Archive for September, 2009

Annual Meeting of New Champions, Dalian, China

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I’ve just come back from the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions (AKA Summer Davos).

Each year, the meeting brings together leaders from global businesses, governments, civil society and technology sectors to discuss the challenges of relaunching growth.

This year, we had over 1,300 leaders from 86 countries focusing on future innovations to stimulate a sustainable recovery.

From the Forum’s Press Release:

The Meeting has brought together different groups that represent the future, including Young Global Leaders, Technology Pioneers, Young Scientists and heads of Global Growth Companies that represent fast-growing firms. They are working with CEOs of established global corporations, some of which are mentors to these emerging leaders.

Yes We Did to be translated in Spanish!

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I have some amazing news! “Yes We Did” will be published in Spanish in early 2010! I am so excited to go back and promote the book over there – Spain was one of my favorite places that I’ve visited this past year. This is the third foreign language that has been purchased, the other two are Japanese and Simple Chinese.

It is now also available for the Amazon Kindle. :)

Also a very special thanks to everyone who has emailed me to let me know how much they liked the book. It is such a thrill to receive each and every one of your notes and never fails to brighten my day. Over the next few weeks, in celebration of the one year anniversary of the election victory, I will be sharing some of my personal pictures and behind-the-scenes footage of working on the New Media team. It’s going to be fun to relive that time again!

Can you believe it’s already October? Where has 2009 gone?

First Intelligent Communities Summit

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Over the past 20 years, Moncton transformed itself from a blue-collar town with an uncertain future to one of the most diversified and fastest growing metropolitan centers in Canada. The success of its transformation is entirely due to its focus on the Broadband Economy, and how all stakeholders have collaborated to leverage technology for community development.

The hard work of the past two decades was recognized earlier this year when the Intelligent Community Forum in New York named Moncton one of the 2009 Top Seven Intelligent Communities in the world. In fact, the Canadian Province of New Brunswick has been identified by the Intelligent Community Forum as a best practice model. This year, two New Brunswick cities, Moncton and Fredericton, are among the 2009 Top Seven Intelligent Communities.

Now Moncton is host to the First Intelligent Communities Summit, where participants will share best practices and brainstorm on the next steps in leveraging technology for community development. These next steps will be designed to help businesses and communities weather economic storms, prosper and improve quality of life.

Rahaf will be the keynote speaker at the Economic Club of Canada luncheon on October 7th. The presentation will be followed by a book signing event for Rahaf’s book Yes We Did.

Rogers Choco Promo

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

I recently went in the morning to a major Rogers location for updating the hardware of my daughter’s cell phones. The first contact with staff was on the cool side. The person assisting us was sitting behind a long counter and did not stand up and join us as I am used to in that location (must be some new “stay-put” policy!).

Once we explained what we needed the rep started typing on his computer. His body language and terse responses communicated annoyance. I thought for a while it was because we disturbed their peaceful morning rumination, but it turned out that he was stuck trying to retrieve the account information.

Long story short, we selected the new phone (BB of course) and started the process of settling, which involves committing to a 3-years contract with exit penalties in order to get the subsidized cost of the phone. As soon as we signed on the dotted line a magic transformation in the attitude happened. Two bottles of water were offered. The contract was briefly explained, particularly the checklist of what a customer satisfaction survey to be expected in few days will be asking us.

Then, with the phone and papers we got handed two CD jewel cases. I was expecting the usual promotional materials, perhaps a manual in electronic format, or even a music selection like Nissan does sometimes.

To my surprise each case contained a thick CD made completely out of chocolate!

Now I don’t know about you, but I am quite a chocolate fan. So I was initially pleasantly surprised. On second thought, however, and having eaten the chocolate, I have the following to say to my friends at Rogers:

  • Thanks for the promotional chocolate; its quality was medium, but hey, it’s free.
  • While I am a chocolate fan, I would have much preferred a friendlier service before sale.
  • I was not happy that despite being a VIP customer with significant spending with Rogers for many years, a hardware upgrade had to reset the account lock for another 3 years.
  • I realize I am hostage to the only GSM carrier in Canada for the time being. All the chocolate of the world will not stop a hostage from seeking freedom. So I’ll be seriously looking for alternatives as soon as other GSM carriers become available. Customer service is not post-sale token rewards. It starts with genuine and fair value of the products and services you offer your customers.
  • Oh and by the way: After 4 months I am still trying to remove a Rogers monthly charge for web hosting that I canceled over six months ago for a web site that never ran on Rogers servers. I assure you, you can remove our web domain from your servers while keeping our (hosted exchange) email domain.