Over 650 million people live in extreme poverty, all over the world. More than 1.5 billion people lack access to banking and financial services. In fact, about 617 million youth lack basic mathematics and literacy skills. Such a gap has led to inequitable development of people across the world.
Technology is an integral part of our everyday lives today. In the advent to bring about inclusive growth, technological development and technology-enabled solutions are to play a lead role for the establishment of an egalitarian society. Cisco is one company working to improve access to such tech-based solutions that can address some of these gaps and power an equitable and inclusive future.
Cisco’s innovative model for social investment
Cisco has designed a four-phase social investment model that focuses on helping non-profits in serving the communities better, specifically by scaling up the technological solutions that are in their early phase but have the potential to ensure inclusive growth and empowerment for all. This is unique for the reason that investors do not support solutions which are in early-phase as they are considered to be high-risk investments.
These social investments are focused in areas where the believes its technology and people can make the biggest impact: education, economic empowerment, and critical human needs such as food, water, housing and disaster response. This has been demonstrated effectively in the company’s support to Living Goods a non-profit in Kenya and Uganda, which provides affordable healthcare to families, and an income to more than 10,000 community health workers through a mobile platform.
According to Cisco, which funded the development of the mobile platform, Living Goods today serves 8.8 million people and has reduced the mortality rate for children under age 5 by 27 per cent (based on a randomized controlled trial in Uganda). The organization has been acknowledged for building an innovative double-bottom line model, empowering local health workers to earn an income while dramatically improving the health and well-being of people living in poverty. COVID-19 assessments are now built into Living Good’s existing app, supporting governments with prevention, monitoring and response.
Cisco’s Collaboration with MIND Research Institute
MIND Research Institute is a non-profit social impact organization specializing in neuroscience and education research. Its mission is to mathematically equip all students to solve the world’s most challenging problems. It is the creator of ST Math, a visual instructional program that leverages the brain’s innate spatial-temporal reasoning ability to solve mathematical problems. Educators across the U.S. use this program with students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade.
Cisco has collaborated with the non-profit to provide access to the tool to the underserved yet deserving students across the world. The idea is to strengthen STEM education in the world that will further enable more technological development and innovations. The company has been a capacity-building partner for MIND for over a decade, helping it reach 1.2 million students with ST Math.