Cisco Live 2020: A Celebration of the People Behind the Networks

Cisco Live 2020

Cisco Live 2020 gathered the best and the brightest IT minds to connect, explore, and learn during the event. Cisco has been a leading organisation in the networking space for as long as I remember. According to the Cisco Newsroom, Cisco Live has existed since 1990. However, from my personal experience with the Cisco Live events and teams who work within it – it’s not actually the technology that makes Cisco Live stand out; it’s the focus and celebration of the people.

A Celebration of People

My first experience with Cisco Live was back in spring 2015. I had received a notice that I was invited to join the Cisco Live Dream Team, to take part in building the Cisco Live San Diego network in time for this massive event. Fast forward a few years, and here I am a continued part of the Cisco Live social media Twitter fans, constant remote attendee, and fellow Cisco Champion member for the last four years. What has made me stay? Again, it’s the celebration of the people behind the network, the focus on humans and building solutions that work for them – not against.

Completely Virtual 2020

Cisco Live 2020 was a completely virtual event, which I can imagine the behind-the-scenes teams worked hard to put together. Further to this, after seeing what world events were going on, Cisco Live respectfully delayed for two weeks and donated $5 million to charities associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. All this, while the world rose in pain and protest, and mourned over the mistreatment of the Black community.

However, when we did come together for the event, it was as if Cisco had re-designed what a virtual conference meant. Four channels of continuous viewing – Possibilities, Innovation, IT Heroes, and IT Leadership. Leaderboards, quizzes and games, full-on social media discussions and connections. There were so many pictures from historic events, discussions, channels to connect, and more – that it never really felt like we were apart.

I mean, I did miss not popping into the world of solutions and meeting up with friends. However, that focus – on the people – stayed the theme from Chuck Robbins’ kick-off keynote to the closing keynote. I listened to a company that stood up and said “no more! The value in life isn’t how great we are, the value is you, the people, the unrecognised, and the persons we are here to support.”

Leading By Example

From working in security and supporting security awareness training, I know a vital piece of how to change the direction of an organisation. It requires top-down support. For example, senior leaders need to believe in their company message.  Not only this, but also to publicly acknowledge and show their dedication. Lead by example. I remember a few years ago there was a bank that shared how to achieve this. To ensure each new starter employee understood the necessity of security at work, they had the CEO record a video of themselves saying just how vital cybersecurity is to them. If they believe it, that’s one thing. However, if they publicly announce their pledge to cybersecurity, they can’t go back on their word without consequence.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins took this to another level on Tuesday, when he said, it was organisations responsibility to build a world that protects the vulnerable. He said, “it’s our role to make an inclusive world.”

Creating An Inclusive Future For All

Cisco’s purpose is to power an inclusive future for all. They wrote this mission statement six months ago and it couldn’t be more relevant today. Their commitment? To drive the most trusted customer experience in the industry with our extraordinary people and technologies.

Simply put, Cisco wants to leverage what we have in our brilliant minds, unique perspectives, and our diverse sets of talents. They want to create a world that regardless of who you are, and where you came from – you are connected to the broader community and provided the capabilities to excel in your way.

The community that is Cisco Live has a life of its own. It’s been the most inclusive and warm team I have ever met. Cisco Live is truly where I launched my global community. I am looking forward to the many more years to come celebrating together. In 2016, I attended the conference virtually.  As I listened, I learned that Cisco committed themselves to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025. It would be interesting to see where they have arrived at with this number by now.

Bringing The Globe Closer Together

Chuck Robbins told us that Cisco has been working hard to not only provide technology to its consumers but really to bridge our 7 billion individual environments to create 1 world together.

Due to the limited time that Cisco Live has over the two days of streaming, they took the time to record hundreds of sessions. They will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months until September. This will provide access to more than 700 videos! All ready for you to watch, listen, ask questions, and expand your knowledge. Stay tuned!

Other cybersecurity blogs by Zoë Rose:

The ABC’s of Public Speaking from Inside Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity’s Best Loved Books

Lighten Your Lockdown: Surviving At Home Edition

Cisco Live 2020: A Celebration of the People Behind the Networks

Zoë Rose

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