The Universal Language of Post-it Notes

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It’s Saturday night and the Post-it notes are flying as the team conducts an impromptu design thinking session to outline key issues identified during our discovery sessions over the first five days.

After 20 plus stakeholder meetings with organizations spanning government, academia, private sector, start-ups, and NGOs, the team appreciates the complexity of the landscape and multitude of challenges.

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A few trends are coming into focus and we’re eager to plot out potential solutions and a framework for the recommendations report. Especially since the local media has already begun to report on our presence and expectations are high to deliver.  The meetings last week were far from speed dating sessions, quite the opposite.  Many ran about two hours in duration, some even longer, as the various participants in the local ecosystem have much to offer in the way of insights and knowledge sharing. Thankfully these meetings included espresso and κουλουρακι to keep the team laser focused (thanks to our hosts’ Nespresso machines were located at all meeting sites!).

Though Sunday for most of the team is traditionally a day of rest, a unanimous decision over lunch today was that we will do an additional stakeholder meeting tomorrow and skip our tourist excursion in order to ensure we’re prepared for the week ahead.

Still, we’re making time to fulfill our civic duty and assist the local economy.

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We were able to squeeze in a fun Friday evening visiting an amazing restaurant just outside of the city, Duck Private Cheffing, for an open kitchen dining experience. And today we visited the Ancient City of Vergina to tour the tomb of King Philip II. We all agree that if we had the power of King Phillip we could get this project done much sooner!

More on IBM’s Smarter Cities Team Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki Smarter Cities Team // Week One
Team Salonika Heads Back to School
Thessaloniki: Many Stories, One Heart

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