The team assembled in the lobby (business formal outfits) at 8:45am and strolled all of 500 ft to the Mayor’s office. We were escorted to the side room to wait for the appointed hour. After a 30 min wait we were summoned to the inner chambers only to find that the Mayor was in Brazil. The Deputy Mayor Gloria Monenegro did the honors. We had a private chat with her before we were escorted to the ceremonial room for a press event where IBM’s Smarter Cities was described by the country General Manager Ricardo Fernandez and the deputy mayor thanked IBM for its philanthropic engagement with the city and promised us all the help we need to gather the information. The press was all over both of them after the short speeches and evidently was well received by the press. Eagerly awaiting the newspaper tomorrow to see what they actually say.
After the festivities we left for lunch with the CGM to a famous local restaurant called Romano (not Italian). After lunch we left for our next set of meetings with the designated liaison between City Hall and our team to begin our fact gathering mission. The topic is complex and the stakeholders are many with complex political relationships. We have to slowly unravel the puzzle over the next couple of days to really begin to tackle the issues and come up with potential solutions. After the meeting we left for a cocktail hour with some of IBM’s clients in the northern Peru region to give them a heads up, as a courtesy, of what they might read in the newspapers tomorrow.
The country GM fielding questions from the press