Challenge Accepted – Giving Back to the Community

Posted on by Alex Bender

child_waterIf you have been following my recent blog posts you know how closely tied I am to this year’s theme of Share. Learn. Secure.  I believe this is more than just a slogan. It can evolve into a code of conduct we as a community should keep in mind.  Given our profession, we can easily get lost in the “secure” term to only associate with the technology we touch, people we work with and processes we endure during our day jobs.

This year at RSA Conference there will be a lot of “new” for attendees to take in – new spaces, new ways to collaborate and new ways to view content.  However, one of our strongest accomplishments this year for attendees to experience and take part in is RSA Conference’s newly expanded philanthropic efforts onsite at the Moscone Center. These include charity:water and STEM Education Coalition. 


As some of you may know, on Thursday February 27, Scott Harrison Founder and Chief Executive Officer, charity: water will present “The Story of charity: water” keynote address at RSA Conference. Scott will explain how seven years ago he started charity: water with a mission to bring clean drinking water to every person on the planet living without it. Through Scott’s hard work the organization has funded over 9,000 water projects in 20 countries. The remarkable success of charity: water shows us the power of community and technology when focused on a single, shared mission.

RSA Conference is excited to join in that mission. Tuesday – Thursday of conference week, in The Sandbox (Moscone North Room 134), RSA Conference will issue the “charity:water Challenge.”  During this challenge we will look for 300 attendees to walk with a full jerry can of water, simulating the conditions for those who have to struggle for clean water each day. Once the conference reaches our goal of 300 people, RSA Conference will fund two water projects in Nepal, each of which will serve 400 students.

STEM Education Coalition

On Wednesday, February 26, Taylor Wilson will take the keynote stage to discuss his keen interest in science sparked at an early age. From the construction of a nuclear reactor, to achieving nuclear fusion at 14, to the development of nuclear technologies in medicine, security and energy—his achievements are remarkable. Wilson will share his thoughts on the future of global energy sources, and how we can inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. When looking at helping out the cyber-security community, we must think about individuals like Taylor and the efforts put forth to help education efforts to bring future generations of security professionals into the workforce. I am happy to announce that RSA Conference has joined the STEM Education Coalition (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), with the goal of helping to drive innovation in cyber security with the next generation of students.  This challenge goes out to our community of public and private cyber-security companies which is to have at least 20 other vendors join this mission with us. The cost of membership goes directly to funds that help lobby congress on education policy and deliver curriculum to teachers.

I cannot emphasize the importance to think outside of our immediate lives and band together, like we do for the cyber security industry, towards something meaningful for the world and long lasting for our profession. 

Alex Bender

, RSA Conference

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