Diversify the economy and create a business friendly environment

 Read our article in The Chamber Magazine, eversion


This is not an easy task to accomplish when discussing such a broad range of topics such as economics, culture, and branching out into new business models for a nation.

As I review all the notes, ideas and thoughts which flowed from several open conversations that took place last year, I am amazed at the number as well as breadth of topics we covered that day. It proved to all of us, that given the opportunity and platform, together we can find common ground and move this country forward.

We now stand at another crossroad, deciding how to enact some of the ideas many of you developed. We see some of the fruit of days past now ripening but still sitting waiting to be picked.
Some of these plans were brought forth long before the Future of Cayman Forum and after thoughtful debate, are becoming real and tangible plans on the drawing board. We still need involvement from a broad base of individuals, though to ensure we hear all voices. To that end, I am proud to be a part of this initiative and see so many ideas emerge form conversation.

One thing we do know is that our economy must grow, more than likely our population along with it, and new businesses must take root hear for the long term. Such ideas as Narayana and Cayman Enterprise City will do remarkably great things for the island, but we also must develop the smaller changes in business in order to better complete with foreign markets. Small businesses keep our money in Cayman instead of flowing overseas, and we’ll all be better off for it.

As mentioned in the last article, we at IBM consider the next steps to center around the Green, or in IBM terms Smart, initiatives which hopefully will take root in Cayman as we look forward at what may be explosive growth. While there are many Smart Planet ideas we discuss, there are a few which stand out as applicable to Cayman.

IBM classifies the strategy of Urban Planning as:

The ability to support the city’s economic and social development by designing and regulating the use of land and buildings in the context of natural environment, transportation networks and other related factors.

Soon, we’ll begin to discuss these ideas in more forum settings. There is a wealth of talent and knowledge within the IBM family and in Cayman to take advantage, and I hope to bring the community these ideas with partners here on island.

There are so many topics to be covered; to list them here would do them an injustice. Please visit www.ibm.com/smartplanet and think of your own ideas to help push forward our economy.

Constructing a smarter planet, one building at a time.

Buildings have always been much more than roofs over our heads. Over the last century, as towers of steel reached higher into the sky and homes sprawled farther and farther into the surrounding landscape, our buildings not only housed burgeoning urban populations and growing economies – they also served as symbols of modernity and progress.

Unfortunately, today’s offices, factories, stores and homes are also symbols of something else – waste and pollution. In the U.S., buildings consume 70% of all electricity, up to 50% of which is wasted. Lights blaze and air conditioners hum in empty offices at night, and lawn sprinklers turn on even during a rainstorm. Commercial buildingslose as much as 50% of the water that flows into them. By 2025, buildings will be the single largest energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gasses on our planet.

But on a smarter planet we can think about buildings differently -seeing homes not just as living spaces, but as living systems; seeing offices not just as static structures where work is done, but as manifestations of all the ways the world works.

In a smart building, systems are not managed separately – they interoperate. Thousands of sensors can monitor everything from motion and temperature to humidity, precipitation, occupancy and light. The building doesn’t just coexist with nature – it harnesses it. Smart buildings can reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 50% to 70% and save 30% to 50% in water usage.

Although today most attention is focused on smart homes, some of the most dramatic progress is being achieved in commercial developments around the world. The St. Regis hotel in Shanghai integrated 12 subsystems to create one intelligent building, with a ratio of energy costs to revenue below 5% (compared to 8% for other fi ve-star hotels). GIB-Services in Switzerland is using excess heat from its datacenter to heat a local public swimming pool. A mining company in Canada is using its excess datacenter heat to warm its warehouses during the cold Canadian winters.

IBM’s own green datacenter in Boulder, Colorado, has replaced energygreedy air-conditioning with cooling from the air outside, which can be used for up to 75% of the year, contributing up to 50% in annual energy savings.

And for a glimpse of what is possible through a smarter approach, consider the GreenSpaces offi ce park in Delhi, India, on which construction will begin this year. It aims to be the world’s greenest and most energy-efficient commercial building, through such innovations as 100% waste and water reclamation, instrumentation and interconnection of all systems, recharging ports for electric cars, and ventilated chairs. It even plans to “grow” its own oxygen and remove harmful compounds from the air through the strategic use of indoor vegetation – which doesn’t just help the environment; it also helps people think and be more productive. An earlier prototype was rated the healthiest building in Delhi by the Indian government.

In the 20th century, people marveled at what could be built by filling our buildings with steel. In the 21st, let’s see what new heights – and reduced footprints – we can achieve by filling them with intelligence.

Let’s build a smarter planet.

Join us and see what others are thinking at ibm.com/think

Paul Gallagher
CDS Agencies
720 West Bay Rd
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
(345) 526-1426 (1IBM)

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