A Conversation with Dr. Marlene Attz, Developmental Economist at the University of the West Indies, and Adeline Gregoire

Sustainability and Development
Before delving into the issues around Trinidad and Tobago’s strategy for sustainable development Dr. Attz noted that there is a tendency to view sustainability through the environmental lens but the term was actually popularized in the 1980s when the Brundtland Commission published the first volume of “Our Common Future” which directed attention to the urgent need to intensify the focus on the world’s environmental and developmental problems as well as ensuring intergenerational equity.

Depressed Oil Prices
She commented that prior to March 2020, we were facing the specter of depressed oil and its negative impact on the economy. That problem has been exacerbated by the pandemic and we are now faced with the issues of social inequity, a poorly designed education system, and dodgy digital infrastructure.

Carnival as a Model
On an optimistic note, Dr. Attz identified our approach to Carnival as evidence of our fortitude, resilience, and capacity to achieve clear objectives under grueling circumstances. If there was one intervention she could make in our society it would be to ensure that decision-making at all levels is data-driven. She sees the reduced activity during this Covid period as an opportunity to redesign some of our systems and processes and speed up our digital transformation strategy.

Women and Gender Equity
At 18:31, the conversation switched focus to the role of women and gender equity with Artist/Curator and Activist, Adeline Gregoire. Adeline is also the founder of Women Everywhere (WE). She is motivated and inspired by everyday stories of human resilience and the human capacity to overcome challenges. Adeline paid homage to those marginalized persons who create success by showing up daily to serve their communities.

30% of our Parliament are Women
The conversation about equality and women’s rights is based on women’s inalienable right of women to have a seat at the table. Women’s equality is a birthright that is also articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since women comprise 50% of the population, it should be natural for women to have equal access to education, remuneration, and opportunities for progress. A House of Parliament which comprises 30% women is unacceptable.

Safety and Protection
If she could impact one area of society it would be to make the safety and protection of citizens a core requirement. Adeline noted that if we are to make our country the very best it could be we have to be more inclusive and cater to satisfy the needs of all citizens. The success of our society will be measured by the way we treat our women and girls. Women Everywhere focus on ensuring that no one is left behind and has as its watchwords: diversity solidarity and inclusion.

Culture Change Needed at WASA too!

Originally publshed on @Wired868 July 26, 2021

Many years into the future when the name Dr Lennox Sealy is googled, the entries will tell a story of a successful management consultant and university lecturer who resigned because he failed to implement a transformation process at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) in a timely manner.  

The statement will be attributed to his line minister, Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales, and will likely be believed because of the positional power attributed to ministers of government.  

Photo: Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales.

The story will, however, be incomplete and damaging. One would have to read a recent article and opinion piece by veteran journalist Andy Johnson to ‘pick sense from nonsense’.

And so it continues. Prime ministers, ministers, mayors, members of parliament, counsellors, aldermen, assembly persons can apparently stick their fingers into the daily operations of state enterprises, ministries, regional authorities, borough councils, etc to influence decisions at all levels.  

From industrial relations issues to the award of multi-million dollar contracts, these politicians determine outcomes that are often not in the best interest of the citizens and the country.

As a postgraduate student, I spent many hours ‘being vex’ with management guru and author Peter Drucker who is credited with the statement ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast!’ Whether he was the originator or not, the point is that without specific interventions, culture overrides strategy and progress is stymied.  

More than 20 years later, the statement continues to ring true and its application here reinforces our ‘third world country’ status.

Photo: Former WASA CEO Lennox Sealy.

I believed the narrative that the cultural transformation needed for us to grow and develop would have occurred in 2015. Six years later, what we’ve had is more of the same, with the gutting of the Procurement Legislation being a powerful example.

My life’s work helps me understand the magnitude of the task of culture change. The fact that behaviour change is complex, difficult to implement, and iterative should inspire our leaders to take up the challenge. We all interface daily with our broken governmental systems, so it should not be difficult to accept that they have to be reimagined and redesigned to be geared for citizen assistance rather than oppression.

Few, if any of our ministers understand that they are servants, not masters; public employees, not royalty. That understanding is the first step before identifying a cadre of persons who have the capacity to lead the culture change process.

An easy entry point is to re-imagine the role of our members of parliament so they understand that they should allow the subject matter experts to do the jobs for which they were hired. As long as our officials see themselves as divinely appointed to do whatever they wish, we shall continue to fail at culture change.

And I will remain vex that Drucker is still right: ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast!’ 

Demming Choronicles chats with Idi Stewart, President – T&T Registered Nurses Association & Dr. Gabrielle Hosein, Teacher/Gender Advocate

Demming Chronicles chats with Idi Stewart, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association about the state of the health care sector & Dr. Gabrielle Hosein, Teacher/Researcher/Gender Advocate about developing a society based on equity and nonviolence.

Health Sector Imperatives

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) Idi Stuart reflects on our health care sector and the small steps which can be taken to provide a better experience for citizens. While there is continued investment in the sector, the focus is on buildings and infrastructure with little attention being paid to the people who populate the institutions. Many of the solutions to our health care problems are contained in the Gladys Gafoor Report of 2004, which was submitted to his Excellency the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, April 13, 2007.

Healthy Lifestyles & Nursing

He comments that the focus ought to be more on maintaining healthy lifestyles than on taking care of persons after they become ill. Nurses are fundamental to making that pivot to a more robust primary health care strategy. However several challenges face our Nursing community including low remuneration and few opportunities for skill upgrade. These result in migration being very attractive. Some countries offer our nurses a sign-on bonus that is equivalent to 3 times their monthly salary.

Better Healthcare

The TTRNA is confident in our country’s capacity to improve the health care system but it requires a strategic focus on inclusion for decision making. He identified the 3 tactical measures which need focused attention as legislation to make continuing education mandatory; inclusion of Nursing representation in the Regulatory Authority and development of a strategy to retain the Nurses who are educated by our country.

Gender Equity and nonviolence.

At minute 15, the conversation turns to the protection of girls and women with our guest Dr. Gabrielle Hosein (Gaby). It is noted that Gaby, her mother, and her daughter all carry the middle name “Jamela”.

Gaby expressed her continued inspiration to be the young women who advocate for the rights of women and girls; the bold young men who are not afraid or ashamed to be described as feminists; and the need to transform our space into one which is protective of the most vulnerable amongst us. A strong theme in this interview is the need for us to care for each other and care 7 generations into the future.

Non Violence and Gender

Her long-term vision is for a society where violence in all its manifestations is removed and we live in peaceful harmony. The conversations about what women want are conversations about how to ensure equity. A Parliament which comprises 30% women is unacceptable and should be transformed to reflect all manifestations of our population including the differently-abled and persons whose gender expression is different. Although over the past 20 years women have dominated tertiary level education their presence is not reflected in the leadership of organizations and institutions.

Social transformation

She commented that none of our political parties have gender or sexual harassment policies. Neither are there clear expressions of their expectations of a society based on equity. Transforming our society to one based on equity and non-violence requires patience and deep listening to understand the needs and aspirations of our most vulnerable.

Using our creativity to live safely alongside Covid-19

Originally published on https://wired868.com/ Friday 16 July 2021

It is almost impossible to fight an enemy which is unseeable to the naked eye, nimble, ruthless and devoid of conscience. Hopefully we have learned that lockdowns are destroying our economy and not containing the spread. The pattern of the virus globally seems to be periods of intermittent spikes, so that is what is likely to continue happening locally.  

More importantly, the lockdowns have decimated our already weakened economy. We also have no sound data on the extent of unemployment or the closure of businesses. Those of us in the ‘gig’ economy understand the devastation of not having a cheque deposited into your bank account for more than a year.  

Image: Life during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the other hand if you are a public servant or a politician, the ‘cha-ching’ of the deposits have neither reduced in frequency nor quantum.

There is a thin path at the pinnacle of a steep-sided mountain. One cliffside is the terror of dying from Covid; the other cliff is the justifiable nightmare of starving to death. That thin, uncertain footpath is just big enough for one person, walking carefully to avoid falling. 

This is where most people exist, not knowing where the next meal is coming from or what to say to the landlord or remembering what a hundred dollar bill looks like in their pocket, and everyone walking that path is praying for the winds to die down.

Then the government flies past in a helicopter, and scores of people are lost.

Covid-19 may be here to stay and the only way for us to survive is to learn to live with and work around it. But like the dark and cloudy smoke from the car in front of you which hasn’t seen maintenance in almost a year, so some clear action items need to be applied to that statement.

Photo: A taxi driver in San Fernando waits for passengers during the Covid-19 pandemic on 23 April 2020.
(Copyright Ghansham Mohammed/GhanShyam Photography/Wired868)

Our biggest challenge is that in a post-colonial era, leaders and the led have to re-define their relationship. Leaders at all levels of society have to step into their authority and protect anyone under their authority. They have to throttle back on their perceived power to control and instead direct and enable the led to take appropriate action.  

An example of this was touted by one of the leaders in the maxi taxi sector who asked for the implementation of the rule of ‘one passenger per window’. It is brilliantly illustrative and requires little thought to understand or obey.

We have to renew our focus on cleanliness as a fundamental rule of engagement. My childhood was spent in a 16 foot by 16 foot structure with no running water, two siblings and our mother. You dared not enter her mansion without wiping your feet at the door or removing your shoes. I don’t recall why there was a bucket of water at the entrance but maybe there is a lesson there.  

Covid has forced us to remember to clean and sanitise before engaging.

Happily, we are opening up restaurants and food outlets for curbside pick up. We can learn several lessons from The Republic of Korea where they now operate ‘drive-ins’ for everything from veterinary services to cinemas.  

Photo: A customer takes her meal to go, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This might require some infrastructural change which entrepreneurs will happily invest in if they are assured that this will be the context for operating in the medium term.

Since the 1970s, most of our restaurant infrastructure has been built on the assumption that spaces are air-conditioned. The near term future of entertainment could be the utilisation of outdoor spaces and a one-person-per-umbrella policy.

As we focus on sending children back to school, why not make it their first activity to collectively engage in a creative project for the development of a social distancing apparatus.

We all want a life in which the hand of authority is not heavy and directive; but to achieve that the environment must change, and the leaders must signal their interest and intention to facilitate the necessary change. Because Covid-19 is unlikely to be stopped or erased soon, we have to stop focusing on the life we had before, so our imaginations can work out new ways to live and thrive despite the disease. 

Harry Potter fans will likely remember headmaster Albus Dumbledore’s advice: ‘It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.’

Featuring Urban Planner Renelle Sarjeant and Chromatics master mind Richard Rajkumar

Revitalizing urban spaces Urban Planner, Renelle Sargeant is interested in how we develop our spaces. She comments that Trinidad and Tobago can revitalize our cities, towns and villages by re-designing our urban spaces so they became welcoming spaces for men, women and children. In order to measure the effective use of a space we need to observe if the space is being well used and who uses it. Is the space free and designed for general use? Was the space designed with women in mind? These answers will give an indication of the extent to which the space is user friendly. Design solutions Urban planning is about more than the development of plans and programmes for the use of land but more about how community is created for citizens to thrive. Our country has focussed on heavy engineering solutions and maybe the time has come for us to lean into people centred design solutions. Renelle comments that our public spaces are our hidden wealth and Urban Planners can help us get closer to designing the smart cities of the future. Chromatics Music At 18:28 … Richard Rajkumar (Chromatics) shares his journey from a “Hip Hop” artist, through “Calypso” to “New Age Rapso” and the other genres which spoke to him. In referencing “Kisskadee Karavan” he commented that that opportunity to perform inspired his contemporaries to take a greater interest in local music. Recording Studio Richard is completely dedicated to music and culture as his way of living and in addition to performances he manages a recording studio and rehearsal room for performers across all genres and generations. From his recording studio, he has moved to capitalizing on various streaming platforms which allows him to understand his musical reach and count his return on investment. Prior to this use of technology he would not have understood the span of his own music footprint which now includes Europe, Africa, Japan and the US. Future Vison He future vision is one where artists operate with signed contracts outlining roles and responsibilities. On the national landscape his wish is for the realization of the concept of Festival Tourism which will stimulate participation by the public and performers and open our doors for the world to experience our rich culture.

Demming Chronicales chats with Digital Coach Keron Rose & Communication Consultant Lisa Joseph

Trini born/Canadian Keron Rose decided to give the country of his birth a chance at a time when his contemporaries were heading to other parts of the world. Six years later his global business has clients who pay him online and he continues to thrive. He sees Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region as a place with intractable problems which need solutions and that’s where he focusses. He has created a coaching business which helps entrepreneurs find and implement solutions to these problems. His specific focus is to discover digital solutions to our many problems.

The Mind Set Challenge

According to Keron our biggest stumbling block is our collective mind set which causes us to not trust our institutions while our institutions seem reluctant to educate and prepare our citizens to embrace a digital world. In reflecting on the fact that the Trini created global payment platform WiPay is now based in Jamaica, Keron lamented the negative conversation about digitization. We need “all hands on deck” to onboard all citizens to the digital space. From Government Ministers and officials to the unemployed, the conversation has to be about embracing the digital world to transform our societies.

Lisa Ann Joseph – Communications Consultant

At 17:00 minutes, the show transitioned to a conversation with Reputation Management Consultant Lisa Ann Joseph who finds great joy in the sense of humour which surfaces at every turn. From the online memes to the “bad jokes” there is always something to chuckle about.

Democractizing Communications

She noted that social media has democratized communication and empowered citizens to take on the role of professional communicators. In her role as Counsel to CEOs and C-suite executives, she laments that communicating is not usually seen as part of the key requirements for leaders. Her advice is to take an inside/out approach to understand the issues that are important and invest time and resources in deep listening. In responding to a questions about what is required to succeed at Corporate Communications, Lisa suggested the combination of experience, academics and hard work. Her dream for the future is for our communication to be kinder and littered with softer words.

Bring back graciousness and civility to Parliament, Annisette-George can lead the way …

Originally published on Sunday 4 July 2021 Wired868 – Guest Columns

Don’t let the young cricketer look at the ‘unorthodoxy’ of Richie Richardson, until he has been exposed to orthodox form of a master batsman like Desmond Haynes. 

This was the advice my husband got from the Harvard cricket coach Dwight Day when our sons were introduced to Sunday morning cricket. What Dwight meant was that they needed to master the classic form of the game before experimenting with unorthodox methods. It’s a life lesson I have taken seriously.

Photo: West Indies cricket legend Sir Desmond Haynes had flawless batting technique.
(Copyright Wisden)

In an earlier time, the behaviour in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago was seen as the classic model for behaviour that was gracious and dignified. Not so today! We have totally abandoned any form of classic structured, civil behaviour. 

When I look at the Parliament Channel I feel ashamed for both sides—for men and women, for leaders and the led. I wonder who the behaviour models are for our aspiring young politicians. Indeed, what kind of tone is the Parliament setting for our citizens?

Maybe the early statement from a government minister in Parliament, ‘…we in charge now, so deal with it!’ set the stage. Or maybe the perception of bias by the previous Speaker of the House has encouraged an over-compensatory response by the current Speaker.

Whatever the reason, the current Parliament Channel brings to citizens a parade of indecency, crudeness and lack of dignity.

Photo: UNC Senator Anil Roberts.
(Copyright Office of the Parliament 2020)

While the position that the Parliament is merely a reflection of the society may not be easily refuted, I wish to counter that leadership has a critical role and people take their cues from our leaders. There is a great responsibility on the part of the persons who sit in the Parliament to signal a change in tone, communicating that we should act with grace and dignity.  

The emptiness of the terms ‘Madam Speaker’ and the ‘honourable member’ are often followed by sarcasm and rancour.

Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George has an opportunity to change the tone and craft a different mode of behaviour amongst her colleagues.  She has the power to host a private dialogue with the 41 members of Parliament aimed at transforming the tone of their parliamentary dialogue. It will not be an easy conversation but it is a necessary one for the good of the country.

What a legacy Speaker Annisette-George would leave if she leads the transformation of our Parliament to one where verbal expression and dialogue can occur with dignity and respect!  

Photo: Speaker of the House Bridgid Annisette-George on her legs in Parliament on 31 June 2021.
(Copyright Office of the Parliament

As a long shot, when this behaviour change is successful it will seep into our day to day interactions and even notch down the aggression and verbal abuse which is becoming the norm.

Former Speaker Arnold Thomasos is recalled as the longest serving Speaker of the House for his service from 1961-1981.  My bold wish is for Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George to be remembered as the female game changer who brought back dignity and civility to our House of Parliament.  

No one else has the credibility to do that job in the current configuration.

Economic Complexity – Creativity – Transportation are the focus of our discussion.

Chatting with Dr. Vaalmiki Arjoon about Economic Complexity; Jules Sobion Commander-In-Chief of Caesar’s Army about Creativity and Katherine Agong, Transportation Specialist about modernizing our transportation sector.

Dr. Vaalmiki Arjoon shares a synopsis of his research paper on “Economic Complexity” which takes economic diversification 10 steps ahead towards breaking our dependency on hydrocarbons. He suggests that using an Economic Complexity lens can help us design an ecosystem which places greater emphasis on using technical knowledge, innovation and superior technologies to produce a healthy mix of commodities for both local consumption and export.The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a complex production structure. Imagine if Trinidad & Tobago had a thriving pharmaceutical sector, we could have partnered with pharmaceutical companies to manufacture vaccines. Our recovery strategy should focus on satisfying the unique pent-up demand which will soon be unleashed on the world. His paper on Economic Complexity considered 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries and concluded that a major hindering factor for growth is inequitable access to finance and foreign exchange from the commercial banks. Trinidad and Tobago has an opportunity to use the pandemic as a game changer by embracing the philosophy of Economic Complexity; transitioning from the model of a physical location to operating within a single digital space and removing the barriers which give us a low ranking on the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) ranking. At 18:00 minutes, the conversation shifts from discussing Economic Complexity with Dr. Vaalmiki Arjoon about to chatting with Jules Sobion

Commander-In-Chief of Caesar’s Army. Jules’s Pandemic Joys were understanding what Trinidad and Tobago has to offer as a destination; strengthening his storytelling muscles and nurturing his passion for building brands. His take on what is needed for creatives to thrive is to understand how the creative industry is evolving. Whether it is large events, music, art, theater, there is a need to understand how these sectors connect to the whole picture of Trinidad and Tobago. His biggest challenge as an entrepreneur was the feeling of “aloneness” as he created a different Carnival movement. Maybe there is a need for a space to teach creatives the fundamentals of business. The common problem experienced by Creatives is getting their brands onto larger world stages. Taking our local brands to the next level requires a willingness to create a runway for the traffic-jam of ideas and creatives waiting to take off. T&T’s future game will demand that we leverage technology to create experiences which combine in-person with virtual and the Entertainment Sector is uniquely poised to take the lead. As the Commander in Chief of Caesar’s Army exited the interview, his parting advice to younger creatives was that Rome was not built in a day. “Take things time by time, be resilient, be patient, and your fruits will bear.”

At 30:00 minutes, the Conversation welcomed Transportation Specialist, Katherine Agong, who represents the 30% of women operating in Transportation. Her interest in transportation started at the age of seven or eight when she experienced the anxiety of travelling from her home in Diego Martin to her primary school in Port of Spain and invariably arrived late to school. At that early stage, she wondered about solutions to the traffic problem.Fast forward a few years, Katherine is studying for her degree in Geography and Geology and discovers that there is actually a career to solve traffic and transport problems. A suggested solution to some of our problems is the creation of a national transportation planning and management agency like those that exist in the United States and across Europe. Our country CAN have a successful mass transit system, but we need to understand that people’s decision to travel is based on reliability, price, comfort, convenience, safety, and accessibility. The fact that 74% of our population use the car to get to and from work is an indication of their low level of trust in the system.There are solutions to our transportation problems. It is a question of how we implement those solutions. Park & Ride is a possibility, but mass transportation in our country can help towards our development, it can help towards people’s comforts and may improve people’s lives. She notes that other countries have solved their problems and so can we.

Demming Chronicles is happy to have chatted with Dr. Vaalmiki Arjoon about Economic Complexity; Jules Sobion Commander-In-Chief of Caesar’s Army about Creativity and Katherine Agong, Transportation Specialist about modernizing our transportation sector.

Today he used his power to try to get his son into national team, what will it be tomorrow?

Originally published on wired868.com

1959: Then Minister of Home Affairs Patrick Solomon removed his stepson from the Woodbrook Police Station.

2002: Late Prime Minister Patrick Manning phoned the Marabella Police Station where his driver was being held.

2018: former Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte has an altercation with a police officer for the inconvenience caused at Dock Road.

2021: Lasana Liburd documented how Commissioner of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith Sr used his office in a manner beneficial to his son’s chances of winning selection to the national football team.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (left) has a word with then Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick after training at the Police Barracks in St James on 3 July 2020.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Rivers flow into streams you say? It begins with raindrops! These are a sample of the stories which make it to the media.  

The first three are examples of ministerial interference with the Police, while in the fourth example, the Police is interfering with the Police. What is common in each story is an underlying philosophy that, unfortunately, official office in our country can be abused without consequence.  

It is a clear indication of the extent to which our system of governance has failed.  There is a popular view that if you know someone in office, you can literally get away with murder. This ‘who-know-you-syndrome’ is eating away at the core of our society and it seems to be reinforced daily by our officials.

People are not naturally inclined to follow rules but agreeing to be part of a society means you have entered into an explicit contract to obey the laws that protect all of us. If our leaders continuously break the contract, what do you expect of the ordinary citizen?! This broken system will only be fixed when the example is set from the top.

Image: Cutting in line…

The holder of the position of chief of police has a unique role; his actions must be beyond reproach. Once that facade becomes tainted, the moral authority of that position is also tainted and the consequences can be dire. Sometimes the only way to fix it is for that tainted person to step aside.  

My argument extends to any public office but those which impact law and order are particularly important.

A right-thinking leader will ensure that our institutions are not tainted, understanding that the entire ecosystem will suffer and collapse if any key player is allowed to continue functioning despite their compromise.  

There is a view that the CoP’s compromise occurred outside of his duty and function and therefore should not be considered. I disagree because persons carry their characters 24/7 and the action taken in their official capacity cannot be separated from those in an unofficial activity.

There is a recent case in the United States where big name parents were caught paying bribes to get their children into elite colleges. This eventually attracted the attention of the IRS and the parents are now investing huge sums of money in trying to stay out of jail.  

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Gary Griffith III (right) runs down the flank while head coach Terry Fenwick looks on during a practice match against Police FC at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 12 March 2021.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/Wired868)

The bigger lesson is that in the US, there are consequences for every action.  Unfortunately in Trinidad and Tobago such lessons are difficult to impart and there is a strong tendency to assume that the wrongdoing will be forgotten in nine days.  

My deeper fear is that the CoP will walk away from this malfeasance unscathed, only to engage more boldly in using his powers inappropriately.  

Today it was getting his son an undeserved spot on a football team; what will it be tomorrow?

Siana Teelucksingh chats about island states and energy renewables – Clint Williams talks encouraging creativity.

Guest Siana Teelucksingh is confident that just as our people are leading and working in traditional global energy companies, we have the talent and opportunity to develop a skilled global workforce to populate the renewables sector.

The isolation of being an island nation creates both our beauty and vulnerability and therefore requires a combined effort to ensure success at energy transition.

Siana states that Trinidad and Tobago is in a wonderful position to leap frog with the current momentum and existing skills to an economy driven by renewable energy. Her condition however is that we must be proactive and thoughtful to engage this energy transition. Maybe the biggest challenge lies in the cultural transformation needed to change ingrained practices developed over years of enjoying one of the lowest global electricity consumer rates.

Siana is a Senior Project Manager at the non profit Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Two projects included in her portfolio are support for the “Integrated Resource and Resilient Plan for Belize” and the development of renewable and resilient installations across the Caribbean.

“Our energy source is being used against our best interest?” is the title of her TEDxPortofSpain 2019 Talk.

At 15:00 Clint Williams, CEO of Corbin Advertising takes us back to the the 14th century rise of the Medici Dynasty in Italy from which came the Medici Principles. The time has come for Trinidad and Tobago to create our own Medici Principles where we bring together a cross section of stakeholders and influencers to redesign a future to which we can all aspire.

He reminded us of the astonishing creative power of our people as evidenced by our ability to tell stories, strike up a rhythm and tell a joke about the simplest of exchanges. Covid has dealt a devastating blow to the creative sector but the fissures existed before March 2019. Creatives now have to dig deep to sell ideas to a screen full of dots and boxes while knowing that creativity requires the energy of the room for it flourish.

For the creative sector to thrive, there must be a movement away from the attitude of only valuing tangibles to placing equal value on ideas and concepts. Creativity allows us to develop an ecosystem which facilitates those moments of reflection which can move us in different directions.

Despite the disruption of the revenue streams in the advertising industry he is convinced that the creativity of our people will help in the shaping of the different future.