We are still in Seoul and for the first time the whole team is gathered as KeeSeon joins the time for the working session in the afternoon. Before lunch time the “non local” team enjoyed an immersion in the city of Seoul as we were visiting the Gyeongbokgung palace. Very nice visit, with a calm, refreshing combination of heritage buildings and parks.
Then we went to the very top of a skyscraper for a scenic view of the city of Seoul. From there we realized how large is the city of Seoul.
The afternoon was devoted to work in IBM premises, with a presentation from KyoungJeon Kim’s, an SCC Busan Overview including Korean greeting and a global deck for Smarter Cities Challenge. Very valuable session with interesting discussion points where apparently we are already starting identifying and shaping some recommendations.
Last not least we enjoyed a team diner before taking a drink in the executive lounge of the hotel.
This was a transition day as we moved during the afternoon from Seoul to Busan. The morning was spent in IBM Seoul premises with a presentation of the IBM Client Center by KeeSeon, followed by two presentations from IBM Korea colleagues to help us better understand the local business context:
- An update of the IBM Business strategy, in view of the local context of Busan where the agenda of the Mayor was interestingly articulated.
- A presentation on Government and regulatory affairs, again providing very insightful perspectives on the local economical and business context.
Then after a good team lunch, we moved to Seoul central station to catch a high speed train for Busan. This was the opportunity to discover the Korean landscape where I was again impressed by the care given to the agricultural fields.
And we arrived in Busan !
My first impression when leaving the train was olfactory: no doubt, we were in an harbor, with all these flagrance’s that typically characterize a busy sea side. After commuting to the Lotte Hotel in the center of Busan, we enjoyed some rest in our hotel bedroom before the team dinner in an…. Italian restaurant. The Busan atmosphere is really nice, with a marriage of both international and Asiatic flavors. No surprise as the slogan of Busan is “Dynamic Busan, Asian Gateway”. I feel immersed in an amazing cocktail of modern avenues with high elevation buildings (not to say sky scrapers) and of small streets with approximate pavements, small houses and some craftsman boutiques. The two pictures below illustrate this nice combination.
This is the important day where our Smarter Cities Challenge is officially starting. All the day was spent in the City Hall of Busan where we met with different leaders and municipality officers and get the first real immersion in their operating control centers, including the Smart Big Board (SBB) which is the cornerstone of the Busan Emergency Management strategy.
The day climax was clearly the official opening of the Smarter Cities Challenge, chaired by the Busan Mayor and the IBM Country General Manager.
During this very dense day we received a lot of insightful information, revealing manifold facets of the Busan municipality, both regarding organizational, technical and political aspects. At the end of the day, I wonder if we had in mind further questions than the ones answered during the sessions!
We left the City Hall around 7PM, followed in our hotel war room by a first debriefing session to share feedback and pave the road for tomorrow sessions.