Educators to submit student-led solutions that address sustainable development goals and apply for award to continue projects

Digital Promise and Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) are excited to announce the launch of the Ciena Solutions Challenge, a new global design challenge where educators around the world can submit student-led projects for funding and exhibition.

The Ciena Solutions Challenge invites middle and high school students globally (i.e. education level equivalent to ages 11-19) to design solutions that address the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals within their communities. Digital Promise and Ciena will provide professional learning and mentoring opportunities to educators and students participating in the Challenge. Starting on September 15, educators can apply for a Sustainability Award of $2,500 USD to sustain and scale student projects. If selected, the funding will be granted to the educator’s educational institution.

“The next generation of problem-solvers need opportunities to design solutions that tackle real world challenges in their local communities. The Ciena Solutions Challenge aims to engage and inspire students to reimagine a better world while gaining critical hands-on experience with digital skills and advanced technologies.” said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. “This collaborative partnership with Digital Promise is a key part of our Digital Inclusion program and we look forward to seeing the creativity and innovation that students bring to this initiative.”

“The Ciena Solutions Challenge offers learners opportunities to connect to their learning in ways that are authentic and personal, to learn through inquiry, collaborate with their community and take positive action to make a difference in their local communities,” said Jean-Claude Brizard, president and CEO of Digital Promise. “The Ciena Solutions Challenge exemplifies what Powerful Learning experiences can look like, and offers educators and students support and recognition for making a positive impact in their communities.”

Learn more about the Ciena Solutions Challenge by joining the educator roundtable on Wednesday, September 15 at 12 p.m. ET. Educators from the United States and Canada will share how the Challenge supported them to build positive relationships with students, engage students in virtual learning, and help students find an authentic purpose for learning.

About Digital Promise
Digital Promise is a nonprofit organization that builds powerful networks and takes on grand challenges by working at the intersection of researchers, entrepreneurs, and educators. Our vision is that all people, at every stage of their lives, have access to learning experiences that help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and continuously learn in an ever-changing world. For more information, visit the Digital Promise website and follow @digitalpromise for updates.

About Ciena
Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is a networking systems, services and software company. We provide solutions that help our customers create the Adaptive NetworkTM in response to the constantly changing demands of their end-users. By delivering best-in-class networking technology through high-touch consultative relationships, we build the world’s most agile networks with automation, openness and scale. For updates on Ciena, follow us on Twitter @Ciena, LinkedIn, the Ciena Insights blog, or visit

Ciena’s Digital Inclusion Program
Ciena’s Digital Inclusion program aims to mobilize the company’s global workforce, leverage its innovation leadership, and collaborate with customers, suppliers and other partners to bridge the digital divide. Ciena has committed to fund $10 million (USD) over a five-year period on programming that promotes digital inclusion through greater connectivity, access to technology and digital skilling, with a goal of expanding opportunities for 100,000 underserved students in our global communities.

Note to Ciena Investors
You are encouraged to review the Investors section of our website, where we routinely post press releases, SEC filings, recent news, financial results, and other announcements. From time to time we exclusively post material information to this website along with other disclosure channels that we use. This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are based on our current expectations, forecasts, information and assumptions. These statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties.  Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those stated or implied, because of risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in our most recent annual and quarterly reports filed with the SEC. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our  expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies and can be identified by words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "should," "will," and "would" or similar words. Ciena assumes no obligation to update the information included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.