Crunch Time – Last week of Smarter Cities Challenge project at Ballarat.

It is crunch time! We are down to last week in Ballarat, where we work on final deliverables.   I decided to kick off the final week with a community run – I participated in Run Ballarat – a 12K brisk run. Cause – Children’s Ward at Ballarat Base Hospital. The community responded to the challenge and there was a big turnout of about 4500+ folks. We ran across the popular town landmarks, around the wonderful lake Wendouree and finished in City Oval – local Cricket stadium. It was heart warming to see people show up with their own story, their own dedications to support a cause that will benefit the community in and around Ballarat. Run Ballarat was not just a health run, but also an annual event to bring the community closer to stand up to a cause.

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Now a little bit about our work! As we analyze the data that we have gathered from the interviews, reports, previous analysis and the overall waste and regulatory framework, our challenge is to provide a framework that suits the city of Ballarat. While we all agree that responsible waste disposal and recycling is an important imperative, we need to ensure that we are proposing a framework that is cost effective, compliant to the regulatory framework laid down by the State and National agencies and most importantly acceptable to the community, which is so involved in how the city waste is managed. So I think we have quite a task ahead of us in the days to come, and our team is certainly up for the challenge.

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Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff and brilliant students at the Federation University or FedUni. I was particularly impressed by the goals sets by some of the students and the interaction between the Fellows, Faculty and staff. They certainly know how to run the research agenda like a commercial establishment. I had the opportunity to discuss some of the pressing Internet commerce security issues in the industry and the research teams at FedUni briefed me on their research that has the potential to help mitigate the emerging threat matrix that banking and retail industry face. I do plan to stay connected with folks at FedUni.

While we have had long working days in past 2 weeks, we have taken time to travel around Ballarat a little bit in an effort to know the city and it’s waste related issues. As a team we have been taking turns to demonstrate our culinary skills, and it has been fun. From local favorites to cuisines from Mexico, Italy, and India has been on the menu. So yes, we have been eating well, and enjoying the local food and beverages the city of Ballarat has to offer. In my next blog I intend to write a bit more about the Australian food and dedicate the post to Vegemite – and Yes an Ode to Vegemite is in order!

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Have a great week!



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