This month we’ve got the 2nd and 3rd year teams going abroad to San Francisco, Hong Kong & Cape town. Read about some of Manus’s observations in Hong Kong to see what’s going on with him & his team on the other end(s) of the world.

‘Hi’ I say to the bus driver. He looks me straight in the eye but that’s all the reply I’ll get. It’s not the first time this happens here. In most situations you can greet and ‘be polite’ in a western way but saying nothing at all is appreciated too. After being here for over 2 weeks I’m slowly starting to understand the logic behind it in a city this crowded. There is so many people you come across on a daily basis and being friendly to strangers just isn’t on everyones priority list.

City of the future but they can learn something about design & aesthetics in the living space

Hong Kong is an innovative place too and they are seem keen to adapt to new technologies. Seeing elderly people locked behind their iPhone 6’s is not uncommon at all here. Further more Hong Kong works on a lot of forth striving technologies such as the Octopus card, which you can use to ride any bus, train or boat in the whole country. Nothing new right? But this card lets you buy groceries, pay at MacDonalds, charge your phone, shop online or transfer money to friends. This card is like the OV chipkaart but then awesome. Then when you use this card for it’s actual purpose the subways, trains and busses are efficient to the point where people don’t own cars (or scooters) at all. Pretty much everybody uses public transportation so everything on 4 wheels is a taxi, a minivan or in any other way business related transportation. One other thing that makes this city: in Hong Kong crime rates hit new all time lows (nearly) every year. People here just don’t act (or look) like they have any interest in being thugs at all. It’s like they are past that stage. I think they decided ‘We don’t do that anymore’. More so than I expected, Hong Kong feels like a city of the future.

So what have Chris & I been doing? We changed our plan a bit and will be launching an online tech & innovation blog / platform at Growth.nl. We are working hard to launch this thing in March and at the same time we’re both working on our own respective (Dutch) projects. And not unimportantly: we’re doing 24 hour challenges with the rest of our team operating from Cape Town.

Last Monday we worked on a 24 hour case for an international fishery based in South Africa. A huge company with a rather complex case, asking us to rethink the production process & logistics and come up with ideas to run their company more efficiently. We approached the case by imagining the company was our own and by removing everything that didn’t make sense. After some discussion, some skype disconnections & extensive brainstorming the end result was one we we’re proud of and we are really looking forward to the 8 (or so) 24 hour challenges to come!

Manus – Team Blend.