Sharing .heart at .NEXT—in Exciting New Ways

By Michele Taylor-Smith
| min

Every year we see inspiring things come out of our .NEXT conferences. We see attendees networking and making connections with new, like-minded friends. We see them trying out new products and strategizing together and with experts about how they can take their datacenters to the next level. We saw them roller skating—this time around in particular—with “varying” abilities at our Disco Fever conference party. But we also see something that is even more inspiring: people giving back to local communities and the world through the organizations featured at .NEXT through our .heart CSR program.

This year was no exception, and I left more inspired than ever. Here’s a quick recap to tell you why:

Companies going above and beyond “the daily grind”

For the past couple of years we’ve been fortunate enough to present a .heart award as part of our .NEXT annual award proceedings to companies that are making a difference. This year’s award winners were:

  • Our customer winner, Aetna, for working with local, national, and international organizations to improve health for those with limited access to quality care through their Aetna Foundation.
  • Our partner winners: HCL, for their work with Shiv Nadar Foundation to transform education and bridge the socio-economic divide, and Zenoss, for their exciting work with GirlStart, a nonprofit that helps young women pursue technology

Feeding the hungry in a brand new way

Ever go to a conference, enjoy your afternoon lunch break, but then feel just a bit bummed thinking about the food that—due to donation regulations—typically gets thrown out? This year we worked with Food Finders, a fantastic organization that takes unused food from events and distributes it to pantries and shelters. Together we were able to donate 500+ pounds of food. (To give an idea of the impact, that will feed about 500 people!)

Showing some literary love

There’s nothing quite like watching a child light up with imagination as he or she reads or is read to. Yet, access to books and literacy opportunities remains a problem around the world, denying many children that opportunity and stunting educational growth. Through our partnership with Scholastic Books at .NEXT this year, we were able to donate 770 books to Think Together, an organization that will distribute the books stacked up on our .NEXT bookshelf and support coding and literacy programs for children.

Celebrating women in tech

An ongoing initiative for us is to show support to the rise of women in tech, enabling them to pursue their passion and fortifying them with strategies and resources to succeed. This year, we were thrilled to do this in several ways.

Lunching and Learning

Our annual “Celebrating Women of .NEXT Luncheon” was at full capacity as attendees learned negotiation strategies from Harvard Business School’s Professor Deepak Malhotra, and discovered how to find a career advocate from Professor Ayanna Howard, Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Certified for Success

The numbers don’t lie: Men make up the lion’s share of employees in engineering. We believe strongly that diversity drives innovation, so each year we offer women the opportunity to become a Nutanix Certified Professional (NCP) and earn a free pass to the .NEXT Conference. The result? Hear for yourself from one of our certified attendees this year! (Spoiler: her advice is “just do it!”)

Initiating the Interns

It was a crash course in corporate conferences and business in general for 5 college women who are joining Nutanix as interns, and were invited to come to .NEXT. Throughout the course of  the event, they were able to interact with customers, and become better acquainted with our technology, the IT industry, and the many people innovating within it.

“One-Minute Mentors”

Sometimes a colleague’s advice can be the best advice. We riffed on this idea by asking attendees to concisely contribute their best career advice to other conference attendees. And for every piece of advice shared, we donated $5 to IGNITE—a group that helps high school girls become familiar with career opportunities in STEM/STEAM fields. Here’s a sneak peek at some of our favorite insights (more to be shared in an upcoming blog post—stay tuned!)

  • “Three C's. Courage - take the first step, just do it! Communicate - talk, share, ask, seek, learn. Create - have something unique and smart that you can bring to the table/conversation.”
  • “Learn how to let harsh words or actions roll off. As all new IT trainees have learned the person's problem may seem trivial to you, but today is their worst day, and now their computer doesn't work!”
  • “Find both a mentor and a sponsor. Mentors will help teach and coach you. Sponsors help advocate for your career growth within a company. Knowing the difference and finding both has amazing benefit.”
  • ...and you’ll have to read the upcoming blog for the rest!

A gigantic thank you to everyone who participated in these initiatives and gave so willingly of your time to make a difference. Get ready to show your .heart again at .NEXT Copenhagen, October 8-10, 2019!

Follow us at @LifeAtNutanix on Twitter and Instagram to find out more!

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