“There are no strangers here, only friends that have not yet met.” – W.B. Yeats
This was a fitting quote used by Peter Finnegan, Director of Office of Economy and International Relations, Dublin City Council, to welcome us to the launch of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge and offer Dublin’s hospitality during our stay.
It’s not every day that your arrival in a city brings a photo shoot with the Lord Mayor(Christy Burke) & Chief Executive (Owen Keegan), press release and a packed launch event with city council members, business owners, universities and energy industry representatives. IBM’s General Manager of Ireland, Peter O’Neill, gave the audience some context on the technology potential in this region and excitement for this project (4 IBMers and 2 client volunteers from HSBC). Charles Duggan, Heritage Planner of the City Council, spoke to attendees about the history of the city wall. This event took place in a super cool room featuring the original Hiberno Norse (Viking) City Wall –a piece of Dublin’s past.
The next couple of days will involve in-depth interviews to help us build our assessment around the potential of urban solar power. There are high expectations from the city and only three short weeks to deliver our report!