In order to build a smarter city, we must ask ourselves what really contributes to economic growth of a city.
With that being said, we listened as Professor Darwin lectured on the overall framework for building smart cities. We learned that open innovation must be consumed at all levels to increase value for the city. In order to create value there must be a collaborative environment all thriving off one another. Since at the end of the day all sectors within business are interconnected.
On December 30, 2014, we were met with President of MICA University, Nagesh Rao were we had an intellectual dialogue on cross-cultural communications. He gave the example of how different cultures communicate different things due to the vast array of cultures, principles, and beliefs. Mr. Rao had an extremely charismatic lecture that I thoroughly enjoyed. He ended his lecture by showing us a video of 32 out of sync metronomes and how they end up synchronizing. He utilized the video of the out of sync metronomes as a metaphor to keep reminding us to keep the dissonance alive. That sometimes staying in sync isn’t always the answer. It is said that a good global leader comes up with optimal solutions in times of dissonance and all-embracing organized chaos.
We then listed to a chairperson of MICA Incubator speak about the overall startup culture in India. There he gave the students an overview of India’s current startup businesses, socioeconomic landscape, and relevance of communication for smart cities. It was interesting to learn that India has emerged as the 4th largest startup location globally behind Israel, UK, and USA, respectively. The Haas group then boarded the bus for a long ride to visit the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Gandhinagar, India. We participated in a very business like dialogue, learning how IIT is contributing to being a smart city/school. That currently their shared resources & cost effective technologies such as recycled renewable energy and bio-waste management has allowed them to emerge as a very sustainable and well respected university and campus all throughout India. As a side note, I found it extremely admirable that one of the professors at IIT said that to him, personally, a smart city is a compassionate city. Lastly, before we concluded our day and headed back to our dorms at MICA University we took a short visit to the Adala Step Well. This well was made in 1499 and had the most intrigued and hauntingly beautiful architect to it. It was nice to finally get out of the classroom and see the inner beauties within India.
When asked of the students’ takeaways from the program thus far and their thoughts for the future, Haas student, Sue Ann Goh (BS 2015) eloquently described how important open innovation is when building smart cities. Kaitlyn Tsai (BS 2015) followed up with practicality and relevance, asking how theses current business models of India’s startups could be utilized for a sustainable future. With our tummies filled with delicious fish curry (and one or two slices of Dominos Pizza) we rest until tomorrow as we have a full day ahead for our last day of 2014!