At Oracle, we are uniquely positioned to open pathways to innovation. With R&D centers around the world, a robust partner and customer ecosystem, the innovative Oracle Education Foundation, the global Oracle Giving program, and a network of passionate Oracle Volunteers, we are equipped to support future innovators with the resources they need to create tomorrow's solutions today.
From this mission, the Your Tomorrow, Today campaign was conceived with the goal of illustrating how Oracle technology has helped to drive innovation growth – including philanthropic efforts, contributions to modern technology, and sustainability. Our objective is to showcase the impact of Oracle Giving, our corporate grant-making program, and the Oracle Education Foundation (the Foundation), a nonprofit organization funded by Oracle, through storytelling.
Specifically, the campaign highlights the impact of two unique public-private collaborations:
1) Oracle Giving's support of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI), an organization dedicated to the conservation of gorillas and their habitat; and
2) Oracle and its Foundation's support of Design Tech High School (d.tech), a pioneering California public charter high school located on Oracle's headquarters in Redwood City, California.
The Your, Tomorrow, Today campaign was strategically launched in September 2017 to coincide with Oracle OpenWorld, the company's annual conference that gathers business and technology decision-makers, to showcase vignettes of Oracle's social good efforts to an already captive audience.
In showcasing the story of Oracle's nearly three decades of partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI), we aimed to illustrate Oracle's long history of supporting gorilla conservation efforts and how this advocacy has been integrated in the educational program that our Foundation provides to d.tech students, which will scale to serve students at other schools in the near future.
Oracle Giving's support for DFGFI began in 1990, and we have consistently funded the organization ever since, providing cash grants and in-kind donations of technology and services to support the protection and study of the world's remaining populations of gorillas in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Four years ago, DFGFI leaders asked Oracle for a technology investment to transform the way its scientists collected and managed data. The result was a cascade of changes, including the development of a free, iOS app that enables researchers to record data quickly and accurately in the field and upload it to the Oracle Cloud. The collaboration also made the Fund's data—the world's largest, most comprehensive longitudinal collection of data on any wild great ape population—available to select scientific and educational communities, including the Foundation having access to DFGFI data in its own Data Visualization classes for d.tech students.
Oracle's partnership with d.tech began in May 2014.While d.tech didn't have a permanent home at the time, what it did have was an extraordinary educational model guided by two principles – extreme personalization and teaching students to put knowledge in action. This learning framework leverages design thinking, a problem-solving approach that both the Foundation and d.tech have in common.
Another differentiating element of the d.tech model – its Intersession program – clinched the partnership. Through Intersession, d.tech invites the community to be part of students' educational experience. Four times per year, d.tech students hit "pause" on their regular coursework for two weeks, and venture outside d.tech, to explore subjects they are curious and passionate about. This made d.tech a natural partner for the Foundation; Intersession was a perfect place for Oracle Volunteers to teach students coding, electrical engineering, and user-centered design.
When the Foundation's leadership presented this idea of piloting its new program at d.tech to Oracle CEO Safra Catz, the dots connected. She recognized in d.tech the unconventional, extraordinary type of school Larry Ellison had envisioned – one that taught students how to think and innovate. Within weeks, Oracle committed to providing a new $43M home to support the school. Upon occupying its new home at Oracle HQ in January 2018, d.tech became the only public high school in the U.S. to be located on a technology company's campus, while remaining fully autonomous.
Additionally, in the Foundation's classes, Oracle volunteers help d.tech students learn coding and circuitry, and how to design, build and code wearable technologies, experiential games, IoT solutions and 3D prototypes. Tying together the resources and partnership with DFGFI, the Foundation also offers a class on Data Visualization, where students explore, analyze and visualize data from the DFGFI database.
The results of the initiatives featured in the Your Tomorrow, Today campaign have been significant in moving the needle toward more innovative solutions, as well as meeting our goal to showcase the value in public-private partnerships to drive social change.
Every day, DFGFI protects critically endangered gorillas with the help of Oracle's cloud-based database. With only about 880 mountain gorillas left on the planet, scientists' ability to access DFGFI data in the cloud allows researchers to monitor conservation threats in real-time.
Beyond empowering scientists, this new data is inspiring future conservationists by protecting tomorrow, today. Through DFGFI's work with the Oracle Education Foundation, d.tech students are able to analyze the organization's data to learn more about gorilla behavior – from social hierarchy to migratory patterns.
To date, 213 Oracle Volunteers have donated more than 8,184 hours to teaching d.tech students in the Oracle Education Foundation classes. And, the partnership that Oracle and its Foundation have formed with d.tech is charting a new path for education. A local public high school operating on a multi-billion dollar global technology company's campus may seem unorthodox, but it's the disruption of traditional education models that makes this public-private partnership a true differentiator. The heart of the new school facility, a two-story maker space and fabrication lab called the Design Realization Garage, embodies innovation and is an homage to the many Silicon Valley companies started in garages.
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