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Building a smarter planet, city by city

Instrumented. Interconnected. Intelligent.

On November 23, IBM hosted more than 100 leaders from Chile for its first SmarterCities Forum in Latin America. Why Santiago? For one thing, the city is representative of the new urban future—both its opportunities and its challenges—that our planet faces.

In the early part of the 20th century, Santiago had 500,000 inhabitants. Today it has more than 5 million—or more than one-third of the nation's total population. This population growth has also translated into making Santiago the financial and commercial center of the country. The metropolitan region generates 45 percent of GDP and nearly 50 percent of total household income in Chile.

Moreover, Santiago also embodies a deliberate national effort to accelerate modernization, with advances in physical infrastructure and citizen services. It also reflects the broader competitive reality of a globally integrating economy, with local growth and future progress encouraged by free market policies, a large skills base and investment opportunities.

IBM explored these attributes more deeply at our SmarterCities Forum. In conjunction with the Center for Urban Studies at the Catholic University of Chile, we convened experts from around Chile and the Americas to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with urbanization and globalization. We heard from some of Chile's most forward-thinking leaders—governors, mayors, business executives and community leaders—on how they are transforming critical systems in their cities.

As in our other SmarterCities events, we designed our agenda to give participants the opportunity to hear directly from these visionaries, and to participate in peer-to-peer discussion. In Santiago we rolled up our sleeves, shared insights and took some deep, system-by-system dives into building the roadmap toward a smarter city.

Santiago 2010 agenda. Challenges. Realities. Opportunities.

Session I: A Planet of SmarterCities—Seizing the Opportunities
Cities are the economic engines of sustainable economic growth for the 21st century. This session showcased the bold steps forward-thinking leaders are taking to manage rapid urbanization and drive innovation.

Luis H. Siles, General Manager, Chile, IBM

Sam Palmisano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, IBM

Special Address:
Fernando Echeverría, Governor, Metropolitan Region of Santiago, Government of Chile

A Conversation with:
Fernando Echeverría, Governor, Metropolitan Region of Santiago, Government of Chile
Claudio Orrego, Mayor, Municipality of Peñalolén
Sam Palmisano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, IBM

Discussion Leader: Fernando Paulsen, Professor, School of Journalism, Adolfo Ibañez University and Journalist, Canal Chilevisión and ADN Radio Chile

Session II: How to Build a Smarter City—The Key Success Factors
Global competition for funding, energy and talent is making leaders do more with less. This session explored how various urban subsystems overlap, support and influence each other to improve the mechanical functioning of the city and its quality of life. We heard from enterprising, forward-thinking mayors from Chile's leading cities about how they have garnered support and addressed citizen concerns to embark on serious urban transformation.

A Conversation with:
Christopher Coburn, Executive Director, Cleveland Clinic Innovations
Cristián Fierro, General Manager and Director, General Distribution
Latin America, Chilectra
Brian James, Head, Business Services, Southwest One, IBM

Discussion Leader: Bruno Di Leo, General Manager, Growth Markets, IBM

Session III: Investing in SmarterCities—Innovation Ecosystem
Cities offer our planet an integrated platform on which to create greater productivity, efficiency and quality of life. Yet, if we really want to drive sustainable growth we need to become more intelligent about how we structure our systems. Here, various experts discussed how they are driving transformative innovation by establishing new partnerships with city leaders and investing in smarter urban ecosystems, particularly in growth markets.

A Conversation with:
Alfredo Barriga, Government CIO & Executive Secretary for Digital Development, Ministry of Economy, Government of Chile
Pablo Allard, Executive Coordinator, Reconstruction Committee, Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, Government of Chile
Gonzalo Miranda, Founding Partner and General Manager, Austral Capital Partners

Discussion Leader: Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Vice President Emeritus and Consultant, IBM and Visiting Lecturer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Imperial College

Session IV: SmarterCities Santiago: Progress, Aspirations and Challenges
Immediately following our main session, IBM hosted and facilitated three interactive roundtable sessions on healthcare, government services and energy. Here, we hosted highly collaborative discussions with a range of policy, business and technology experts who delved deeper into how to build smarter cities. We explored the opportunities that surfaced during the conference and charted a path for Chile to realize the value from smarter city solutions.