Cisco Partners with COP 26 To Counter Climate Change

Climate Change is a critical problem for the world. At a recent conference for The World Talent Economic Forum, we highlighted that fighting Climate Change requires a global effort.  These efforts must also address inequality so that solutions don’t unfairly hurt emerging countries while benefitting rich nations.  To address this joint issue, Cisco is partnering with COP26, the UN-backed Global Climate Conference occurring in Glasgow beginning on October 31st.  

Given the pandemic increases the risks, particularly for most older politicians likely to attend this event, Cisco’s technology will be critical to providing safe forums for discussion and secure debating and voting tools at the event.  These technologies will be critical to any progress in creating inclusive solutions or mitigation policies that can result in meaningful worldwide change.  

Let’s talk about how Cisco is uniquely enabling one of the most powerful debates on climate change on a global level ever to occur.

The need for safe collaboration

When debating a highly controversial and economically divisive topic like climate change, particularly during a pandemic, a great deal of care has to be taken to secure communications tools so activists and agencies that stand against the majority can’t corrupt the process.  Regardless of their negative impacts on climate change, many existing petrochemical companies and countries tied tightly to this market want to limit or eliminate any progress that would adversely impact their revenues.  

In addition, activists who believe the process is inherently corrupt or want to bring attention to their unique view of this problem are motivated to break in very high authentication accuracy is critical to the success of the event and related technical solution  Finally, we live in a time when those who want to disrupt events like this for monetary gain or just visibility are at an all-time high. Some of these hostile entities, governments or large companies, have considerable resources they can call on to disrupt this effort.  

Therefore, the partner company(s) must have the scale to deal with over 25K active delegates at the event and secure it against aggressive attackers, some operating at a national level.  This dynamic requires a company that is trusted broadly by many attendees and has proved capability in line with the exposure so that the related risk is not unreasonable.  

Why Cisco is the ideal (only?) choice

Cisco’s CDA (Country Digital Acceleration) program is the only program of its type that focuses both on establishing trust at a national level and on prioritizing that trust over revenue.  This program has created an unmatched level of trust that extends internationally. Most of the related deployments have focused on communications between large government organizations needing an exceptional level of security and reliability.  

This combination has created not only an extraordinary level of trust between a large number of governments and Cisco but focused that trust on Cisco’s communications tools, making them uniquely both the most capable and least risky vendor to partner with for an event of this scale and type.  

Cisco’s Legislate for Webex is the version of the Webex platform that focuses on security hybrid discussions between government policymakers.  This unique government-focused solution assures those remote policymakers protecting their health are not disadvantaged and can participate equally with their on-premise peers.  Cisco partners ITGL and Davra were instrumental in helping modify Legislate for Webex to meet the unique needs of COP26.  

One of the issues with conferences like this is that the remote attendees can’t participate in ad-hoc discussions.  This lack of side conversations is a weakness in almost every solution.  But Legislate for Webex uniquely facilitates ad-hoc discussions with secured break-out Webex sessions. Live interpretation and closed captioning will also be available as required, ensuring everyone can participate in their language. “Cisco has developed the most inclusive platform for participants of meetings and events to interact, whether they are attending in-person or virtually,” explained Wendy Mars, Cisco’s President for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Russia, and that is not an overstatement of Webex’s state-of-the-art security combined with Legislate for Webex’s customizable design makes it the ideal platform to host COP26’s future-defining talks.

Other aspects of the solution include live moderation by “digital clerks” that focus on assuring inclusion across all members by using Slido to enhance the live interaction.  While Cisco is providing state-of-the-art video hardware for this event, in the spirit of sustainability, this hardware will be repurposed to eliminate any related technology waste after the event concludes.  

Wrapping up:

There is a critical need for the world to step up and counter climate change while mitigating its effects locally.  For the world to step up, there must be collaboration. Of the available vendors, Cisco was chosen because it has done, through its CDA program, the most work establishing a worldwide foundation of rust critical to this effort. Fran Katsoudas, Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer leads the CDA program and this team has proved itself uniquely suited and ideally positioned to help with this critical worldwide effort at COP26.