisco aims to build a bridge between what’s hoped for and what can be. It strives to be the architect of possibility, the builder of the bridge to possible.