#10 BABLE's Birthday: 5 Years of Projects

Episode 10 June 29, 2022 00:33:39
#10 BABLE's Birthday: 5 Years of Projects
Smart in the City – The BABLE Podcast
#10 BABLE's Birthday: 5 Years of Projects

Jun 29 2022 | 00:33:39


Hosted By

Tamlyn Shimizu

Show Notes

Let's take a moment on this journey toward a better urban life to reminisce about 5 years of Smart City projects at BABLE with host Tamyn Shimizu, CEO Alexander Schmidt, Senior UKI Consultant Nikita Shetty, Smart Cities Consultant Shannon Macika and Iberia Consultant and Business Developer Héctor Cañas.

BABLE Smart Cities was established 5 years ago with the goal of helping cities to become smarter, more sustainable and more livable. Along this journey, we collaborated with many partners and cities on different projects that we wanted to celebrate on this special day.

Is your company a leader in sustainability, innovation, or a key player in the Smart City field? Join us for BABLE's Innovation Market Watch!

Overview of the episode:

04:15 - Shannon's favourite project: SPARCS (Sustainable energy Positive & zero cARbon CommunitieS)

06:12 - What were this project's challenges?

07:42 - Nikita's favourite project: the development of a Smart District in the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland

09:00 - Who were the stakeholders involved in this project?

10:50 - What were the main challenges of this 2 years-long project?

12:10 - An advice for cities wanting to develop a Smart District

13:17 - Hector's favourite project: working on a Smart Mobility Strategy for the city of Beasain, Spain

13:57 - Why do cities need a Smart Mobility strategy?

15:35 - What are the impacts of this project, and the limitations of these impacts?

17:42 - Alex's favourite project: developing a delivery system based on electric cargo bikes in the city of Ettlingen, Germany

19:25 - Are there determinating factors for the speed of a project?

21:48 - Hot Take of the Day: we hear an opinion from our guests that may be slightly controversial or debated

27:07 - Ending Question: To you, what is a Smart City?


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Episode Transcript

Alexander Schmidt 00:00:00 Don't see problems, just see challenges to solve and go through those challenges very quickly. And then you have a great project with quick implementation. Again, not everywhere. You can have that because it's, um, you know, not all the circumstances you can control. That's part of the game. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:00:23 Welcome to Smart in the City - The BABLE Podcast, I am your host Tamlyn Shimizu, and really at BABLE, we aim to connect the players in the Smart City industry with high quality information and ideas through our platform and services. This podcast is really an extension of this goal and mission to drive the change for a better urban life. Before we get started, I wanted to inform all you lovely listeners about a great opportunity. BABLE has now opened applications for the innovation market watch for 2023. So top Smart City companies, you are invited to apply before the 29th of July. And of course it's free to apply as well. So just follow the link in the show notes. Now onto the regular programming. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:01:15 So today is a very special episode of our podcast because we are celebrating BABLE's fifth birthday. We were established five years ago and with the goal of helping cities to become smarter, more sustainable and livable, I wanted to really spend this day with some of my colleagues and also take the time to recognize just a handful of the projects we have been involved in. And most importantly, our partners and of course the cities themselves. So to introduce you to my wonderful colleagues, um, now we are going to start with a quick fire around of, uh, introduction. So, um, are you all ready? All 00:01:58 Yes. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:15 <laugh> good. Good. Um, so I will start with Shannon who, uh, if you've been listening to us, you already know from the previous episode and you should be listening to us. Um, so, uh, I will ask you three questions in a row. Um, the first question is what is your name? Shannon Macika 00:02:23 Shannon Macika nice to see you Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:24 Hard one <laugh>. Yeah. How long have you worked for BABLE? Shannon Macika 00:02:26 Since January, 2020. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:28 And what is your position? Shannon Macika 00:02:30 I am a Smart Cities Consultant. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:35 Cool. Cool. And next I'm going to Nikita. Um, what is your name? Nikita Shetty 00:02:38 Nikita Shetty. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:40 And how long have you worked for BABLE? Nikita Shetty 00:02:42 For four and a half years. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:44 She had to think about that. Yeah, Nikita Shetty 00:02:46 No, I was thinking five or would change that five. I would, I would change that five Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:51 Years. <laugh> five years. And what is your position? Nikita Shetty 00:02:55 Uh, I'm a senior consultant focusing on the UK and Irish Market. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:00 Wonderful. And now I am going to Hector, who is an office with me here. Um, Hector, what is your name? Hector Cañas 00:03:08 My name is Hector Cañas. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:11 And how long have you worked for Bob? Hector Cañas 00:03:14 Two years and two weeks. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:16 What is your position? Hector Cañas 00:03:18 <laugh> uh, I'm also a smart city consultant and business developer focusing in the Iberia market. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:26 Wonderful. Also, I love your precision with how long you've worked here. Um, so next, uh, finally last but not least, of course. Um, we have Alex here. So what is your name? Alexander Schmidt 00:03:38 My name, my full name is Alexander Schmidt. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:41 How long have you worked for BABLE? Alexander Schmidt 00:03:43 Well, since the beginning and quite some month before that, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:47 What is your position? Alexander Schmidt 00:03:49 Well on the title, it says CEO founder, but what I do is I support my colleagues in achieving their goals. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:55 Very nice, very nice. Um, great. So I really, you know, feel grateful also to be part of this team, and now I'm looking forward to some stories. Um, now it's storytelling time, which is always a fun time. Um, so I want to ask, uh, Shannon, um, what is one of your favorite projects and who was involved? Shannon Macika 00:04:21 So one of my favorite projects also because it's currently one of our longest, and I think most diverse projects is SPARCS. Um, one of our EU funded projects that we're working in sparks stands for sustainable energy positive and zero carbon communities. So we're really fortunate in that project to work with a really awesome network of partners ranging from cities, um, the lighthouse cities, as well as the fellow cities, all around Europe, as well as other partners from academia, uh, industry who are helping to support, um, really in accelerating and demonstrating the validity of various innovative solutions around energy systems. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:04:57 Wow. Um, and why is it your favorite? Shannon Macika 00:05:01 So I've really just enjoyed the diverse array of activities we've been able to support with, and also getting to workshop directly with the cities on what their needs and challenges are throughout the process. So just for example, we had a series of trainings, uh, with the various fellow cities focused on lots of different smart city topics. So ranging from the basics, uh, around what you should be thinking about with strategy and planning. Uh, for me personally, my background coming more from public health, uh, talking more about stakeholder engagement, best practices around, uh, involving communities co-creation and design. And so that was a really exciting process, I think, you know, because I think as much as we were also, you know, teaching various concepts, we also learned quite a lot through the process. And so this idea of, you know, co-creating through the process as well, that we're in the project is pretty exciting. Uh, and now we're at a stage where we're actually working with some of the cities to help them see their project development ideas come to life, and those are taking all sorts of various shapes and forms and the types of projects they're doing from E mobility to being more focused on energy management system. So it'll be exciting to see the results at the end of the project and also the results that have already happened so far. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:06:06 Yeah, that's, I've, it's also one of my favorite projects. I talk about it a lot, I think. Um, but what would you say, I think is the, you think is the biggest challenge. Um, obviously there's, you know, very impactful projects, but I think there's always a limit to the impact. And so we, we don't want to just focus on, I guess, the, the good things in the projects, but also what were the challenges? Shannon Macika 00:06:31 Well, so I guess you have two different kinds of challenges you could talk about here. I mean, you have project related challenges and just the grand scale type challenges of doing this kind of work and implementation. Um, so the scope of the project, you know, time budget, those are gonna be your major limitations. And I think that's the case for almost any project. Um, but you know, particularly with wanting to be very focused and direct in what we're doing in the scale of an EU project and supporting cities with, or the resources the cities themselves have to deal with. I think that's a challenge. Um, but also, you know, in terms of scope and focus, I mean, there's so many things in a perfect world, you would want to do everything, but being able to prioritize, like what's gonna be the most meaningful next step, um, towards solving your most pressing challenge. So if you're trying to create a more connected city or, uh, in the case of sparks, um, you know, we're focusing specifically here on creating positive energy districts. So each city has different size, they have different populations. So trying to figure out both, you know, for them what's gonna work best. And then also I think the challenge for us is helping them on that journey and figuring out what do they already have in place? Where, where does it make sense best in terms of going next <laugh> Tamlyn Shimizu 00:07:39 Yeah. Yeah. It makes a lot of sense. Um, Nikita, do you have, uh, a favorite project that you want to talk about today? Nikita Shetty 00:07:50 Uh, it was very hard to actually think about, um, what is my favorite project. I was, uh, when Shannon was answering, I was going through all the projects I worked on to, to pick one. And, um, I would love to talk about the project we worked with the city of Belfast, uh, answer. It was the development of the smart district that we, uh, did there. And, uh, it was actually an 18, I think almost two years project that we did with them. It started off with supporting them in the development of the city deal work. So in formalizing the city deal, um, activities that they were doing, and then went ahead to actually, um, develop supporting them in the development of the roadmap for the smart district. And then I think a key part was actually founding the innovation city Belfast partnership with the local innovation ecosystem. So, um, it was a long journey that we went together with, uh, the local stakeholders there, um, and not just centered in the city of Belfast, but also, uh, with the neighboring councils of Belfast. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:08:52 Yeah. It's really interesting. Um, also quite a favorite project of mine to talk about as well. Um, so who was all involved? There were quite a lot of stakeholders involved in this project. Can you, I don't know, name, name a few, or, um, talk about really how that collaboration aspect came into play. Yeah, Nikita Shetty 00:09:12 So we worked primarily with the city innovation team at Belfast City Council who was leading the, the digital aspects of the pillar. Um, and we worked, uh, pretty much together with them as part of their team for the, for the two years, uh, of the project. Um, in addition to that, we of course had very strong support from the Senior Leadership at the Belfast City Council. So they were really instrumental in making sure that the project was successful. In addition, we worked very closely with the two  universities in Belfast, so the Queen University and also the Ulster University, the Harbor. So the Belfast Harbor was a critical partner for the project. Several, um, institutions in Belfast: Invest Northern Ireland was a key partner. Also the neighbouring councils, we worked with 6 other councils surrounding Belfast throughout the, during the two years, we interviewed more than 200, um, organizations or 200 representatives in Belfast from different organizations across the Quadruple Helix. Um, and, um, yeah, there were many different partners. In addition to the partners within the local innovation ecosystem, we also worked very closely with Fraunhofer and with IPO, uh, the Brainport Smart District, um, um, initiative to really support Belfast in this process with the knowledge and experience they from, uh, from the projects and activities that they have done. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:10:45 Yeah. Lots of coordinating different, um, different partners and stakeholders. Uh, would you say that that's one of the main challenges was bringing everyone together in a cohesive way, or would there be something else that you would point out? Nikita Shetty 00:11:01 I think one key challenge that there was several, of course, over the period of two years, one key challenge was definitely all the changes that were happening in the local innovation locally ecosystem, actually. So, uh, Brexit was, uh, being finalized around that process. So we didn't know how that would, uh, affect many of the activities that Bal was doing also came towards the end of the project. So this also affected the way, uh, the focus that the council had at that point and shifted priorities internally. Um, there were also many changes, uh, politically within Northern Ireland, which had an impact, uh, and bringing all the stakeholders together on a common objective while all of these things in the surrounding in the background were changing was definitely, uh, a big challenge, uh, that we faced. But, um, I think one thing that really helped there was, uh, the motivation that the local stakeholders had, especially the organizations that went ahead to form the partnership, had to make this a reality. So I think, um, uh, it was a struggle, uh, over the months for everyone, but I think, um, it led to something very impactful. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:12:08 Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. And one small piece of advice for a city wanting to create a smart district. Nikita Shetty 00:12:17 I think one thing that really, um, played a big role in the success that Belfast had was, um, or has, is, um, working with the local stakeholders. So they, um, were really open to the whole process of talking to the stakeholders, listening to them. Um, some of the discussions and interviews were hard were really tough because, um, people were honest, um, also shared criticism. And I think, uh, it was really important that, um, the senior leadership, the, the different colleagues at the LF city council were open to change there and were open to really listening to the stakeholders and working together the stakeholders. So I think that partnership, the project was definitely a key success factor for the project. And I would recommend, um, all cities who want to work on this to also work on that aspect and not do it in isolation. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:13:12 Yeah. Good advice from Nikita. And, um, with that, I'll move on to Hector. Um, so what, what is one of your favorite projects and who was involved Hector Cañas 00:13:24 Well, um, as well as Nikita is this was a thought that I had to really think about. Um, but definitely I could say our most recent project together with, uh, Beasain municipality, basically what we are doing with them is in an initial stage, we are developing a vision and a set of objectives towards a smart mobility strategy. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:13:51 Yeah. Yeah. Um, and can you dive a bit deeper, I guess, into, uh, why do they need this in the first place? Why do you need this? Why do other cities need this? And, um, what impact can you really create? Hector Cañas 00:14:05 Definitely. So, uh, so this, this idea, this ambition came to the, to the council basically, uh, due to the, the big potential that they have locally, uh, with their stakeholders. So Baig is, uh, although, uh, a small, uh, city, but they have a really strong, uh, industry oriented, uh, to the mobility and transfer sector. They have around 15 organic, uh, around 15 organizations, uh, that are not only recognized in the BA region, but also, um, in Spain and European wide. So having this, this potential locally in their city, um, was definitely an asset that they wanted to take advantage of. And, uh, so this is how they, they came, uh, they approached us and they told us about what they, they were envisioning and together we, we formed this, um, this project idea in which we are going to, we are developing a vision and objectives to create sort of like a innovation hub for smart mobility. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:15:31 Yeah. Exciting things coming out of there. And, uh, what do you hope is the impact and what are really the limitations of that impact, do you think? Hector Cañas 00:15:42 So as the, the, the biggest outcome, uh, that we are expecting from this project is that the, all of these organizations can come together, um, in order to really push forward, um, new forms of, of, of research and development, um, the testing of new technologies in the city, um, and basically just put best science name out there as a, as a reference in, in smart mobility, um, limitations, um, and the, the most recent workshop together with the stakeholders, we, we were able to, to map out several, but for instance, one of the, the most pressing challenges, um, is that they are lacking, um, local talent. And this is due to the fact that, um, they are a, a small city, right? So it's, it's sometimes hard for them to, to, to lure, uh, local and international talent to come, uh, to work in, in Baine. Um, not nonetheless, um, in the, in the stakeholder group, we have several, um, universities and, um, educational centers that will provide some, some insights on how we, they can upscale the, the local talent and also provide, uh, better, better conditions for internationals to, to yeah. Build their competencies, uh, locally in bedside. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:17:32 Yeah. Again, so key is the stakeholder engagement and, um, also great to hear from a small city as well that they can do it too. Right. Um, so now, um, Alex, uh, what would you say is your top pick of projects that you want to talk about today? Alexander Schmidt 00:17:52 Well, we have heard from one in Northern Ireland, one in Spain. So I'm gonna pick one, uh, close by here in Germany, close to the city of cars who were a midsize city called Ettlingen. It was one of our first projects with a midsize city. You know, we started working only with a really big European one. So this was a really, uh, interesting and fast paced project. The issue was in the city center, very narrow street, it's an old city center. Um, the delivery events just blocked the street and created a very bad air, very bad feeling also for the, um, inhabitants there. So, um, the city approached us, we met, um, on fair at the, and we decided, how can we tackle this issue? And we had several options on the table and in the end decided together with a local transport partner and, uh, regional company here to create a system based on, uh, electric cargo bikes and bringing the parcels, not directly into the homes, but at more central stations so that the, um, distribution problem would be less. And why I love this project so much is within like 12 months, we were not only, um, able to design and get it started, but we actually also found the right funding, um, from the bottom Berg state and had it implemented in a pilot. So it was super-fast pace and impactful project. So that's why I like it a lot players, there were just amazing when it came to decision speed and implementation speed. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:19:25 Yeah. And what would you say contributes to that kind of speed? Can we always, are there determining factors? Can we get that kind of, you know, fast implementations in other places or does it just vary, um, depending on the situational, uh, causes. Alexander Schmidt 00:19:44 So there, we have to admit, there is always factors that we cannot influence, right. So if, uh, you know, one of the next stages of the project, would've been to scale it up to other places, and then COVID, uh, came along, which put a, which put a restriction to the, uh, to the abilities, um, to move forward. So, um, there is things that you can influence and things that you, you cannot. Huh. So having a, the things that you can influence is having a joint target, um, with, within the whole partnership, which is I think the important starting point, um, creating milestones, um, having the funding secured and the roles divided very much the beginning, um, and then execute, uh, and, uh, if you then have people on board, um, that, uh, know, go through challenges as a challenge, uh, don't see problems, just see, see challenges too. We solved and, uh, go through those challenges very quickly. Then you have a great project with quick implementation. Again, not everywhere you can have that because it's, um, you know, not all the circumstances you can control. That's part of the game. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:20:49 Yeah. Yeah. I agree. Also. And what would you say out of all those challenges was the biggest challenge? Alexander Schmidt 00:20:57 Well, the good thing is, um, this is why I left the project so much that, that in the end we solved all of them. Uh, right. So there was not, um, um, thing that, you know, that you have to give credit basically to the city of Ling and where they just said, you know, we are gonna do this. So this is not an option for us. We wanna do this. This is a problem we wanna solve. We wanna solve it quickly. Um, and now let's go. And from that, basically on what everything was, was set to me, I was personally involved into just saying, you know, we are gonna do this and we are gonna do this first. And then it happened, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:21:28 Leaving it on that note is, um, a lot of inspiration, hopefully for cities who have challenges and can just, um, yeah, there will be challenges and, uh, yeah, let's push through them and get it done as Alex said. So, um, so yeah. Thank you all for sharing, uh, about these projects. Um, now we will roll right into, uh, a segment of hours, uh, called hot take of the day hot take of the day. We want to hear an opinion of yours that may be slightly controversial or debated. Um, now I think it's only right that we put Alex on the hot seat, if you all agree. Um, and so, uh, yes, we will say, Alex, what is your hot take of the day? Alexander Schmidt 00:22:27 Okay. Yeah. Well, thanks. Um, Tamlyn, um, you know, I, it took something that has also very, uh, local, um, repercussions. Uh, we sit here in the city center of, to cut home of the automobile birthplace of the automobile, and I joined on lots of discussions nationally and internationally on the future of the car of the automobile. And, um, my heart take, um, on, uh, on this is that there is a future, um, for, um, for cars, um, in a very sustainable world in a green world, in the smart cities of the, of the future, that we will still see personal, um, vehicles, um, built in, uh, in Europe, in our future places. And that we also want those, uh, things that we actually, um, keep our freedoms of movements and that, you know, the generations to come, um, can also move flexibly and freely, um, across our countries. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:23:27 Does anyone want to debate that hot take, put Alex on the spot? Does everyone agree? Oh, Nikita. I can count on Nikita to have a fruitful discussion with Alex <laugh> Nikita Shetty 00:23:44 Saw Shannon was also adding there, so I, um, I, I keep it short and then let Shannon add there. I actually thought, uh, Shannon is a good motivation there to, to see how you can think beyond cars to see how, uh, you know, you, even when you're staying out the city to actually do mobility better without cars, I think the electric bike with which she brings, uh, autumn, uh, um, our office dog also all the way from a hill into the center and goes back and shows that, uh, when you choose to, um, yeah, when you choose to, um, other means of transport, you can make it work. So, um, while there might still be some forms of, uh, personal mobility, I do think that we need to be more creative in finding different forms of personal mobility than, um, uh, yeah. Fossil fuel powered cars, uh, and also which are end to end sustainable, right? Nikita Shetty 00:24:44 Not just, um, other materials which are, um, bringing in other problems there. So I do think that if we rethink mobility, personal mobility, completely not having too many personal cars means that we would restrict movement of people and, uh, yeah, everything else that meeting and collaborating with other people brings in. So I do think that there is a future where we might not have cars the way we see them now, uh, the kind of cars we have now, also the level of dependence we have on personal mobility, which is far, uh, fueled by fossil fuels at this state. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:25:24 And, um, hopefully my, my new tweezing, um, fits into that category of creative modes of transport, um, living out in the village. So, um, uh, my little two seat electric, um, you can't really call it a car, but, uh, it goes 80 kilometers, um, an hour. So, uh, that's one creative <laugh> way that I'm, um, tackling this challenge. Um, so, uh, oh, Shannon, did you want to add anything to that? Or Nikita said it well, Shannon Macika 00:25:54 I think Nikita said it great. You know, but just to kind of sum up, I think we can't, I don't know if any of us have something to debate with Alex, cause there's a role for all of this, right? Like there, it's just the way that we use cars might be different. I mean, personally, I really enjoy going through cities that, you know, have said, Hey, we're not gonna have cars in our city center, but we're gonna find other ways to make sure people can get around. And that includes all people. So people with limited mobility, for whatever reason, whether it's temporary or permanent for them. And so I think that's also where we still see the role of, you know, private vehicles, you know, especially in cases like that, to make sure we have inclusive mobility systems, but how can we also as much as possible give other options and also know uniformly across the board. So personally looking very forward to adding Ancar bike to my bike fleet in the near future. Uh, so that's one thing that's pretty cool. The cities that subsidize technologies like that. And I think we'll continue to see more innovative schemes, um, supporting people individually as they move around to also take advantage. Um, and have it be economically advantageous, not just environmentally advantageous. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:26:54 Yeah, absolutely. And Germany, I don't know if it's Germany, why just added it, um, over the summer they're doing, uh, tickets for nine euros per month or something like that, which, um, I think is amazing. So, um, so now we are going into our recurring question. Um, so it's a question that we ask every guest and, uh, I'm always quite interested to hear everyone's, um, different takes. However, we are going to put a little twist on it today, um, since we have a completely different setup than usual. Um, so this question by the way is what is a smart city? Um, so you all probably have very nice answers for that. As we have to say this a quite frequently in our work, what it is, um, although it's quite complicated <laugh> um, but since we are a team and we compliment each other and build upon each other's work, at least ideally <laugh> the vast majority of the time. Um, instead of each person giving one answer, we're going to go in a round style. So Alex, you're going to start with one sentence or phrase and then we will go in a circle and build upon his answer. Um, and <laugh> yeah, let's see what we get in the end. Um, so we will go in this order, so it'll be Alex, Hector, Shannon, and then Nikita. So are we ready? All 00:28:18 Let's do it <laugh> Tamlyn Shimizu 00:28:22 All right. Sounds good. Um, Alex, please start us off Alexander Schmidt 00:28:27 Happily. Um, so I record, um, uh, question and Nikita and I did about six years ago where we asked 37 municipal employees in the topic of smart city, what their definition of smart cities are, and we got 35 different answers. Hector Cañas 00:28:43 All right. Well with that, um, I would say we can build up a BABLE definition out of this, uh, 38 answers. Um, a smart city, um, is a small or large urban area that provides technologies to both their citizens and, uh, local stakeholders to build a connected, sustainable, um, and safe, um, city Shannon Macika 00:29:16 And smart cities are connected, not just in terms of technologies, but also in terms of people and places Nikita Shetty 00:29:22 And there with the goal to achieve bigger ambitions that the city has such as climate neutrality, economic development and so on. So everything that you do towards achieving much bigger ambitions of the city Alexander Schmidt 00:29:35 And, uh, they achieve that by using data, um, for the benefit of their stakeholders. Hector Cañas 00:29:44 I think that's a perfect answer now. <laugh>. Don't want to ruin it. <laugh> Tamlyn Shimizu All right, we will leave it at that then. Thank you all. And, you know, I realize also, um, we spoke about all these different projects going on, um, that we've, that we've participated in, that we've had amazing partners and, and collaborated on. Um, and there's also one, at least one big piece I think, missing from this. And it's been the development of the platform, which really brings together a lot of these different people, um, in a digital form. And, uh, yeah. So can you, Alex, can you speak a bit about, uh, that transformation kind of looking back at the last five years? Alexander Schmidt 00:30:25 <laugh> well, yeah, a lot has happened since, you know, uh, Nikita. We drew some, uh, pieces of paper on a wall and our colleague Patrick tried to digitalize them into a platform, right. So there's a, a lots and a lots, uh, have happened, but you know, the fun part is that the mission and what we are doing is, uh, stayed the same since the beginning. So, um, bringing together the knowledge of all the practitioners, uh, all across Europe, things, they have been, uh, doing the things they are doing and the things they are so planning to do on one central platform to, um, exchange, um, these information and then, you know, start their, their next project that has all been the same. The size is just, uh, mesmerizing. Right? So we, we started that off with a handful of, uh, well intentioned people. And now we are 30, uh, people in, uh, three different core markets, four different offices, um, lots of success over 2 billion Euro in projects, um, uh, supported. So this, I think, um, the amazing thing is that we stay true to what we we're planning to do. We're just doing it bigger and better, I think, um, uh, for, and, and that's, you know, continuously evolving every day. Tamlyn Shmizu 00:31:41 Yeah. Great. Maybe Nikita can also add to, um, her experience with that paper on the wall. Um, <laugh> Nikita Shetty 00:31:49 Yeah, I, I just got off the call with, uh, one of the people who was in the room when BABLE was launched. So with Nathan Pierce, uh, uh, just, um, a few minutes ago, and it was interesting to tell him how we've grown from, from that day to today, five years later. And, um, it made me realize that while there were several questions that we were asked when we started off not knowing whether such an open place for sharing knowledge and information would work to seeing where we are today with so many different cities on the platform who believe in the purpose, who are, uh, working, helping us actually in growing the platform. It's amazing to see how the market has grown, but also how, um, all the partners that we work have also, uh, you know, realized the purpose that we have and are coming with us, collaborating with us in this whole journey. So it has been amazing to see the growth, uh, in everything that we have been doing. <laugh> Tamlyn Shimizu 00:32:44 Yeah, yeah, definitely. I'm really excited for the next five years. Um, and let's leave it at that. And with that being said, I want to take the time to thank you all for uh, spending it with me today and to all of our listeners: don't forget. You can always create a free account on the platform that we just spoke about on bable-smartcities.eu to find out more about smart city projects, um, solutions, implementations, use cases, and more. Uh, so yeah. Thank you all for listening. I'll see you at the next stop on the journey to a better urban life.

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