My colleagues and I started our journey with Pingtung County three weeks ago and it seems like just yesterday. At that time, we were introduced to the challenge facing this county –
Pingtung County in southern Taiwan, experienced the devastating effects of Typhoon Morakot in 2009. Representative parts of the county sit below sea level and yet are home to agriculture and other economic ventures. The crisis from this typhoon led Pingtung County to rethink the way in which they would move forward into the future around multiple dimensions in order to improve and impact citizen well being. Their work has included investment in renewable energy programs and other environmental activities in the hopes of developing a more sustainable community and life for their citizens. They are now looking to continue their progress with a new vision and roadmap for the future that integrates these key technologies and delivers new levels of impact for its citizens.
We engaged as an IBM team to help them with this vision and a roadmap that would incorporate their successes with renewable energy to date, build upon those successes in the form of new technologies and smart grid concepts, and help map a long term strategy for the future working both locally and with national Taiwan entities.
What we found when we arrived was an established vision, broadly speaking, for renewable energy in the county driven by Magistrate Tsao and supported by his very capable leadership team. This vision coupled with outsized passion and diligent execution by the Pingtung County team allowed the county to deliver solid outcomes over the last four years and deliver a strong foundation from which they could move to the next level of sustainability.
During our three week project we had the pleasure of meeting with over 60 stakeholders in 39 briefings. All of this information made for better conclusions and recommendations by the IBM team and allowed us to really get to know the local environment. Thanks to Pingtung County and Lisa Huang for their hard work to coordinate all of these activities and make them happen so flawlessly!
On Friday, we presented our Smarter Cities Challenge final report to the Magistrate and his team. IBM was represented by the Smarter Cities Challenge executive team, Taiwan Country General Manager Jennifer Hwang and distinguished guests from the IBM Greater China Group and Taiwan teams.
In our final report we made a series of recommendations that address the county´s greatest challenges to integrating their renewable portfolio and creating a more self sufficient model. Recommendations around integrated grid operations and analytics will allow the county to analyze very specifically those indicators that will deliver outcomes and impact in the community including key environmental indicators.
The road ahead will be an interesting one for the county taking the next step in their sustainable future. The task at hand is not easy, but at the same time this county has taken on challenges much greater and succeeded. We have seen this first hand spending time with them and we look forward to seeing what they do next.
I would like to acknowledge and thank the many people we have had the good fortune to work with over the last several weeks. On behalf of my IBM colleagues, a special thanks to Magistrate Tsao and the entire Pingtung County team.
Thanks to the extended IBM team including Jennifer Hwang, Lisa Chen, Anny Tseng, our translators Tina and Valeria, and our master of logistics Red! There were also many others from IBM Taiwan and our local businesses that we thank by extension.
…and thanks to my executive colleagues on the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge team. I speak for all of us in saying we thoroughly enjoyed the experience working together on behalf of the Pingtung County team, citizens and community on this important project.
We have now all departed Taiwan and are back in our respective countries with our families. We look back on what was a life changing event for all of us thanks to the people of Pingtung County and Taiwan. We say a heartfelt thank you and goodbye to our IBM friends from Taipei.
…and this great country.