Today’s world is changing so rapidly that 65% of our children entering primary school right now will be doing jobs that don’t exist today. If we are to prepare the Caribbean region to be competitive in this landscape, we have to put significant focus on ensuring that the population is not only digitally literate, but have the technology and data management skills that will become essential to all jobs in the future. This is particularly important for our vulnerable and marginalized youth, whom often get left behind while the world advances.
It is with this in mind that Google.org (Google’s philanthropic branch) and the Caribbean Open Institute (COI) have partnered with the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) and the SlashRoots Foundation to create the Caribbean School of Data (CSOD), which aims to reduce the digital divide and empower detached local youth by providing digital and data skills, and will enable, over a period of two years, the training of at least 1,500 disadvantaged young men and women, aged 18-29 in seven countries, in data management, visualization, integration and analyses.
I had the pleasure of hosting the Jamaican launch of the Caribbean School of Data on October 1, 2019, where we had the opportunity to discuss the importance of STEM and digital literacy becoming an essential part of our education system moving forward, not just reserved for the “techies” and “geeks” like we do today.
I also moderated the Fireside Chat with panelists Alicia Lyttle, CEO of POW Social and Internet Income Ja, and David Mullings, Chairman and CEO of Blue Mahoe Capital Partners, where they spoke on the challenges and opportunities of the digital economy and the future of work for today’s Caribbean youth.
Overall, it was a wonderful event launching a powerful initiative that I’m confident will contribute significantly to Jamaica’s development, so that we too can thrive in the emerging global industries and economies of the future.
Here’s a look at a few photo highlights from the event.