Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Cisco UK Girl Power Tech Event 2015 at WWF Cisco Living Planet Centre

April 23, 2015

 Written by the Cisco Girl Power tech team

Can technology help conservation and environmental sustainability issues? How is it possible for technology to help these real issues? That is the same question 70 students had when attending Cisco UK  Girls in IT day event on 22nd April 2015 at WWF’s Living Planet Centre. The day was focused on how the internet of everything is currently solving the challenges of conservation and in the future support some of the research projects and challenges organisations like WWF are facing.

IMG_1700The day started with Jon Ashley explaining who we are and what we do at Cisco with the internet of everything. We then moved onto Sarah Eccleston who was explaining to the girls if they love fashion, music, food – then there is a career in technology for them from wearable tech to new supply chain models for supermarkets. Andrea Berriman from WWF explained who and what the organisation does, which is much more than animal conservation, in fact they are using technology to save our oceans and forests with connected trees.

After a short break Philip Whiteside and Tom Davies gave a short talk surrounding Telepresence before the students experienced one for themselves. We dialed into Bedfont Lakes where Katherine Eilertsen demonstrated Green Screen technology, making it a fun and interactive session for the students.

The students then moved to speed networking where they got to meet our Cisco volunteers ranging from different levels of seniority in different departments. This enabled the students to understand the variety of roles that exist within Cisco from a wide range of people with many different experiences.

IMG_1691After lunch, the students sat through a presentation around how the IoE is relevant to us which then led onto their Dragons
Den task. They were challenged with designing an app that would help reduce their impact on the environment. After thinking about ideas in their groups, it was time to present them to our 5 dragons. Ideas ranged from taking a picture of a
room in your house and the image showing a heatmap effect of the carbon footprint with links and tips to reduce it, to finding the most eco-friendly method to get somewhere including the use of etickets and points for prizes, to maps locating bins when out and about showing which items can be thrown away and which should be recycled.

After much thought and consideration, the drgaons decided the winning idea was Table 11, who came up with taking a photo and a heatmap showing areas of high carbon footprint.

This is a big thank you to everyone who participated in the day from Cisco, WWF and Spark. We would also like to say a massive thank you to the following schools: St Peter’s School in Guildford, Cranford Community College, Feltham Community College and Grey Court School from Richmond. It’s the biggest event we have run for our participation in Girls in IT and we are all incredibly proud of its success!



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  1. Im so proud of everyone who helped to make this event a success. The many hours spent planning and organising it definitely payed off, with students experiencing a fun filled, acation packed day. It’s times like these I remember how proud I feel to work for Cisco and be involved in such events.