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Here’s my story about Smarter Cities, now what’s yours? January 10, 2011

Posted by pollicia in Uncategorized.

For the next few days, over 60 IBMers will be taking turns to share the Smarter Cities message to primary and secondary students, their teachers, their parents and members of the public. Most probably, in-between a tweet and a video interview for our YouTube channel, I will be among them. I don’t know how many people we will be talking to. If it’s like last year, it’s a LOT. And I am starting to feel the pressure. Will I be able to explain, in a brief interaction, what our stand is all about? Will my interlocutors leave inspired about IBM… and possibly want to work for us in the future? Let’s rehearse:

Our stand is an invitation to help build Smarter Cities. Is it just an advertising campaign, or is it something practical, that everyone can identify with?

All I need to do, to find the answer, is look back at my last week: I came back to Ireland after my Christmas break with a suitcase to be emptied, clothes to be washed… and water restrictions in place! It frustrates me when I hear people say that we have no water problems in Ireland, because it rains a lot. I hope they are starting to get the message. Like myself, there were many people, businesses, companies, restaurants, affected by water issues. The implications of this for the wider Dublin City region (and other cities and towns across Ireland) were massive. Yep, I guess we do need smarter water and Nope, I guess this is not just an advertising campaign.

Screenshot from the Smarter City interactive experience

A city is made of many elements: if they don't work efficiently, the city doesn't work efficiently

So, if you think about Smarter Cities, think about all the things that a city is made of:

Transport system, medical system, education, energy, etc. Think of all the times you were frustrated at their inefficiencies: being stuck in traffic, waiting forever for a bus that doesn’t come, hearing of people stuck on trolleys in hospitals across the country. I could go on… Now think: what if, through technology, we could make all things work better? What if the projects exhibited at the RDS this year were the answers to some of these problems? What if some of today’s students could be the experts of tomorrow?

I bet you have your own stories to tell about Smarter Cities!

Many of my colleagues at IBM Ireland and around the world are software developers, engineers, researchers and they are already working, with universities, city authorities and other companies, to develop solutions to reduce these inefficiencies. Some of them will be at our stand (nr 30) this week and they are looking forward to listening to your view on how we can make our cities smarter… and sharing what IBM is doing in this area. But if you are not exhibiting at the RDS and if you cannot make it to our stand, why not start sharing your views here? How could technology make our hospitals, schools, energy, transportation (in one word, our cities) more efficient, smarter? Add your comments to this post!

Two resources to get you started:

Visit the www.thesmartercity.com interactive experience to learn about Smarter Cities
Play the www.ibm.com/cityone game. You are a CEO, you manage a budget and a team, and you need to make your city smarter



1. Tweets that mention Here’s my story about Smarter Cities, now what’s yours? « Come see IBM Ireland at BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition -- Topsy.com - January 10, 2011

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Paul McCann. Paul McCann said: RT @ibm_in_ireland: #BTYSTE Here's my story about Smarter Cities, now what's yours? http://ow.ly/1aO9L8 […]

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