Last week I spent three days in Santiago, the capital of Chile. Santiago is a large, modern, cosmopolitan city of around 6 million people, which is roughly 40% of the population of the country. The key reason for my visit was to attend the World Computer Congress, which is organized by IFIP - the International Federation of Information Processing, an international umbrella organization for national societies in Information Technologies. I gave a keynote talk on Innovation in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities, which focused on the historical context and changing nature of innovation, as well as some of the major changes taking place in technology, business and society.
One of the pleasures of visiting another country is that you get to meet with different people and learn something about the country. In Chile, I was able to spend time with people from universities, business and the press, as well as colleagues from IBM. The fact that we were able to talk in Spanish, my native language, made it that much easier to communicate and understand each other.
After my keynote, I had lunch with a number of faculty members from different universities in Chile, and joining us was a very special guest, Fernando Flores, who is a member of the Chilean Senate. Senator Flores is a truly remarkable individual, so let me say a few words about him.