Da Nang – A City on the Rise
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Today was another very busy working day for us on the service corps team. Several of the sub-teams had separate team meetings in the morning to review information, develop a long-term view, and begin the task of defining a roadmap for the future. Some of the teams, including the food safety team, had additional meetings with members of the city government. These meetings are scheduled to continue through the rest of the week.
As one of our team members put it over the weekend, the teams have reached a point of maximum divergence as we each have digested a huge amount of information, both from the people we have met as well as the sources we have called on within IBM and across the world. We are now working more towards re-convergence, to result in a consolidated and organized set of recommendations for the city of Da Nang to implement over the next several years.
Every time you travel around the city, something new is discovered. The city is an amazing mix of new and old, and is changing right before your eyes. I mentioned in a previous posting the high level of construction that is under way in the city. This includes infrastructure such as bridges and roads as well as high-end hotels and offices. In addition to the building though, it is interesting to note that the style of shopping is changing as well. We experienced an example of this before dinner this evening. Within 100 m of one another are two extremes of shopping experiences in Da Nang. On the one hand is the Con Market (pronounced “cone”). This market, in a more traditional style, resembles a combination flea market (American term) and farmer's market, including everything from fruits and vegetables, to canned sauces, to fresh pork, beef, chicken, and fish. On the other hand, there is the “Big C”. This is a multi-story, combination shopping mall and “big box” store. It seems you can find just about anything at the “Big C”. There is even a multi-screen movie theater and food court on the top floor. Shopping style is just one example of this city undergoing changes.
Other trends that we are expecting to see for the city are impacting the set of recommendations we are considering. Some of these trends:
This really is a City on the Rise – growing up before our eyes. We're confident that our recommendations will help the city take advantage of what has worked (and avoid what hasn't) for other cities as they have gone through similar transformations.