Keynotes provide insight and strategic direction from Cisco’s executives and industry thought leaders.



Cisco leadership and luminaries from the world of technology, business, and entertainment take the stage during the Cisco Live main keynotes to share their unique insights on the foundation for digital transformation: digital ready network, with security analytics, collaborations and automation.


Cisco Welcome Keynote

Monday, November 6
06:00 p.m. – 07:30 p.m.


Digital transformation is rewriting the rules for how businesses work, collaborate, and innovate – and Cisco is leading the way with digital-ready infrastructures that help businesses reinvent themselves from the ground up. Ruba Borno takes the stage to discuss how Cisco is helping to chart the course in this new era of business, and to share the company’s vision for how the network will play an increasingly vital role in both IT and business strategy.


Ruba Borno, Ph.D.
Vice President, Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to CEO


Ruba Borno is Vice President of Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive Officer.

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Ruba leads business strategy and planning across the company, provides market insights to support Cisco’s investment and technology strategies, and informs the CEO agenda.


Since joining Cisco, Ruba has reshaped the company’s strategic business planning process across the entire portfolio in support of Cisco’s own digital transformation and that of our customers and partners. On behalf of the CEO, she has orchestrated alignment across Cisco executives and their functions through forums focused on innovation, leadership, and engagement. She has led the incubation and execution of critical cross-functional CEO-sponsored initiatives – products as well as processes – for faster time to execution and cross-company adoption. And, she has steered the World Economic Forum’s IT Governors agenda to focus on reskilling and job creation by the world’s leading IT companies.


Ruba was previously a Principal at The Boston Consulting Group and a leader in their Technology, Media & Telecommunications, and People & Organization practice groups. Known for her prioritization and execution, she supported the most senior executives of enterprise and consumer technology companies as they managed organizational change, increased operational effectiveness, and accelerated business growth. She also co-authored articles including “Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small-Business Leaders,” “Break Up or Shake Up: Get Ready for the Technology Industry Revolution,” and “Technology Companies: Putting People First.”


Ruba has been an Intel Ph.D. fellow at the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems, where her research focused on wireless sensor technology, or the “things” in the internet of things. She is a board member of The Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley, and she sponsors Girls Power Tech, part of the UN’s international Girls in ICT Day to support girls and young women to consider education and career paths in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).


Ruba holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering with honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Cisco Technology Keynote

Tuesday, November 7
06:00 p.m. – 07:00 p.m.


With the accelerating pace of change in business technology and practices, the advantage goes to those organizations that can identify the innovations with true transformative potential. Find out how Cisco’s technology vision is translating into the groundbreaking solutions that enable organizations to see their challenges in a new light and implement the changes that can have a lasting impact.

Guest Keynote

Wednesday, November 8
06:00 p.m. – 07:00 p.m.


Erik Wahl
Graffiti Artist, Speaker & Entrepreneur


Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized artist, TED speaker, and No. 1 bestselling author. His breakthrough experience as an artist and entrepreneur has translated into making him into one of the most sought-after corporate speakers on the circuit today.


On stage, Erik’s keynote experience creates a dynamic multidimensional metaphor for how to systematically embrace innovation and risk. His message: disruption is the new normal and businesses must embrace creativity in a wholesale fashion, or risk being left behind. Erik’s presentation inspires organizations to be increasingly agile and outlines how to use disruption as a competitive advantage. Some companies will be disrupted others will choose to be the disruptor. Choose wisely.


His breakthrough thinking has earned praise from top influencers in the realms of art and business.


The Warhol of Wall Street, the Renoir of ROI, The Picasso of Productivity, the Jobs of … Well, Jobs.


Erik discovered an alarming truth early in his career as a partner in a corporate firm: organizations that encouraged creative thought did better than those that did not put innovation as a priority mission. So he set out to challenge companies to change their way of thinking.


In the meantime, inspired by street art, he became an acclaimed graffiti artist—though he has since stopped selling his works for personal gain, and instead uses his art to raise money for charities. His keynote is where his passion for business growth and art dovetail.


Erik’s list of clients includes AT&T, Disney, London School of Business, Microsoft, FedEx, Exxon Mobil, Ernst & Young, and XPrize.


Interested in learning more or watching Erik in action? Take a look at