Author Archives: carolineseymour

Meet Jean and Edward

Meet Jean and Edward, two wonderful people from ABV that have been taking such good care of us. They sort out where we eat, address any questions, ensure we have what we need and basically make sure we don’t get lost, in trouble or starve. They have been truly wonderful and have made sure that we have experienced the best that Gangzhou and Foshan provides. The restaurants that they have taken us to have been great  and I have posted many of the great dishes we have been eating. Its been down to them with the choices of dishes that we have eaten, they have made sure we experience the local cuisine.

Not sure what we would have done at some of the restaurants we have eaten at, since some of the menus are without pictures.

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Not sure what we would have done without Jean and Edward. Thank you!

#smartercities challenge


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Crunch Time

Its amazing to think that its three weeks since Jim, Karen, Anatolie and I met at JFK to start our journey to China and the Smarter Cities Challenge! We have done and experienced so much of the culture and certainly the food! We have also worked together as a team to build our recommendations that we are now finalizing into a report that we shall be sharing with the Director of BEIT tomorrow. So we are working with the translators to translate the core sections of the report. Jean very kindly bought in for us some wonderful freshly baked egg custard tarts to keep us going. Once we have had the meeting tomorrow we shall be on the home stretch with only some fine tuning and packaging to be done for the final presentation to the Mayor on Thursday – at least that’s what we hope!

The weekend was spent working and we didnt have opportunity to do any more site seeing although a few of us decided to have a Chinese massage which was heaven. It made it difficult to get back to work but we did.

#smartercities challenge

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Friday Walk

After a long week we first met up on the 50th floor to have a drink before going out for dinner

view from 50th floor

We all wanted to get out and walk around Foshan, so we walked around before having a great noodle supper…. There are many unusual shops or perhaps I should say different shops. The following is a picture of a Tea shop, what you see is a shelf of different teas, the older they are the better. The ones in this photo are from 2005


Then going to the extreme – who would have thought you would find a Hello Kitty Cafe!

DSCF0609 hello kitty

#smartercities challenge

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Workshop with 50 smart young entrepreneurs

On Tuesday we participated in a community service project which turned out to be a great success. We partnered with Nanhai Youth League and held a workshop with 50+ young entrepreneurs from Nanhai Junior Chamber. The  Six of us from the  ESC and Kenny Guo, GM of IBM South China, had a very lively conversation for the whole afternoon.

Karen kicked off the discussion with an IBM transformation story, followed by Kenny’s introduction of IBM in China. It inspired great interests from the audience. Questions came one after another, ranging from IBM’s offerings for SMBs, service innovation, leadership development, e-commerce, and marketing etc.  A perception that IBM is for large companies and that we only sell Hardware is a consistent theme I see in many conversations. This type of event helps to break down those myths and demonstrate to these companies that we have solutions to help make their companies smarter and increase their efficiency

Those young entrepreneurs were interested in further relationships with IBM. The Local IBM team, including Foshan Branch and GB team, also participated in the workshop. The afternoon was followed by dinner and the heat of the conversation went even higher during the dinner.. Both sides had planned follow-up activities in coming weeks.

It was a great experience for the team to meet with such talented people, a very impressive group of young entrepreneurs

service tuesday 16th

#smartercities challenge

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Lunch at Fontainebleau

A simple lunch at Fontainebleau Hotel  🙂

lunch Friday 12th

and a tour of the beautiful grounds

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Some very interesting foods to buy……….

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#smartercities challenge

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Eagle Ceramics

On Friday, we visited Eagle Ceramics and they kindly provided a tour of their showroom. I was blown away and was thoroughly impressed with it. As you see in the pictures it truly is magnificent. The foyer looks as if it is marble but it is not, its all tiles…. Really quite spectacular…….

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As I looked at all these wonderful bathrooms – I thought to myself its time to remodel my master bath 🙂

who wouldnt want a bathroom like this!


So many great ideas, I think i will have to go back for a further look, it was all quite stunning

#smartercities challenge



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Meet our Interpreters

Just wanted to share a photo of our Interpreters, they do a phenomenal job. This photo was taken on the first day at the opening ceremony. We have gotten to know them as the days go by and they are a lovely group and provide such insight into China. I have never worked with Interpreters before and its been quite an eye opener.

From left to right – Cynthia, Gavin, Amber and CourtneyDSCF0194

#smartercities challenge

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