The SCC Waterloo team did a park cleanup today at Veterans’ Green. The seven-member IBM Smarter Cities Challenge team volunteered with the annual fall cleanup at the park on University Avenue near King Street from 1 to 4 p.m. While there, they handed out free hot chocolate and coffee to passersby and talked to people living and working in the area about their experiences.
Mayor Brenda Halloran and Councilor Jeff Henry came to greet and thank the team.
Today we submitted our team’s pumpkin for the City of Waterloo contest.
We didn’t make it for the first prize, but it helped to support the United Way.
Getting the local student perspective at Morty’s pub on Sunday night
Sunday night we decided to have dinner at Morty’s pub. Located at the edge of Northdale, it provided us the chance to experience a bit of local night life. We took that opportunity to chat with some of the local students.
We got to spend the weekend recharging after a long week of very productive and informative interviews.
On Sunday we got to know more about the City of Waterloo partaking in “The Amazing Chase” scavenger hunt. As an added surprise the Mayor met us at the finish line – the basement of the Huether hotel.
Dennis, David and Tim on the Historic Waterloo Central Railway enroute to the Market midway through the Amazing Chase through Waterloo.
The Amazing Chase organizer, Big Events, had a van at the ready to pick up any stragglers.
On Sunday we traveled to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The majestic horseshoe falls as viewed from Tablerock at Niagara Falls .
The Waterloo Team at the walk behind the falls.
If you are not aware, an IBM Smarter City Challenge is a 3 week philanthropic consulting engagement where 7 senior level IBMers are assigned to a city whose submission has been selected by a team at IBM. The team is hand picked, based upon the problem statement, from a world wide pool of IBMers who have volunteered for duty.
In the three weeks prior to our arrival, our team met a few times via teleconference and reviewed the copious amounts of background material provided by the City of Waterloo and IBM.
Last Sunday, our team arrived at a conference hotel located in Waterloo, and spent about 6 hours getting to know each other and the logistics of the engagement. Our task, provide to the City of Waterloo a set of actionable recommendations that will enable them to realize their vision for the neighborhood that is adjacent to the campuses of the University of Waterloo, and of Wilfrid Laurier University.
The structure of a Smarter is 3 phases, week 1 is requirements and data gathering, week 2 is synthesis of those into a set of recommendations to the city, week 3 is reviewing those recommendations and creating both a brief oral report, and a formal written report.
Day 1’s activities include the kick off press conference and a site visit to the Northdale area of the City of Waterloo.
Project kick off press conference.
Our guided walking tour of the neighborhood of Northdale.
Days 2-5 were filled with interviews of all the stakeholders, each day starting at 7am , and running till 7 – 7:30 PM when the team broke for dinner at several of the excellent Uptown restaurants. The interviews are held in a private office suite located in City Hall, greatly simplifying the logistics.
Week 1 highlight – the Mayor dedicated time out of her busy schedule to meet with the IBM team at the end of Day 4.
A surprise for the team returning to the hotel after a long day….
After another long, productive day at City Hall, the IBM team gets back to the hotel, during the first snow storm of the season.