TelcoDR gives back: CLOUD CITY’s impact goes beyond MWC21

Public cloud was the big winner at Mobile World Congress 2021 (MWC21) and the cloud native tech showcased in CLOUD CITY took home the gold. But MWC’s impact is always way bigger than what happens at the Fira, and with CLOUD CITY, we had a chance to contribute to the wider community and recognize some of our own winners.

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To lead things off, I’m very proud to say that we supported three international charities with a combined cash donation of $130K USD. The first $100K came from the top ten players of our CLOUD CITY QUEST game who earned the highest cumulative points. Each of them were given the opportunity to give $10K to the International Rescue CommitteeSave The Children or Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres). Our winners were pretty global too, coming from Spain, Lithuania, Italy, France, and USA.

CLOUD CITY QUEST competitors had to complete a number of challenges during MWC21, such as taking a walk through our immersive experience that provides a glimpse of what the subscriber experience of the future will be like (spoiler alert: telcos can deliver CUSTOMER LOVE when they use the public cloud!).

Game players had fun with our poll questions and photo challenges, and also provided us with some interesting insights about the biggest benefits of moving to the public cloud.

And CLOUD CITY QUEST players weren’t the only ones competing for philanthropic prizes – $30K was donated as part of our three nightly yacht parties at MWC21. The action at the Roulette table was hot! The two guests with the most chips at the end of each night dueled for the right to donate $10K to one of our charities in the final game of Roulette.

Huge congratulations to all of our winners!

Giving back to Barca

I love Barcelona – it’s got history, culture, beaches, amazing food, and a thriving tech scene. It’s no wonder it’s MWC’s host city. The event brings a lot of money to the area (GSMA’s estimate for 2019 was €473 million), and when the 2020 event was cancelled, the entire region took a hit. And while MWC 21 managed to take place without a hitch, I’m thrilled that CLOUD CITY gave us a chance to share goodwill behind the scenes. Here’s what we did:

Cash Donations$130,000
Food Donations$150,000
Art Donations$110,000
Telepresence Robot Donations$270,000
Job Creation$590,000

We donated excess food

This was CLOUD CITY’s inaugural year, and it was the first time ANYONE had done anything like this at MWC. We had a restaurant and coffee bars in our booth, and there was free food and drink in the media room (as well as for everyone and anyone who stopped by). We fed everyone who came to our booth and for any additional unused food, partnered with a local NGO, Nutrició Sense Fronteres, to distribute remaining meals and snacks to people in need at the close of each day. The organization is based in Barcelona, but it does awesome work all over the world to eradicate malnutrition while focusing on food security and sustainability. Check them out.

We donated artwork

Like so many other sectors, the arts has been hit brutally by COVID-19, with galleries closed and tourist footfall down for months. As part of our MWC21 efforts, we looked for ways to tap into, and support, the local Barcelona artist community, and commissioned three local artists to create unique pieces for display within CLOUD CITY. Diego VicenteXavi Ceerre, and Miniskula (aka Maria Lopez), part of artistic collective Reskate, spent three days on site in CLOUD CITY working on their creations for all MWC21 attendees to see. After the event, we donated their work to a local gallery, Galeria Carles Taché, and I’m looking forward to seeing the pieces in upcoming exhibitions.

We donated the awesome robots!

CLOUD CITY’s telepresence robots were a huge hit, zipping around and connecting virtual attendees to demos, exhibitors, other virtual attendees, and other great stuff in our space. We organized about 16,000 minutes of robot visits – from prospects who wanted to see demos, extended team members and collaborators, and even had visitors from the press who wanted to get a glimpse of what was creating so much buzz.

We’ve donated all of our three-wheeled robot friends to the Computer Vision Center at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Computer, a department focused on “empowering machines with the sense of vision.” Pretty cool, right? The robots will be redeployed to other departments, research institutions, universities, and robotic and AI education and research associations.

We contributed to local employment

We managed to design, source materials for, build, promote, and maintain CLOUD CITY in a crazy short time frame (around 100 days). This wasn’t without some serious sweat from everyone involved.

From set-up to breakdown, CLOUD CITY created around 550 jobs. All of the staff on site – from the ambassadors and security, to the film and hospitality crews – were just fantastic. We couldn’t have delivered the show without them. Our marketing and PR teams also went into Barcelona to spread the word about CLOUD CITY during the show. And our build team put in many hours of heavy lifting – not to mention daily COVID tests – to construct and deconstruct the booth before and after the event.

We got a ton out of our participation in MWC21 and it feels great to have made a positive impact in return. I gotta say, I’m pretty damn proud to have been a part of all of it.

And I can’t wait to be part of it again at MWC22! I can’t wait to see you there!

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