It has been a while since we last spoke as we have been busy, time to get you updated, on Barcelona this time!
From 25 to 28 February, Connected Liverpool attended the Mobile World Congress based in the Fira Gran Via conference building in Barcelona after the team happily accepted the invite from Svetlana Grant, Director Smart Cities – Connected Living Programme GSMA. This year, 72,000 people visited the conference…..MASSIVE.
Early Sunday morning (24 February), we arrived in the sunny but cold Barcelona after a short and smooth journey, ready to get our conference tickets and free tube tickets (see below) from the “fast-track registration desk” at Barcelona-El Prat Airport.
After a short queue and showing our personal ID conference code on our smartphone to a lovely Spanish lady, it was time to get into the city centre and have breakfast in an authentic (and tasty) Spanish bistro as shown below. Lee was so kind to let us take some pictures while enjoying his breakfast.
Day 1 of the Mobile World Congress was mind blowing to say the least, the 240,000 square meters conference centre with 94,000 square meters of exhibition space divided over 8 halls and 2 floors was impressive. Seminars and keynote speeches from people as the CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Chairman of China Mobile, CEO of AT&T, CEO of Foursquare, CEO of Dropbox, CEO of Mozilla, CEO of Vodafone and more….what else is there to say.
Besides the exhibitors, day 1 covered such topics as “Vertical Disruption”, “Reshaping Mobile in the Digital Revolution”, “Building the Ecosystem for NFC Services”, and “Apps: Evolving the Ecosystem” located in the Conference Village of the conference centre.
Day 2 had an early start as Svetlana Grant, Director of Smart Cities – Connected Living Programme GSMA, invited Connected Liverpool to an Exclusive Networking Smart Breakfast Event from 8 till 10 a.m. at the conference building. The Barcelona City Council presented its Smart City Team which then introduced its Smart City Agenda. This was our opportunity to connect to key people in the Barcelona Smart City Team such as Manuel Sanromá (CIO Barcelona City Council), Josep Ramon Ferrer i Escoda (Smart City Strategy Director), and Pilar Conesa (Congress Director Smart City). From that day, we have been sharing experiences, initiatives, and pilots within both of our cities. As Barcelona is a well advanced and progressive city, we are keen to learn from them so we can use this knowledge to deploy our own smart city agenda in Liverpool.
Some of you may be aware that Barcelona is no longer using the term ‘Smart City’ but uses ‘Mobile’, or as their brand new city programme is called: “Mobile World Capital Barcelona”. This programme explains Barcelona’s understanding that the ICT industry is one of the main driving forces behind social progress and that its development is essential to drive economic growth and society’s transformation. Their stand was one of the eye-catcher during the conference.
We ended day 2 with an Exclusive Networking Reception at the Connected City stand of the GSMA, a real city street complete with a car showroom, office, town hall, department store, mobile shop, apartment, electrical store, hotel and café, where companies like AT&T where showcasing their innovation in the field.
Day 3 was filled with interesting seminars and talks such as ‘The Mobile Consumer’ given by Nielsen, and ‘Mobile Innovation 2023′ given by such experts in the field as the CEO of Deloitte and the CEO of Telefonica.
The final day of the conference was a big one for Connected Liverpool as we received Kevin McManus of Liverpool Vision to speak about the International Festival of Business 2014 and Connected Liverpool’s smart city agenda for Liverpool on the Mobile Monday event. One of the chairs of this event was Ajit Jaokar, who led the panel into an interesting discussion around venture capitalists, start-up funding and round 2 funding. See pictures below!
Just before the end of the day, we joined the Barcelona City Council crew at their Barcelona Fashion&Trend Festival celebration (planned for September 2013). This will be a creative and digital event around Fashion and another opportunity for the city to showcase its innovation.
Overall an amazing event with lots of networking opportunities, making the right connections to drive our Liverpool Smart City Agenda, and a rich source of cutting edge information when it comes to the future of mobile technology in our daily lives. A very big thank you to Svetlana Grant and the GSMA for the amazing experience!!!!