Sunday, August 25, 2019

Fascinating Experiences at the Logistics Conference and Naval Academy in Cartagena, Colombia

I returned early this morning, around 1AM, from Cartagena, Colombia, where I had the pleasure of being a keynote speaker at the CIIO 2019 logistics conference and also delivering a guest lecture. Both of these took place at the Naval Academy located on an island in Cartagena. I had been a keynote speaker at the same conference, but four years earlier, in Bogota, so it was a special honor to be invited back to Colombia!
The other keynote speakers at CIIO 2019 were: Professors Jahre of Norway, Schwede of Germany, and Conway of the US. We were put up in the Naval Academy officers quarters. The views were majestic from and on the island  and there was excellent security. We had nameplates on our room doors; had an officer assigned to us to assist us; met with an Admiral; were taken on a tour of the Navy Museum in the Old Town, and were treated to a lavish dinner, this past Friday, at the Naval Club.

The experience was intense and very engaging and rich.  Below I posted some photos of the beautiful vistas and some of the activities at the Naval Academy.
My talk this past Wednesday at the Naval Academy was: "Networks to Save the World: Operations Research in Action" and it can be downloaded here.
My keynote on Thursday, on another very timely topic, was entitled: "Tariffs and Quotas in Global Trade: What Networks, Game Theory, and Variational Inequalities Reveal" and it is also posted on the Supernetwork Center website.

The hospitality extended to the keynote speakers was extraordinary and we had numerous conversations with naval officers that were truly inspiring. Their intelligence, dedication, work ethic,  physical fitness, and stamina are remarkable. I marvel at the intensity of the experiences that we had and the honor of being there as special guests. Below are a few additional photos from the talks and very memorable experiences. Not only were there officers and cadets at the conference but also Deans of the hosting universities, numerous students that were bused in from major cities, including Bogota, and even the Minister of Trade and Commerce came for the Friday afternoon late session. We finished off the conference with a fabulous panel and discussion, which I very much enjoyed being part of.
Friday evening, before the dinner at the Naval Academy, there was a reception and a lovely ceremony at which the keynote speakers were recognized by Commander Baron. I was honored to receive the award below.
The beauty of the landscape was breathtaking and we enjoyed the chatty parrot who would visit us at the officers quarters and I learned that what I thought were mangoes where actually coconuts!
Colombia may be faced with challenges but, given its natural resources, geographical location, and exceptionally talented individuals that we met, I am optimistic and hopeful that it can realize its full potential.

Muchas gracias por todo!