DAILY NEWS May 1, 2013 3:55 PM - 0 comments

TelePresence and Collaborative Video Technologies Empower Free The Children

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Tech company Cisco and Canadian telecom provider Telus are helping Free The Children expand its global reach by deploying video tools to boost access to its inspiring leaders.

Using donated technologies from Cisco and Telus, Free The Children has gained new capabilities and mobility for its staff to help achieve their mission of empowering youth to be active global and local citizens, now including a greater ability to connect, collaborate and stay mobile.

Free The Children’s co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, are well-known for their dynamic organization, which has inspired a generation into service, and their ability to make strong connections with youth, governments and leaders around the world.

These meaningful connections are critical to the success of Free The Children, as demanding schedules can make it difficult for the co-founders to stay connected.

The organization is headquartered in Toronto, but it has local and regional offices around the world.

From global employee meetings and speaking engagements to reporting from the field, Cisco TelePresence and Jabber Video will enable Craig, Marc and the entire Free The Children team to make direct, live, face-to-face connections with anyone from anywhere in the world.

“Cisco TelePresence technology will revolutionize the way we interact with our staff, offices and youth around the world,” said Marc Kielburger. “We are truly thankful to Cisco and TELUS for their support and generosity and for helping us leverage technology to stay better connected as an organization and create programs with a truly global reach.”

TelePresence technology has already begun to revolutionize the way Free The Children and its regional offices operate. From training, to interviews, to information sessions, the technology has helped drastically reduce travel costs to the organization and has also improved relations between Free The Children’s regional office staff and staff based in Toronto. It has enabled all staff to make connections with colleagues spread across the country in a way that is not possible through email and traditional telephone lines. Free The Children has also used the collaboration technology extensively in providing professional development to regional staff following their initial training period in Toronto and, as a result, has improved programming provided to clients and stakeholders across the globe.

Six Cisco TelePresence EX90 units, WebEx Telepresence and Jabber Video have been deployed and are being utilized by the organization.

WebEx Telepresence, a cloud-based service, is an application that extends the reach of telepresence. WebEx Telepresence works with a compatible PC or Mac and a webcam or Cisco TelePresence PrecisionHD camera to provide high-definition video communications to more people, on more devices, from more places. WebEx Telepresence can connect to telepresence systems, resulting in a wider community of colleagues, partners, and business customers.

Free The Children was founded by Craig Kielburger in 1995 when he gathered eleven friends to begin fighting child labour at age 12. It has since grown into an international charity focused on educating, empowering and engaging youth in North America and the United Kingdom with the tools, knowledge and network to create meaningful change in the world through awareness building, fundraising and volunteerism.

Free The Children’s outreach programs include large stadium events called “We Day” which bring together a generation of youth to create a movement of young people committed to leading local and global change.

In 2012 Telus entered into a five-year support and sponsorship partnership with Free The Children.


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