The Internet of Everything and the Case of Barcelona Smart City Proposed by Cisco Networking Academy

The Cisco Networking Academy Partner Summit 2014 took place on the 22 and the 23 of October in Barcelona. Established in 1997, Cisco NetAcad is a non-commercial ICT programme with 10,000 academies in 165 countries which has contributed 348 million euros in-kind contribution to education since its inception in Europe. Cisco is a partner of the “Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs”, an EU-wide multi-skateholder partnership launched by the European Commision, with the aim of increasing the Number of ICT skulled professionals by 2015, so that shortage is resolved by 2020.

“We firmly believe that combined efforts by the Government, Business, and Academia to train people to gain the necessary skills can combat youth unemployment and will ensure the sucess of the European economy and society”, Piotr Pluta, Senior Manager Affairs at Cisco Systems.

During the Networking Academy Partner Summit, Cisco NetAcad announced the first global “Internet of Everything” (IoE) curriculum. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, there is the need for transformative educational programs that enables learners to resolve challenges related to sustainable development that concern all humanity. In a globalized world, education is expected to facilitate international cooperation and promote social transformation. And with increasing interconnectedness, the main subject of the “Introduction of the Internet of Everything” course is focused in ICT skills development and empowerment of the next generations of innovators.

Elena M. Esquinal, CSR Spain, adds, “There are not any prerequisites for taking our courses. Students do not need previous experience to enroll because Networking Academy methodology integrates four skill areas identified by education researchers as critical for 21st century workers: problem solving and decision making; creative and critical thinking; collaboration, communication and negotiation; and intellectual curiosity and information handling.”

At the dawn of the third millennium, talking about education means adopting a new epistemological perspective that enables a holistic understanding of the complex problems derived from economic, political and socio-cultural globalization. In this sense, the ambitious Cisco Netwworking Academy IoE curriculum is an important initiative which aims to provide future generations with a new overview for the future. After more than 9,000 instructors have trained around 1,500,000 students in the last years, the “Introduction to the Internet of Everything” course will discuss the Internet and its evolution to the interconnection of people, processes, data, and things that forms the Internet of Everything. That is, an extensive cosmic matrix in which everything is in perpetual movement and structuring energetically, confirming that this unity of the world-society is not static. Currently offered in english, the course will be available in five further languages (Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) and rolled out progressively from Spring 2015 onwards. 

Thereby, the multidisciplinary curriculum of Cisco NetAcad is in accordance with the First International UNESCO ForumGlobal Citizenship Education: Preparing Learners for the Challenge of the 21st Century celebrated in Bangkok last year 2013 to support the campaign launched by the Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, the “Global Education First Initiative“. As it can be read at the points 1.2.1 and 3.1.3 cited in the document “Global Citizenship Education: An Emerging Perspective“:

1.2.1. Phenomenal advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs) have enabled people to connect and interact with others around the globe anywhere, anytime. This has contributed to an intensified perception and reality of being inter-connected and living beyond local perimeters, albeit virtually.

3.1.3. There is a need to support youthled initiatives. Partners with civil society are also need. Utilisation of new ITCs is critical. New Approaches may meet with reservation and/or resistance. An emerging perspective on global citizenship education, however, maintains the need for stakeholders and actors to be open to different, but effective venues and solutions.

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But, how could we create new virtual spaces that can support youth leadership and can constitute effective solutions for the formulation of a truly transformation of the current economical, epistemological, political, educational, and human crisis? Evidently, answering that question represents a challenge that will be addressed from a new philosophical and geopolitical worldview that makes a special emphasis on the inseparable interdependence of local-global and global-local dimensions. A new worldview integrated in the motto of Cisco NetAcad, where the Internet is not just another variable of the famous Human Development Index, but an emerging element which allows people to restructure and reformulate the complexity of global problems presents nowadays. In words of Laura Quintana, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs:
“This connected network presents a huge opportunity for the technology industry and could transform how we do business, consume goods and go about our daily lives. However, realisisng this potential depends on individuals having the skills and knowledge to harness the opportunities provided by IoE. Our new IoE curriculum offers a fantastic springboard for anyone wanting to seize this opportunity”

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Laura Quintana and Piotr Pluta congratulating Gratitude Kudyachete (South Africa Cisco Academy).

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Every year, one million Networking Academy students worldwide gain the skills needed to build, design, and maintain computer networks; improving their carrer prospects while filling the global demand for networking professionals. Using the cases of Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Edison as examples, Giuseppe Cinque, Product Manager IoE, comments “they are examples to inspire our youth people to be part of this development and make sure that technological possible solutions also have the societal value that is needed to solve today´s problems and challenges“. 

.Future is Software-based“, adds John Baekelmans, chief technology officer of the Internet of Everything Solutions Group. “Business models will be cloud-centric and hosted. Every week there are more than 50,000 new applications for our tablets and smart phones, an extraordinary number compared with 250 books per week“, adds visionary Baekelmans.

John baekelmans, cisco, internet of everything, smart cities, global education magazine
“It seems fitting to announce this course in the city of Barcelona, which has thoroughly embraced the Internet of everything, creating 47,000 jobs related to the “smart” city. We hope the initiative will be part of a global movement to give the next generation the skills to meet soaring demand for networking job roles, and become part of a phenomenon, which will change the world”.
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John Baekelmans, chief technology officer of the Internet of Everything Solutions Group
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.Effectively, one of the most exciting prospects around the Internet of Everything is the idea of “smart cities“. Cisco System has been actively working with numerous cities to make the connected smart city a reality. London, San Francisco, Chicago, Copenhagen and Barcelona are just few examples.
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smartcity Barcelona, Juan Blanco, Joan Ramon Ferrer, CISCO, Global Education Magazine
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Juan Blanco and Joan Ramón Ferrer talking about Barcelona Smart City
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Joan Ramon Ferrer i Escoda, Director of Smart Cities and Deputy CIO, explains:
“Our project is about a city model focused in the services for the citizens of the next 20 years. If you take a look into the future, everything will be around the technology. For us, Barcelona Smart City means the 5.0 transformation in the city: 1.0 was the Roman city, 2.0 the Medieval city, 3.0 the Industrial Revolution, and the last one was the 4.0 for the Olympic Games in 1992.”

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containers with sensors, barcelona smart city, cisco, global education magazine “We are installing sensors in the containers which have an important economic and sustainable impact. They are informing about the percent of garbage there is inside of them and it allows the creation of dynamics routes for the responsible companies, which only pick up full containers. This means safe more than 30% of current economical costs, where such routes are fixed“, highlights Juan Blanco, Senior Cisco Technologies.
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In conclusion, in a world which population will exceed 9 billion by 2050 (70% living in cities), I want to express my belief in the transforming power of education and its energy to build new peaceful and sustainable horizons. In times of economic, epistemological, political, educational and human crises, the Internet of Everything formulated by Cisco NetAcad represents a pioneer proposal to develop new multidimensional synergies of glocal nature to achieve the future Sustainable Development Goals proposed in the post-2015 Development Agenda of the United Nations, because they are systemic, interconnected and interdependent targets: just like our own neuronal connections in our brains. 

Therefore, it is necessary to foresee the future to be ready when it arrives, because smart cities, quantum computers, Artificial Intelligence, nano-technology, contact lens with Internet access, the genetic mutation of DNA, and travels in space will radically change our habits in a short period of time: contextualizing human beings in a new paradigm. Without any doubt, platforms as the Cisco NetAcad make possible the emergence of a new future paradigm for the world-society. I Invite you all to find me there.

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Javier Collado Ruano
Director of Edition

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