Top Performers Join Cisco Systems and UNDP  to Help End Extreme Poverty

Business Wire  Thursday, August 12, 1999 2:25PM

SAN JOSE, Calif. and NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 12, 1999

First Global Integration of TV, the Internet and Events for Social Change; Long-Term Initiative to Demonstrate the Internet's Power to Fight World's Worst Poverty

Cisco Systems and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today announced a world-class line up of entertainers scheduled to perform in NetAid, a long-term initiative created by the two organizations to help end the growing problem of extreme poverty.

NetAid will bring together for the first time the power of the Internet, the global reach of television and radio, and the energy and impact of world-renowned artists and producers to inspire action against one of the world's most serious problems.

Each of the artists will perform a set at one of the three overlapping NetAid concerts on October 9 at Giants Stadium in New York, Wembley Stadium in London and The Palais des Nations in Geneva. The scheduled artists include:

Bush, The Corrs,  Counting Crows, Celine Dion, Eurythmics, Wyclef Jean with Bono, Jewel , Michael Kamen and Orchestra, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Robbie Williams

A limited number of artists will be added to the shows.

The concerts will be one of the most widely broadcast programs for social change in history. VH1 and MTV will broadcast the concerts in the US, and BBC television and radio will carry them in the UK. Radio Express will distribute a radio feed of the concerts worldwide, and negotiations are in progress for additional television rights around the world.

The entire program also will be webcast live on two channels - one carrying the concert, the second showing backstage scenes.
Tickets will go on sale beginning on August 24 for the Wembley show, and on September 8 for the Giants Stadium concert. A total of 110,000 tickets will be available for the two shows. The Geneva concert is by invitation only.

"NetAid is a new Internet model for social change that will combine cutting edge technology with the world's best artistic talent and poverty-fighting expertise," said Don Listwin, executive vice president of Cisco
Systems. "Just as the Internet has revolutionized business, the Internet can help lift the hopes of communities in need by bringing ideas, people and resources together in ways never thought possible. NetAid will use the largest scale Internet technology ever deployed to tackle one of the world's largest problems."

The technology employed by NetAid is unique in scale and integration. It includes one of the world's most powerful web sites,, that will launch September 8, creating opportunities for people to learn,
contribute time and money, exchange ideas and expertise, and join with those leading the fight against extreme poverty.

The site, which will continue indefinitely after the concerts, will have capacity to handle 125,000 simultaneous live streams, about 10 times the scale of any other streaming site, and 60 million hits per hour - 10 times the peak of the last Olympics and 1998 Men's World Cup.

To manage this traffic, NetAid will employ a distributed network of more than 1,500 servers in over 90 locations worldwide. KPMG, a leading Internet integrator, is building the web site. Akamai Technologies is serving the site content using its Internet content delivery system. Both companies are sponsors of NetAid and are donating enormous amounts of time and technology.

Real Networks is supporting the webcast.

The integration of the webcast, web site, television and radio will give audiences unprecedented flexibility, enabling them to enjoy the same program through different media, access a rich diversity of information,
and choose their own means to fight extreme poverty. At the same time, the integration will create unique synergies to enhance NetAid's effectiveness.

For instance, people watching on TV or via webcast will be prompted by artists and film packages to click online to learn more about certain efforts to address poverty, take action or join with leading UN agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator for UNDP said, "Unfortunately, extreme poverty is on the rise. The existing tools and resources to combat the world's worst poverty are clearly insufficient. NetAid will be a lasting weapon that will help mobilize people that were not involved previously, and create new virtual
communities that will work together to eradicate extreme poverty."

Cisco is underwriting the cost of NetAid, managing with UNDP the overall program, and leading the development and coordination of its technology and marketing. Goldberg, Moser, O'Neill is working on a pro bono public service campaign for print media, and Miller Huber Relationship Marketing is donating
services for an online marketing program.

UNDP is developing content for the web site, drawing on its global network, partner UN agencies and non-governmental organizations. UNDP will be responsible for the management of the web site following the concerts.

The team of producers responsible for NetAid's entertainment have led many of the world's largest philanthropic efforts such as Live Aid, We Are the World and Hands Across America. They include David Goldberg, Harvey Goldsmith, Ken Kragen, Don Mischer and Jeff Pollack. The shows will begin at 5pm EDT in New York, 5pm local time in London and 10 pm local time in Geneva.

In addition to the live performances, many of the artists involved with NetAid also will contribute to short documentary packages about successful anti-poverty programs. Academy Award-winning producer, June
Beallor, is producing the documentaries. These packages will help educate the NetAid audience about extreme poverty and also drive traffic to the web site.

NetAid leaders are establishing The NetAid Foundation to disburse the net proceeds from the initiative on an ongoing basis to fight extreme poverty worldwide. Proceeds from the October 9 concerts will be disbursed to help two specific populations living in extreme poverty: the refugees of Kosovo and African

More than one billion people around the world live in extreme poverty, on less than the equivalent of one dollar per day.

NetAid will help channel support and activism to address several key issues that are major causes of extreme poverty, including: basic needs such as food and shelter, helping refugees and other displaced victims of war and disasters, securing human rights, preserving the quality of the environment and natural resources and relieving debts of poor nations.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

Through a unique network of 134 country offices, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) helps people in 174 countries and territories to help themselves, focusing on poverty elimination, environmental regeneration, job creation and the advancement of women.

In support of these goals, UNDP is frequently asked to assist in promoting sound governance and market devlopment and to support rebuilding societies in the aftermath of war and humanitarian emergencies.

For additional information visit

(For more information please log on to For more detailed information on the technology for NetAid, please refer to the separate technology press release available on the forementioned web site.)

CONTACT: NetAid, Washington, Bob Chlopak, 202/289-5900
NetAid, Los Angeles Elizabeth Riel, 310/394-1222
Cisco Jeanette Gibson, 408/525-8965
UNDP   Djibril Diallo, 212/906-5300

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