Recently, I was invited to lend my expertise in digital technologies to help combat some damming condemnation at a long-term Caribbean celebration. This annual event attracted over 400K people and generated millions of dollars in revenue to the affected merchants. The sensitive stage of this deliberation does not allow me to be more detailed, but I share this story to say that as impressive as these numbers are, the community leaders even in a tough economy chose to support the new set of neighbors (complaints) rather than the old neighbor’s traditions.
The city leaders did some community calculus and perceived a docile, diffused Caribbean community, and so they felt comfortable making their decision without any political cost. Yes, change is constant, and we have much work to do to engage, educate and renew our community base to restore its vibrancy.
When we consider our broader world, we clearly see a rapidly changing world both demographically, and technically.
Lots of Caribbean communities are still reeling from the global recession. Mainstay enterprises are now shuttered and the landscapes of our lives are washed with the constant tsunami of change. So how do we cope and thrive? Where do we Jamaicans go find relief and renewal?
As creatures of habit we usually reach for our cultural pacifiers. Our music, athletic prowess, delicious foods, and celebration become important touchstones. We are about to get a double dose of thrilling Olympic feats and joyous celebrations from our 50th. Year of Independence. It is good we have these but what will we do come September? What will we do when the cheering is over and the parades are silent?
A nation on a mission is a terrific tagline, but how is that mission being realized? Do they have the industrial, no digital strength to pole vault us into a new era of break through possibility?
Those of keen discernment and future vision are telling us that we have entered a new era , one where mind power matter is our most precious resource. Innovation and new value creation will be the bolt-fuel we will need to escape the orbit of a developing nation status.
To create our future reality, we will need to deploy the power of our collective inventive imagination stitch a game plan together through the super glue of social trust and have a sustainable conviction to make it happen. This will be a tall order that will demand be practice a higher discipline beyond the commodity practice of “no problem man” . It will demand from us a dedicated effort to deploy a new alchemy to deliver the higher value required.
Chew on this and let your expanding mind consider the possibilities. In part II , I will share series suggestions that we may want to deploy to use our existing icons, and invest them with new value to fuel a new future. Start mind chewing!