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Press Release -- March 15th, 2013
Source: Cisco Systems

San Francisco Mayor to Create Technology History by Virtually Leading US Parade from Cork through Cisco TelePresence

Cork to Mark St Patrick’s Weekend with Move to Become Global Smart and Connected City

Cork, Ireland and San Francisco, USA, Thursday, 14th March 2013: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will make history this weekend by leading the US city’s parade from Cork.

Mayor Lee will march in the St Patrick’s Day Cork parade, and on the previous day (Saturday 16th ) using Cisco TelePresence will virtually lead the San Francisco parade via a live stream to the crowds watching on their mobile devices and smartphones in San Francisco’s Civic Plaza.    To view the broadcast including traditional music and dancing from Cork in Ireland, tune in starting at 13.30pm PDT / 20.30 pm Irish time to  Download the Ustream app on your mobile device for the optimal viewing experience, and join in on Twitter using the hashtag #StPatricksDay

It’s the first time a Mayor will lead St Patrick’s Day parades on both sides of the Atlantic, and it’s just one part of a fun and technology packed weekend that could see Cork become a ‘future city’.

“The ability to virtually lead the San Francisco St Patrick’s parade from Cork is just one example of the exciting opportunities which today’s technology creates,” commented Tim Lucey, Cork City Manager.  “This follows on the recent success of the ITLG Conference which took place in City Hall, Cork in January and which saw over 40 US investors and senior executives take part.   We aim to explore the opportunities that new technology such as this provides for the benefit of jobs, business and citizens in Cork.”

Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor John Buttimer added,  “I am delighted to welcome Mayor Lee and his official delegation from San Francisco to Cork for our St Patrick’s Festival. The fact that Mayor Lee has chosen Cork for his first international visit shows the strength of the twinning relationship between Cork and San Francisco. I am very excited to be addressing the St Patricks Day parade in San Francisco from Cork with Mayor Lee and I look forward to the weekend’s events.”

“Ireland has a city centric population. Globally world populations are shifting to urban centres. As a result community leaders are increasingly pressed for answers to problems including budget and resource constraints, aging infrastructure and the impact of global warming,” commented Adam Grennan, Cisco Ireland general manager. “Cisco Smart+Connected Communities solutions use intelligent networking capabilities to bring together people, services, community assets and information to help community leaders address these world challenges.”

The programme will explore how Cork can most cost effectively implement a Smart+ Connected Community for the benefit of the city and the country.  Programmes in other cities include walk in centres where entrepreneurs and other business people can use the latest video conferencing technology to connect with prospects and customers globally.

In San Francisco, Cisco is collaborating with the city to develop several Smart+Connected Community projects aligned with the vision of a ‘Sustainable 21st Century San Francisco’ which builds on the memorandum of understanding signed with California Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom during his visit to Cisco’s Bangalore campus in 2009.  The Connected Urban Development program, which has been jointly promoted by Cisco and the city since 2006, was born from Cisco’s commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to reduce carbon emissions.  The Urban EcoMap initiative is an extension of the engagement between Cisco and the City and County of San Francisco, resulting in projects such as the Urban EcoMap and the Connected Bus.

Also as part of the St Patrick’s Day Telepresence broadcast, Cisco, in conjunction with the Irish Technology Leadership Group, will announce the 2013 Cisco Transatlantic CoderDojo Software Innovation Challenge, a competition for CoderDojo kids. CoderDojo is a youth club movement teaching children aged seven to 17 about software, programming and technology.  The competition, which is open to children here and in the US, has a $5,000 prize fund for the winning individual or team.

Barry O’Sullivan, senior vice president, Cisco, said, “Cisco is always looking at ways to encourage young people to get involved in science, technology, engineering and maths, and CoderDojo is one exciting way for children to get their first taste of tech.  It’s initiatives like these which can spark a lifelong interest and create the tech stars of tomorrow.”

James Whelton, co-founder of CoderDojo, said, “Cisco is the largest networking company in the world, responsible for much of the internet’s architecture and the software that drives it. The “Cisco Transatlantic CoderDojo Challenge” is a great way for kids to gain a better understanding of the software and code that makes the internet work, how to leverage it and shape it’s future.”

Supporting resources:

  • To watch the live stream of the TelePresence session between the Imperial Hotel in Cork and City Hall in San Francisco, please visit starting from 13.30 pm PDT on Saturday March 16th (20.30pm Irish time).  Viewers may watch on desktop computers or smart phones and tablet devices.
  • Join in the conversation and enjoy the festivities on Twitter using the hashtag #StPatricksDay
  • On Sept 26, 2012 Cisco announced the acquisition of ThinkSmart Technologies, headquartered in Cork, Ireland. ThinkSmart’s location analytics technology complements Cisco’s networking infrastructure and expertise by providing location analytics to customers to more effectively analyze end user behaviour. To learn more visit this blog.

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