How to Train Your ‘Dragon’ – Freeport Version

Go Lean Commentary

The term ‘dragon’ has a deep and rich meaning in all of literature; see Appendix A for a list of different cultures with dragon mythologies.

CU Blog - Freeport Version - How to Train My Dragon - Photo 6

Needless to say, there is no such creature, apart from the adorable Komodo Dragon, a big lizard native to South Pacific and Australasia region.

Even in scripture, the great Enemy, Satan the Devil is depicted as a Dragon; (Revelation 12:9). This commentary is not labeling any one person as a “Dragon”, but rather assigning the term “Dragon” to a “Dependence on Foreign Investors” or DFI.

So figuratively, the term “dragon” refers to an adversarial creature. This is where the relevance is to this commentary for the promotion of the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The book calls for the elevation of Caribbean economics, security and governance. It assesses many “dragon-like” challenges that stand in the way of progress and have resulted in near wholesale abandonment of so many communities.

One city of focus for this commentary is the 2nd city in the Bahamas, Freeport/Lucaya. This town is now undergoing a crisis in all three challenge factors (economics, security, and governance), and yet the book maintains that this “dragon can be trained’ see VIDEO below. Part of this crisis is the fact the certain tax-free provisions, real property tax and Business License, of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (that led to the private development of Freeport) will expire on August 4, 2015. The national government is pondering renewal and extension; the ongoing stalemate, exacerbates the municipal crisis.

The book opens with the declaration that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. For the Caribbean region there is not just one issue, but rather many negative/downward triggers, all which are addressed in the Go Lean book. While these challenges abound through out the region, Freeport’s exposure to these following triggers are more heightened than elsewhere:

  • Climate Change and threats from natural disasters
  • Decline of the American Middle Class, since the 2008 financial crisis
  • Decimation of the tourism product – measured decline in amenities like Golf and Casino Gambling.
  • Failure to diversify the economy with any industrial base
  • Emergence of powerful elite, the One Percent.
  • Bureaucratic hindrance of Foreign Direct Investors
  • Security threats from border encroachments of illegal immigrants.
  • Security threats of immigrants assimilating their adopted societies.

Harsh realities have now come to fruition in the Caribbean, but the town of Freeport have been hard hit with the full force of all of these dynamics. The book therefore posits that there is a need to re-focus, re-boot, and optimize the engines of commerce so as to make all the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. While all the Caribbean needs to create jobs, this town of Freeport, has a greater need, more so than others.

Ship-building, in its many genres, is being promoted for adoption and incubation. This is just one of the advocacies identified, qualified and proposed in the Go Lean book. In total, there are 144 advocacies, catalogued in the areas of Community Ethos, Strategy, Tactics, Implementations, Planning, Economics, Government, Industries, Social, and Locations.

Normally DFI refer to Direct Foreign Investment, but in this case the “Dependence on Foreign Investors” is portrayed as a negative factor or pest – a dragon –  unless “trained”, caroled and controlled to harness the energy in a positive way.

Consider these news articles that describe the business climate and players for the Freeport landscape:

1. Freeport Plutocratic Benefactor – Sir Jack Hayward:

CU Blog - Freeport Version - How to Train My Dragon - Photo 5Sir Jack Hayward, British Businessman, Property Developer, Philanthropist and Sports Team Owner was memorialized by fans of his football team Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.. He passed away last week (January 13) at age 91. He was loved and hated in different circles, some even compared his racism to Adolf Hitler – perhaps a hyperbole. Sir Jack was also a principal owner in the Grand Bahama Port Authority*. So he wielded power as to the municipal affairs and economic development of this city.

2. Fleeing a “sinking ship”:

Sir Jack Hayward Jack arrived in Grand Bahama in 1956 to promote the development of Freeport and became a Vice-President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority; eventually he assumed the Chairmanship of the Board of Directors (after 2004). Until the convalescence before his death, he continued to play an active role in Freeport. Sir Jack was in negotiations to sell his family’s 50 per cent stake in the GBPA Group of Companies. Now that provisions of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) need renewal from the national government, multiple “dragons” are now circling the City of Freeport.

3. At the precipice:

Community leaders in Freeport have declared that it would be “disastrous” if the national government fail to pursue HCA extension and allow the levy of real property taxes on GBPA licensees; “this would be another nail in Freeport’s coffin”. Freeport is now at the precipice – dragons are circling.

4. Roadmap for economic empowerments:

CU Blog - Freeport Version - How to Train My Dragon - Photo 4The Go Lean roadmap is not a work of fiction or mythology; it is based on the reality of the Caribbean disposition. It is what it is, the book declares. It is only by accepting reality that real solutions can be forged: discovered, designed and deployed.  The book, and accompanying blogs posit that “dragons can be trained”. The sad state of affairs in Freeport can be turned around by the embrace of a “double down” strategy on the island’s nascent ship-building industry.

The current disposition for Freeport, Grand Bahama is dire. But there is a glimmer of hope with this industrial development of ship-building. A previous blog/commentary pushed hard on the idea of ship-building/ship-breaking for the Caribbean region; now this commentary advocates adding ship-breaking to the ship-building model for Freeport, and then “double-down” on this industry space … with incubators, stimulus grants, angel investors, R&D and other initiatives. This is the heavy-lifting described in the Go Lean book.

In this vein, the book Go Lean… Caribbean, serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) with the charter to facilitate jobs in the region. We want to explore all the strong benefits of the ship-building/ship-breaking industry. This aligns with the CU charter; as defined by these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

Early in the Go Lean book, the responsibility to create jobs was identified as an important function for the CU with this pronouncement in the Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 14):

xxvi.  Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like that of ship-building, automobile manufacturing, prefabricated housing, frozen foods, pipelines, call centers, and the prison industrial complex. In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing industries tourism, fisheries and lotteries – impacting the region with more jobs.

The CU will facilitate the region’s eco-system for Self-Governing Entities (SGE) for shipyards. This approach calls for the establishment of industrial parks, corporate campuses and research parks in bordered territories; these structures would be inviting to the super-rich (One-Percent) and their resources. These entities would be governed solely by the technocratic CU. The approach is not to punish the One-Percent for their success nor cower to any special interests group at the expense of the greater population.

This roadmap explains how all 30 Caribbean member-states can elevate the economic engines (direct and indirect spin-off activities), by allowing the CU to assume jurisdiction for SGE’s in the region and the Exclusive Economic Zone (the 1,063,000 square miles of the Caribbean Sea). Freeport is ideal for SGE’s for ship-building/ship-breaking yards, with its vast array of canals and waterways.

The Go Lean book also details the principle of job multipliers, how certain industries are better than others for generating multiple indirect jobs down the line for each direct job on a company’s payroll. The shipyard industry has a job-multiplier rate of 3.0. So the creation of 15,000 direct jobs for the shipyard industry in the Caribbean region can have the multiplier effect of 45,000 jobs. That economic impact is the result of “training the dragons”.

How would the Caribbean create 45,000 jobs in the course of the 5-year roadmap? By adoption of different community ethos, plus the executions of key strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies. The following is a sample:

Community Ethos – Economic Principle – Economic Systems Influence Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principle – Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development Page 30
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Around – Recycling and Demolition Industries Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Mission – Facilitate   a Shipbuilding Industry Page 46
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Tactics to Forge an $800 Billion Economy – High Multiplier Industries Page 70
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Self-Governing Entities Page 80
Implementation – Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities Page 105
Implementation – Ways to Re-boot Freeport Page 112
Planning – Big Ideas – Confederation with Sovereignty Page 127
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management – Processes and Systems Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Develop/Grow a Ship-Building Industry Page 209
Appendix – Job Multipliers Page 259

The CU will foster industrial developments in support of alternative options to tourism. An important ingredient is the willingness of the people to engage. The CU/Go Lean will message to the Caribbean people, that the region is ready for this industrial challenge of ship-breaking.

The Caribbean is arguably the best address on the planet, but jobs are missing. With jobs, communities like the City of Freeport will be able to retain more of their citizens and suffer less abandonment. It’s all about people; Freeport has lost people and populations in the last few decades. The imagery of pests – dragons – come to mind that sneak away with young people during the night.

Time now for a change; time to train the dragons!

Whereas dragons are mythical, the Caribbean disposition, and Freeport’s, is no fairytale, no myth; this is real life. 🙂

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


Appendix VIDEO: How To Train Your Dragon: “Official Trailer” –

This commentary asserts that Freeport, Grand Bahama would be analogous to the fictitious Town of Berk in the movie.

This movie/snippet is owned by Dreamworks Entertainment. No copyright infringement intended. Apologies for the references to Nordic Culture, and any negative stereotypes projected.

Appendix A – Cultures with Dragon Mythology

Nordic (Viking)
Slavic (Romania, Russia)
Ancient India
Chinese dragon

CU Blog - Freeport Version - How to Train My Dragon - Photo 1

CU Blog - Freeport Version - How to Train My Dragon - Photo 2

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Appendix B* Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA)

The Port Authority is a privately held corporation that acts as the municipal authority for Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas. The GBPA was created by the Hawksbill Creek Agreement of 1955. The GBPA is horizontally integrated with property development, municipal services, airport ( world’s largest privately owned airport), harbor operations, and shipyard concerns.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority is jointly owned by Sir Jack Hayward (50%) and the family of the late Edward St. George (1928 – 2004).The Ownership Structure also features a partnership with Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa on the container port operations, and the resort area in the Lucaya section of the City.


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