IBM had a THINK exhibit at the Lincoln Center in New York City in the fall of 2011 as part of the larger IBM centennial celebration. I was living in NYC at the time and had the opportunity to see it first hand.
The entrance to the exhibit was a long wall comprised of lights that change constantly and display statistics on some environmental topics in New York City. For example, it displayed information regarding traffic patterns on Broadway along Lincoln Center and how the traffic changed throughout the day; facts were presented in words and the ebb and flow of the traffic patterns were visualized graphically. Another view also showed statistical information regarding energy usage in the city and the potential value of solar energy.
Each hour, a group of people entered the main area of the exhibit, which was underground. This exhibit was primarily a video, about 15 minutes long, that discussed some of the challenges we faced in the past as well as the present and how solutions to those problems have been developed over time. The video is presented across three screens and was intended to make you think, rather than to simply entertain. Technology has helped us solve many problems already and technology will help us solve problems in areas where we might not think about technical solutions. When the video was complete, the video displays turned into interactive kiosks where you could listen to additional recordings or explore many topics in more detail; there was a lot of historical information and it was quite impressive to step back and appreciate how many problems have been solved over the past few centuries as mankind looks to improve the world.
When you left the exhibit, you walked along a hallway with IBM’s 100 Icons of Progress where you can read more about the key advances IBM made over the past century.
The name of the THINK exhibit is very appropriate; the entire exhibit is intended to expand your mind, how inventions and philosophies of great thinking have changed our world in the past and how the potential for change is even greater for our future; how a chance happening followed by years of hard work can be necessary to make progress. It was inspirational about what we have accomplished and what more we need to think about doing. I was very impressed with the exhibit and very proud to be an IBMer.
This blog post was reviewed and updated on February 14, 2020.
This blog post was originally published on IBMSystemsMag.com and is reproduced here by permission of IBM Systems Media.