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July 17 – 20, 2012: Segunda Clase August 6, 2012

Posted by luciabird in Travel Log.
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On Tuesday, July 17, we started our second class of the Madrid LBAT, which focused on technology and businesses in Madrid, especially focusing on the “Ciudad Inteligente,” or smart city. To do this, we read articles about new types of technologies and systems in use in Spain to aid with energy, transportation, education, commerce, and many other areas. We also interviewed citizens of Madrid and compiled our knowledge from class, as well as independent research, to create two documentaries that were presented during the class. This information was very interesting as it provided insight into an area that I had not even previously realized needed to be studied—for example, one of our projects focused on augmented reality and how it is being used through any of our smart phones.

Another key part of the class was our visits to two prominent Spanish businesses. The first professional visit was to Telefónica, on Wednesday, July 18. Telefónica is a Spanish telecommunications provider in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Their campus is located in the northern part of Madrid, and is composed of sustainable grounds and buildings. We also witnessed new technologies at use in the buildings, such as a three-dimensional television and a hologram. Some of the efforts at sustainability on the Telefónica campus include smart meters that monitor and regulate the temperatures inside the buildings, solar panels that produce fifteen percent of the energy used in the buildings, and also landscape with plants specifically chosen for their ability to survive without excessive water. During our tour, we also learned about the new professional culture that the company is attempting to establish. The campus was created to allow for greater comfort and flexibility for its employees, including facilities like banks, childcare centers, and fitness centers within the campus. Furthermore, employees are allowed to work with “telepresence” and “telecommuting,” meaning that they can have virtual meetings with other employees or work at home instead of in the office if they so choose.

Our second professional visit was to the Antena 3 office building. Antena 3 is a Spanish television channel with both entertainment and news programs. Unfortunately, on my way to the Metro station, I slipped and fell down the stairs. After limping my way through the Metro with the help of my roommate and our professor, I arrived at Antena 3, and they were very accommodating with my sudden injury. During our visit, we toured the facility extensively. We sat in on the set of a news show and also visited the research room, where many interns were working. The most interesting part of our visit was when one of the students was able to actually participate and speak in a radio show being broadcasted from Antena 3. Although I enjoyed the tour, I was definitely ready to get home and rest my twisted ankle!

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