RIBX -- 05/03/11

So after Nancy left for work this morning I dashed back upstairs to shower and put on a business suit (banker pinstripe) and a dress shirt (light blue with button-down collar) and a necktie (small floral pattern on red background -- red is supposed to be a power color in a necktie... and it sort of matched the red braces I was wearing) -- and then, dressed like an actual grown-up, I hopped in my car and drove up to Providence to RIBX.

That's the hip new name for the Rhode Island Business Expo (put on by the Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce).

And I was going there because the opening keynote speaker was John Iwata -- IBM Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications. It was an interesting talk -- as you might well expect for someone with his title, he is a comfortable and accomplished public speaker -- complete with a variety of video clips to illustrate various points he wanted to make. He (naturally) touched upon IBM's rapidly approaching 100th birthday, gave a brief overview of technological change, especially as it relates to business, and then talked about IBM's Smarter Planet initiative.

IBM recently challenged cities around the world to submit grant proposals dealing with how they would like to try to incorporate smart technology. Providence was one of nine winning cities in North America, winning $400,000 worth of IBM technological and consulting assistance to apply smart technology to the process of developing a section of the city (once known as "The Jewelry District") that had been cut off for decades when the interstate highways sliced through town. I-195 has now been rerouted and acres of land are now available for development. The city would like this area to become home to private high technology firms (especially in software, medical, and biotechnology fields) and perhaps also hospital medical centers and educational institutions (as long as too much land does not go off the tax rolls). The city has taken to calling it "The Knowledge District."

Then dash back to my car and back home to get busy with my normal work tasks. Actually, there were almost 120 organizations and companies with exhibits at the expo (uh, I mean at RIBX) and I spent half an hour or so visiting a few of them. I won a metal water bottle at the Red Cross booth (spin a wheel and win a prize).

In an entry back in February I posted a Youtube link to a video (about 13 minutes long) that IBM had put out -- 100 x 100 -- that featured 100 people, from a centenarian to a baby.

Here is another video also on a 100 time 100 theme, this time covering 100 years of IBM in 100 seconds of time, extremely rapid glimpses of a century of technological change. (This one was shown as part of Jon Iwata's keynote address this morning.)

And I am back in jeans and sneakers and t-shirt (but unlike most of my t-shirts, it's not a souvenir shirt from a race -- it's a Washington, DC, souvenir shirt that's more than a dozen years old, showing a map of the Washington subway system).

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