Go Lean Commentary
The forgoing article touches on a critical mission and motivation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU): to forge change and avail the benefits of advanced technologies in the region. The book, Go Lean … Caribbean, which serves as a roadmap for implementing the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) commences with a Declaration of Interdependence. In Verse XXVII (Page 14) it pronounces:
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.
There is a business mantra that declares “build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door”. This is even more true in this internet age. Websites and internet applications can be hosted and serviced from anywhere on the planet. “Size does not matter” in this internet age; insight, intelligence, innovation and ingenuity matter more. See related story here:
By the Caribbean Journal Staff
Three Eastern Caribbean countries are benefiting from an infrastructure development thrust that could usher in a new era of technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship for the region.
The initiative is part of the World Bank-funded Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP), coordinated by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
A series of workshops rolling out in St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenada are intended to ensure that citizens can take full advantage of the telecommunications infrastructure upgrades.
The series aims to encourage greater innovation in the public and private sector across the Caribbean.
The inaugural workshop, which took place Feb. 10-11 at Gros Islet, St Lucia, brought together some of the region’s leading minds in the fields of entrepreneurship, information and communications technology, leadership development and innovation.
Hosted by the St Lucian Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting, the workshop set out to stimulate new approaches to national [nation building] through the application of modern technology and new ways of thinking.
“In reality, the potential exists today to overcome the many challenges in the region,” said technology expert Bevil Wooding, the event’s keynote speaker. “What we face is more a challenge of leadership paradigm than of technical possibility.”
Wooding, who is an Internet strategist with US-based Packet Clearing House, said the challenge was “to define and articulate a clear set of actionable priorities. These must be based on our native strengths and shaped to match a properly resourced vision for development.”
The CARCIP Innovation series rolls into Saint Vincent on February 26th and 27th, with a third installment scheduled for Grenada at the end of March 2014.
Source: Caribbean Journal Online News Source (Retrieved 02/26/2014 from http://www.caribjournal.com/2014/02/26/caribbean-connectivity-carcip-urges-greater-regional-innovation/)
The Go Lean roadmap posits that we, in the Caribbean, must also contribute to the world-wide progress of the world-wide web. As such, there are direct advocacies in the book to foster technology (Page 197), bridge the digital divide (Page 31), promote intellectual property (Page 29), foster electronic commerce (Page 198), implement data centers (Page 106), impact social media (Page 111), and promote call centers (Page 212). (Notice the job creation leanings).
In Year 1 of the Five Year roadmap, the CU will “assemble” (consolidate) the organs and agencies of the CariCom, including the CTU (see Appendix), into the Trade Federation’s cabinet structure. Thus allowing the necessary funding and focus to fulfill this agency’s charter. Under the Go Lean roadmap, this charter is more than just a series of workshops, but also these deliverables:
The CU mission is to protect the prospects for our youth, assuage more brain drain & human flight, and promote opportunities here in the region. Education is a big part of this mission. A previous strategy of study-aboard has failed the region – students have not always returned – see Anecdote # 5 (Page 38). The CU must therefore expand educational opportunities locally at home, impact the secondary (charter) & tertiary institutions, and facilitate e-Learning modes & schemes. The telecommunication infra-structure upgrade, described in the foregoing article, allows the Go Lean roadmap to be fully implemented, thus impacting education and entrepreneurism. The CU will foster incubators and cooperatives to forge business opportunities from the elevation of society’s consumption of ICT.
The efforts depicted in the foregoing article regarding the CTU, and the manifesto proclaimed in the book, dovetails with the dreams of the youth of the Caribbean, to facilitate a climate for future possibilities. As a region, we have lost too many young people. What we need now is growth: growth in the economic engines, cultural institutions, security apparatuses and governing provisions. Without this growth, we lose the future contributions of these young people; we would only have developed them to make an impact to some foreign society – we would have “fattened frogs for snake”.
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Appendix – Caribbean Telecommunications Union
An intergovernmental organization dedicated to facilitating the development of the regional telecommunications sector. On 28 April 1989, the Governments of the member-states of the Caribbean Community (CariCom) established by Treaty of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) to rationalize the telecommunications policy framework for the region and to address the problems of regional spectrum frequency incompatibilities.