Discussing ​Smart Cities in Doha​

We have been in Doha (Qatar) from March the 14​th to the 17th​ together with an interesting team from the SEK Group and Universidad Camilo José Cela (UCJC). ​I had the opportunity to lead a workshop and a conferences, the workshop was at the Ministry of Public Works, on March 15th and the conference was prepared for a group of 40 people, including corporate managers, Latins in Qatar and the Spanish Ladies in Qatar at the Intercontinental Hotel The City. The organization of Damián Fernández @damianmadrid was of outmost value along the stay.

I presented the book I co-authored and published recently on smart cities, as well as the interdisciplinary projects we are aiming at around the smart city idea at the different schools at Universidad Camilo José Cela, involving architecture, communications, health science, education and sports.
2016 Public Works Authority Doha Olga Gil pic

Attendants shared questions about the smart city concept.

The size of the public allows for networking of peers. We have keept the cohort small at 10 participants to the workshop and 30 to the conference. Since they are from across the world and public and private experts are included, the network of individuals allows to discuss smart cities and their challenges from a broad perspective. Some of the attendants to the workshop, specially the engineers, emphasized the importance of having happy people in the cities, and being able to have measures of happiness, rather than overbuild or embed information and communications technology into urban territories. This is an interesting insight. I always learn from people coming to conferences and workshops, as they pose new questions and highlight facets that could have been overlooked. The work of Coates on the geopolitics of the Gulf countries in recent years was very useful to prepare and adapt to the local context.

The SEK team, together with the UCJC team presented interesting pre-college summer courses offered under the heading “Humanities, Science and Technology” for 16 and 17 year-old students to parents. ​SEK Group was founded 120 years ago, and has become widely as the most well-known private educational institution in Spain. SEK has six schools in Spain, one in Dublin (Ireland), one in Les Alpes (France) and a school in Doha (Qatar). SEK schools schools follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, and use English and Spanish as the languages of instruction in Spain. In Doha Arabic and Spanish are taught as foreign languages. In Spain SEK group has a 100% success rate for students´ University Entry Exams. SEK Group together with Camilo Jose Cela University add up over 17,000 students attending the educational institutions every year.

This post is work in progress, as I will be reflecting on all the data gathered along the stay. Let me, for the time being share these pictures with you.​
Olga Gil y grupo SEK UCJC
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