Arizona State University and Cisco educated and empowered economically disadvantaged and under-represented students to use technology, entrepreneurship and creative problem solving to tackle the challenges of tomorrow through the Global Problem Solvers middle school program. The GPS program engaged middle school teachers, students and families in entrepreneurship and digitization skill-building experiences through a combination of workshops, trainings, special events and social gatherings. By bringing these groups together, the program aspired to support more vibrant, cohesive communities capable of first recognizing and then leveraging their power for collective impact.  

Ten Arizona middle schools were selected to participate in the program, where teachers guided students through building a team, identifying a problem, developing an Internet of Things-based solution, creating a business plan, testing the solution and sharing their idea. The program focused on four central components: teacher education, student engagement, family engagement and community building.

Logo for ASU-Cisco Global Problem Solvers Middle School Pogram


The Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute has long championed entrepreneurship, innovation and social embeddedness in real-world contexts and with the support of industry and community partners. Cisco is a worldwide leader in information technology with a reputation for giving people and companies the skills they need to thrive in a connected world. Together, ASU and Cisco committed to empowering students, teachers and families to develop effective solutions to local and global challenges.


middle schools representing participation from some of Phoenix’s highest-need communities


teachers specializing in math, science, economics, language arts, journalism and more participated


students learned how to use technology, entrepreneurship and creative problem-solving to tackle tomorrow’s challenges


parents, guardians and community members attended family engagement events

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Our programs for entrepreneurs at ASU and in the community provide guidance and support to help you move your venture to the next level.