Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Caribbean Entrepreneur and Heads of State

I attended the Conference on the Caribbean in Washington last week (I spent most of my time in the Diaspora Conference on June 20), and I can tell you that there was no lack of enthusiasm about a united future for the Caribbean across regional and international borders. But the consensus of whose with who I spoke with - journalists, businessmen and diplomats from Belize, Trinidad, and St. Lucia - seemed to be that it is a lack of creative, bottom-up organizing within each of the home countries that prevents us reaching any momentum through CARICOM or any other political body.

Caribbean summits happen yearly, but there is rarely a concerted plan of action that comes out of them. It is the entrepreneurs and activists who are truly helping the Caribbean continue to do for itself. One Canadian entrepreneur who offered to donate one $1 Million dollars in medical supplies to Haiti put the sentiment well. "I'm not here to talk, and I don't want any crap," he said. I'm here to get this done."

For me, the event reinforced the importance of the cross-border, virtual spaces we've created for sharing the ideas about pan-Caribbean development. The event convinced me that the best help those of us in the "Diaspora" community can offer is to lend resources to strengthening these communication channels and the collective action they can ultimately promote. The consensus of many of us at the Diaspora Forum was that we need to keep listening to the conversations that come outside of formal discourse, and tapping into our collective entrepreneurial spirit.

2 Comments:

Blogger Rich Louis said...

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4:19 PM  
Blogger aline said...

Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again
Entrepreneur Conference

2:39 AM  

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