Tuesday was our kickoff event, but before that, we spent about 45 minutes with Mayor Rogero (in the middle) in her office to better understand what success looks like to her. For more on the challenge itself, you can hear it directly from the Mayor by watching this brief YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD_c-bPUX2M) that was filmed in Palisades, NY during the Smarter Cities Challenge Summit, hosted by IBM. On a side note, the Mayor was very excited to share with us the wonderful view outside her window of the “Urban Wilderness” across the Tennessee River, but more importantly how development plans of the wilderness should stimulate growth, both for permanent residents and visitors to Knoxville.
After meeting with the Mayor, we held our kickoff event with 30-40 community stakeholders and some members of the media. After introductions from the Mayor, Susanna Sutherland, Director of Sustainability, and Tina Wilson, our local CCCA manager, the team (acting as city council members in this photo) introduced themselves, then mingled with the crowd of stakeholders before we began the stakeholder interview process in the afternoon. The number of community members and stakeholders engaged in this initiative in some way is amazing.
We had a wonderful dinner overlooking the Tennessee River. The team can’t say enough good things about the SCC logistics manager, Anne McNeil, who was able to join us for a few days and, of course, Tina Wilson, (both below) who has been guiding us every step of the way. They are both fantastic have supporting us.
We had only three stakeholder interviews Tuesday afternoon, and that was an overwhelming amount of information to intake — on to six interviews Wednesday — thinking caps on!