Network Mandates for a New Caribbean

Go Lean Commentary

Golden Rule: “He who has the gold, makes the rules” …

When it comes to media industry (movies, film, fashion modeling), there are some other relevant idioms; consider this list:

  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
  • Fake it until you can make it.
  • A face out of “Central Casting”.

All of these idioms help us to appreciate that in the media industry you must look the part. So if you have facial or grooming features that are different – zag while everyone else zig – you may not be selected for promotion and production. (Think: Dreadlocks, Afros and Braids).

This is sad! “Look the part”? What part, as determined by who? Obviously, there is an adjudicator as to Good/Bad, Yes/No. Who is that? That’s the opening idiom, the Golden Rule. In the media industry that adjudicator is the producer, director, promoter or media company executive. (See Appendix VIDEO for background on one big Broadcast & Media company).

So at times, even though “you are home”, you may have to act foreign. This is definitely the sad narrative taking place in this story below, when a Caribbean model/beauty queen had been scolded for looking too … “Caribbean”. See the full story here:

Title: Caribbean Next Top Model contestant wants apology from Wendy

ASPIRING international model Gabriella Bernard feels she deserves an apology from former Miss Universe and executive producer of the Caribbean Next Top Model competition, Wendy Fitzwilliam, after she was given an ultimatum on the television show- relax her natural hair or go home.

The particular episode was filmed in Jamaica last year and aired on television in February.

An excerpt featuring Bernard’s experience was posted to Facebook yesterday.

The majority of persons who commented on the video criticised Fitzwilliam for her response to the model’s stance.

Bernard, 24, told the Express via telephone on Thursday that she and other contestants had to undergo a makeover for the segment.

She said Fitzwilliam had the final say in what each girl’s look should be.

“For my look they wanted my hair relaxed,” she said.

In the video, Bernard was seen pleading with a hairdresser not to chemically process her curly tresses as she had spent the last three years growing it.

“I’m ok with texturizing my hair once my curls stay intact. You need to understand my hair is my identity,” she begged.

Bernard told the Express that the show’s producers, judges and hairdresser were nonchalant about how she felt.

“A lot more happened which you didn’t see in the video. But basically I was trying to reason with them but they were like it was no big deal, it’s just hair,” she said, adding that she was told that she could either relax her hair or leave the show.

Bernard’s hair was relaxed and she remained in the competition.

Towards the end of the video she appeared before Fitzwilliam and two other judges- international photographer Pedro Virgil and Caribbean fashion expert Socrates McKinney.

Before critiquing the model’s makeover photograph, Fitzwilliam scolded her for her “naughty” and “unprofessional” behaviour.

Bernard apologised, but explained that she previously had her hair relaxed for 15 years. She said when she transitioned to again wearing her hair natural she began loving herself more.

“We live in a world where the media tells us that we need to have straight hair to be accepted,” Bernard emphasised.

Fitzwilliam said she understood the young lady’s point, as she too had made the transition.

“However, as a young and upcoming model, as a young and upcoming attorney facing the judges and senior counsel, you have to be professional.

Shutting down my salon, creating that mayhem, when there were so many other young women to get done and to look fabulous as well, it’s a loud non-starter,” Fitzwilliam said.

Why didn’t she leave?

Asked why she did not stand her ground and bow out of the competition instead of having her hair relaxed, Bernard explained that she weighed her options and felt that she had reached too far in the competition to turn back.

“I had a conversation with myself and I said if I go home what am I going home to? Because I left my job to go on the show. I put in my application the Thursday and by the following Thursday I was flying out. I told myself that I had already reached this far and this was something that I wanted so much,” she said.

Bernard placed third in the competition.

She said she had always looked up to the former beauty queen and was disappointed by her approach and response.

Bernard has turned her experience on the show into a 20-minute documentary called Black Hair.

The documentary will be shown at the 2018 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, from today until Tuesday.

She said she was also lined up for several modelling jobs and competitions.

As for her hair: “Monday actually marks the one year anniversary that I cut my hair and to me it’s growing beautifully.”

Fitzwilliam did not respond to calls from the Express, but she told the Newsday that she had no comment on the issue.

Source: The Daily Express – posted September 20, 2018; retrieved September 25, 2018 from:

While this is an issue of image, the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean asserts that Caribbean people can prosper where they are planted in the Caribbean homeland. At home, they do not have to adapt or comply with any foreign standards. They are home! At a bare minimum, Caribbean beauty should be recognized in the eyes of Caribbean beholders.

At a bare minimum! (For the record, the model in the foregoing article is undeniably beautiful, with her natural hair grooming).

But truth be told, if the media networks in the region are owned by foreign entities, then foreign standards are still “the rule”.

No more!

Change has come to the world and to the Caribbean region. The advent of Internet Communications Technologies (ICT) now has voluminous options for media to be delivered without the large footprint … or investment. Now anyone can easily publish VIDEO’s and Music files to the internet and sell them to the public – models abounds: i.e. pay-per-play, or subscription.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), a technocratic federal government to administer and optimize the economic-security-governing engines of the region’s 30 member-states. Embedded in this roadmap is the plan for the Caribbean Postal Union (CPU) whose focus is  to coordinate the regional mail eco-system plus the portal to offer email and social media functionality for all Caribbean stakeholders: 42 million residents, visitors (up to 80 million), trading partners and the 10 million people in the Diaspora.

All of these numbers constitute a media market. Therefore …

… “ICT is the great equalizer” – Go Lean book (Page 198).

The book explains that the CU treaty will forge electronic commerce industries to allow Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to be the great equalizer in economic battles with the rest of the world; this model holds the promise of “leveling the playing field” between small … and large … .

Imagine the deployment of a new Caribbean Network! Not like ABC or NBC (in the US) nor the BBC in England, but rather like the WWE. In a previous blog-commentary it was related that:

This is better! (Every mobile/smart-phone owner walks around with an advanced digital video camera in their pocket). We are now able to have a network without the “network”. Many models abound on the world-wide-web. Previously, this commentary identified one such network (ESPN-W); now the focus is on another, the WWE Network, associated with the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. This network is delivered via the internet-streaming only (and On-Demand with limited Cable TV systems).

We have so many examples-business models; think: WWE, ESPN-W, YouTube and Netflix …

… surely, we can deploy our own digital, streaming network as well, one just for the Caribbean region … so that we can better exploit the Agents of Change affecting the world – and reset image standards The Go Lean book specifically identifies technology and globalization among the transformations affecting our world (Page 57); it then declares that our region cannot only consume – we must produce – so we need to move to the corner of preparation and opportunity.

We need Caribbean stakeholders to own Caribbean media! We can then impose our own standards and remove restrictions that denigrate our lifestyles. So this issue is bigger than just image; this is having the means by which to control our destiny. Despite all the benefits for our image, this is an economic issue first and foremost. With the Agent of Change of globalization, we now have a product that the rest of the world wants to consume: our culture. Digital media allows us to disseminate that culture electronically, with a small investment footprint.

This is about supply and demand – a basic precept in the study of Economics. The transformation to new media has taken hold. More and more people are consuming electronic media; so much so that it is becoming the mainstay for communications and entertainment. This reference to electronic media does not only convey the visual images of television; there is also the ubiquity of the internet, with its many video streaming services.

Even TV networks are perplexed as to what video streaming will do to their medium. See this summary of a New York Times Business News article here and a related VIDEO:

General Electric wants to sell NBC because of rising losses … [as] a testament to the uncertain future of mainstream media, as the Internet has fractured audiences and few viable business models have emerged for the distribution of content online.

Source: Posted November 30, 2009; retrieved September 26, 2018 from:

VIDEO – The Future Of TV On The Internet, Streaming Services, Subscribership | Squawk Box | CNBC –

Published on Dec 1, 2016 – Larry Haverty, Gabelli Multimedia Trust, and Porter Bibb, Mediatech Capital Partners, discuss the changing media landscape as well as the fight for viewers and subscribers. » Subscribe to CNBC:

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The Future Of TV On The Internet, Streaming Services, Subscribership | Squawk Box | CNBC

This is the change that has come to the world … and the Caribbean.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean advocates for the Caribbean region to better prepare for this changing world and to better exploit the Agents of Change affecting us. With ICT, we are now able to have a network without the “network”. Many of the aforementioned online models have shown us that any platform that is nimble and focused can succeed with only a moderate level of investment. So a Caribbean homegrown network-portal,, can be impactful and help to elevate our regional eco-systems for ICT, entertainment and television.

While this effort to forge a new Caribbean network is heavy-lifting, it is only the politics that is hard – consensus-building, consolidation and confederation – the technology is easy. This politics, to create a regional Single Media Market, is the purpose of the Go Lean roadmap.

At the outset, the roadmap recognizes the need to develop the homegrown ICT eco-system … with these statements in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 14):

xv. Whereas the business of the Federation and the commercial interest in the region cannot prosper without an efficient facilitation of postal services, the Caribbean Union must allow for the integration of the existing mail operations of the governments of the member-states into a consolidated Caribbean Postal Union, allowing for the adoption of best practices and technical advances to deliver foreign/domestic mail in the region.

xx. Whereas the results of our decades of migration created a vibrant Diaspora in foreign lands, the Federation must organize interactions with this population into structured markets. Thus allowing foreign consumption of domestic products, services and media, which is a positive trade impact. These economic activities must not be exploited by others’ profiteering but rather harnessed by Federation resources for efficient repatriations.

xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.

xxviii. Whereas intellectual property can easily traverse national borders, the rights and privileges of intellectual property must be respected at home and abroad. The Federation must install protections to ensure that no abuse of these rights go with impunity, and to ensure that foreign authorities enforce the rights of the intellectual property registered in our region.

xxx. Whereas the effects of globalization can be felt in every aspect of Caribbean life, from the acquisition of food and clothing, to the ubiquity of ICT, the region cannot only consume, it is imperative that our lands also produce and add to the international community, even if doing so requires some sacrifice and subsidy.

xxxii. Whereas the cultural arts and music of the region are germane to the quality of Caribbean life, and the international appreciation of Caribbean life, the Federation must implement the support systems to teach, encourage, incentivize, monetize and promote the related industries for arts and music in domestic and foreign markets. These endeavors will make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

In the Go Lean book and previous blogs, the Go Lean movement asserted that the market organizations and community investments to garner economic benefits of ICT is within reach, with the proper technocracy. As related in a previous blog-commentary, the eco-system for streaming videos – i.e. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, WWE, ESPN-W, Amazon Prime, etc. – is inclusive of the roadmap’s quest to make the Caribbean region a better place to live, work and play.

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap. There in are the details of the community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies that are to be adopted and executed to deliver the ICT solutions for the Caribbean region. Within its 370-pages, the Go Lean book re-affirms the mantra that ICT can be the great equalizer so that small nation-states can compete against large nation-states.

Once we – Caribbean stakeholders – control our network, then we control the standard – what is acceptable, what is NOT. Our declaration: Natural hair, for African-descended people, is Good!

The Go Lean roadmap conveys that we can deploy our own media enterprises to satisfy our own media demands – and maybe even satisfy some of the world’s demand. Yes, Hollywood could be virtual, not just in Hollywood, California, but anywhere; think: iHollywood. Consider how the book related the advocacy for improving the Hollywood-like landscape – the term “Hollywood” is a metonym referring to the overall American Motion Picture (film and television) industry – in the Caribbean; see these summaries, excerpts and headlines from this one page in the book on Page 203 entitled:

10 Ways to Impact Hollywood

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, thereby creating a single economy of 30 member-states, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion, (circa 2010). With its Los Angeles Trade Mission Office, the CU will empower the economic engines of the region to impact the movie/TV/media industries. One CU mission is to impact globalization by not just consuming media products, but creating it as well. As such, the eco-systems are to be fostered, starting with promoting Hollywood movie studios to film/spend more in the CU region – a function of the CU Department of Commerce. Then the CU will incentivize a local industry by building/supporting facilities, guiding artists, brokering funding and distribution. The CU must assume the role of rating movies for the region.
2 Image Management
Many times Hollywood portrays a “negative” depiction of Caribbean life, culture and people. The CU will have the scale and “muscle” (diplomatic and economic) to effectuate negotiations to better manage the region’s image. When movies are banned that have negative community portrayal, it is normally considered suppressing free speech; but when movies are labeled Rated R or NC-17, then such designations suppresses sales with violating freedoms. Thus ratings have clout.
3 Bollywood
Bollywood is the term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (Bombay), India. The term is often used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema industry, a metonym. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centers of film production in the world – (See Appendix ZR on Page 346). Bollywood is a good example of developing and fostering a nascent film industry – the CU can use this as a model.
4 Underwater Filming
5 Respect for Intellectual Property
6 Caribbean Music Soundtracks
7 Movie/TV Studios Production and Sharing
The CU will promote cooperatives for many industrial endeavors, including movie and TV studios. The physical buildings can be jointly owned and time-shared. Many times in Hollywood (California), the same studio is used to produce shows for one network or another. For example, the Bob Barker Studio is used to film the TV Game Show The Price Is Right (for CBS), Real Time with Bill Maher (for HBO), a Soap Opera (for ABC) and sound stages for independent movies.
8 Digital Broadcast (Spectrum) Regulations
The CU will regulate and oversee services that cross national borders of the member-states. This includes broadcast rights (spectrum auctions). While each state have previously regulated TV and radio rights inside their borders, the unification of the single market will require a regional perspective. The value of broadcast rights will also be heightened because of the enlarged market (see Appendix IB), once the multi-language SAP feature is mandated.
9 e-Payments
10 Internet Streaming
The Caribbean Central Bank settlement of electronic payments will provide the payment mechanisms for domestic and foreign media to be downloaded legally. This is not the case now, as each Caribbean nation is too small to negotiate individual-independent solutions. But with a unified population base of 42 million, the CU brings a huge economic clout.

The Go Lean book asserts that the region can be a better place to live, work and play; that the economy can be grown methodically by embracing progressive strategies in ICT and video streaming. This point was further detailed in these previous blogs:

How the Youth are Consuming Media Today – Digitally
YouTube Millionaire: ‘Tipsy Bartender’
UberEverything in Africa – Model for ICT and Logistics
Transformations: Caribbean Postal Union – Delivering the Future
The Future of Money – Necessary for Media Purchases
Truth in Commerce – Learning from Yelp for managing e-Commerce
Net Neutrality: It matters here … in the Caribbean
Amazon’s new FIRE Smartphone – Doubling down on ICT
Grenada PM Urges CARICOM on ICT

This Go Lean roadmap is committed to availing the economic opportunities of ICT but the roadmap is bigger than just media; it’s a concerted effort to elevate all of Caribbean society. The CU is the vehicle for this goal, this is detailed by the following 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

This Go Lean roadmap looks for the opportunities to foster economic growth in the Caribbean and foster good image of our Caribbean people. A Caribbean beauty reflecting her Caribbean heritage is good! While the rest of the world may not grant us that recognition, it will be up to them to change their perceptions. We cannot change the world – yet, but in time – but we can change our Caribbean society; we can reform and transform.

It is heavy-lifting, but we are up to the task. Let’s get started! In time, the rest of the world will conform and embrace this undeniable truth, that the Caribbean is the greatest address on the planet … and that Caribbean people are not Less Than.

This quest is conceivable, believable and achievable. This is the quest of Go Lean/CU roadmap, to do the heavy-lifting to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – The History of Comcast NBCUniversal –

Cow Missing
Published on Jul 24, 2017 –
In the early years of the twentieth century, NBC and Universal began creating their extraordinary legacies in the exciting new worlds of motion picture production and distribution, location-based entertainment, and radio and television production and broadcasting. Today, as one company under the ownership of Comcast, NBCUniversal continues to build on this legacy of quality and innovation. …


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