Cisco: Pharrell Williams’ Non-Profit YELLOW and Cisco Unite to Help Reimagine Education

We don’t know much about the workforce today’s 10-year-olds will eventually enter; in fact, The Institute for the Future reports 85% of the jobs today’s students could apply for in 2030 don’t even exist yet. But some things are certain—they will need a solid education to be adaptable, creative, and tech fluent.

Driven by its mission to secure an inclusive future for all, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is partnering with multiple Grammy award-winning musician, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Pharrell Williams to provide technology centered around connectivity, collaboration and security at Williams’ school, YELLOWHAB.

Through YELLOW, Williams wants to “EVEN THE ODDS” for all students to make sure the next generation has the tools and resources they need to succeed, especially under-resourced youth. To that end, he created YELLOWHAB, a microschool that gives students an immersive learning experience based on skill, not age.

“This partnership between YELLOW and Cisco will take the education of our students at YELLOWHAB to the next level,” says Pharrell Williams. “I look forward to our youth experiencing education through Cisco’s state of the art technology which will continuously expand their lens of possibility through which they see themselves, their community, and their futures.”

Cisco Chair and CEO, Chuck Robbins, ties YELLOW’s mission to Cisco’s company purpose: “Cisco’s purpose is to power an inclusive future for all, which includes empowering future generations and making a positive impact on communities around the world. It’s critical that we work together with local partners to ensure that today’s youth learn and realize their potential in a digital age. Everyone needs access to experiential learning, and we’re proud to work with Pharrell and YELLOW to reach historically marginalized communities and close the digital divide.”

Named after Williams’ non-profit, YELLOW, and “HAB” after their space inspiration of a natural habitat where you learn and grow, YELLOWHAB is located in Norfolk, Virginia, offering small learning cohorts and personalized, competency-based curriculum emphasizing entrepreneurship, arts, culture, and STEM to encourage the skills and mindsets students need to thrive in school and in their local community.

The school will use Cisco’s technology including: The Webex Suite, Secure X, WiFi-6, Meraki, data centers, and DNA Spaces. This technology will:  

Build a networking foundation to provide an inclusive and hybrid learning environment
Drive continued learning anywhere with online classes and video office hours via Webex
Protect student and educator personal information and data
Keep kids connected when learning goes beyond the walls of the classroom
Help fuel innovative research and immersive collaboration