Monday April 8… this is the official day we kick-off the project. After a “1×1” meeting with the Mayor of Porto Alegre, Mr. Jose Fortunatti, Luis Toledo, the IBM Porto Alegre Branch Manager, and Marcelo Porto, VP Enterprise of IBM Brazil, we followed with the more formal kick-off session. Alcely Barroso, the Brazil Corporate Citizenship Executive who has been coaching us closely, is the master of ceremony. The Mayor acknowledged us and provided his perspective on the project, and Cezar Taurion gave the key presentation on Smarter Cities.
With a 5 minute heads-up, Alcely asked Derek and myself to address the audience in the name of the Citigroup and IBM team members respectively. And off we are to a great start:
Right after the meeting, we head to Porto Alegre’s city hall for our first working meeting with Mr. Cezar Busatto in his office. Patrick and I lead the meeting, where we decorate Mr. Busatto’s office with flip charts. Our goal is to validate our understanding of the project. The meeting turns out to be very productive, and Mr. Busatto provides us some good hints about future meetings (which so far have been confirmed).
We then leave the meeting back to the hotel for a long working session, preparing for the upcoming meetings in the week, project governance, etc.
Overall, the feedback from the meetings is positive, and the expectations (from the Secretary’s perspective) have been validated. Tuesday will be a full day.