Dear Trinidad and Tobago, we must ‘become the leaders we wish to see’

Originally published on on August, 22nd 2021

Every time Honourable Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley opens her mouth my phone lights up with comments, video clips and messages of longing for a prime minister like her. Just stop it! 

We have whom we have; just deal with it—because in the natural flow of things, that will not change in the foreseeable future.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (left) and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

I truly believe that our prime minister is doing the best he can (and yes, we should be concerned about that) in the way that he knows and with the resources available to him. Calling him narcissistic, foolish, misogynistic or any other name will not change the fact that 23% of our population, which is the majority of those who bothered to show up on Election Day, voted for the PNM and he is the leader.  

So what do we do?

It is a great question, and my answer has been to lead from where I am in the ways that are available to me. Find your tribe and find a cause, even if it is a tribe of keyboard warriors using the rhythm of the keys to play a different tune for the future.

But in all that we do, let us be respectful of each other. Let us use language that is uplifting and a tone that is respectful even if it is brutally honest, and use our resources to help someone else survive another day.

The Covid virus is not done with us as yet. Continued locking down and implementing curfews are not coping strategies. Realistically the Delta spread we are about to experience will take out several of us; especially the unvaccinated.

Photo: A sample tests positive for the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus.
(via Shutterstock)

Even when we reach herd immunity, the economic, social and physical devastation is expected to intensify over the next 12 to 24 months.

The conversation about returning to normal is bothersome because there is no normal to return to. Even after our borders are fully open and there is in-house dining and some semblance of a Carnival, the conditions will have to be re-designed.  

Each of us has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design our future in a way that makes sense to us and that is where the ‘new normal’ begins.

Living with Covid means finding ways to collaborate and to share resources for our mutual benefit. This might sound like a ‘kumbaya’ strategy which may be considered naïve and unrealistic, but it is a call for us to redesign a society which values honesty, justice, equity and sustainability.

While everyone has been impacted by the devastation of Covid, there is a popular view that rich people and politicians live in bubbles and enjoy comfortable lifestyle while poverty rains havoc on the rest of society.  

Image: A satirical take on the one percent.

As the gap between the rich and the poor widens, the biggest need is to teach people how to use technology to fit into a digitised reality. Never before has the concept of ‘teaching persons to fish’ been more relevant.  

We must embrace the notion that we can’t change the quality of leadership we currently have but we can take personal responsibility and become the leaders we wish to see.  

Let us lead in our individual spaces and make a difference in the country we occupy.

Structures and Mounments Ground Us

Two unlikely knights Dale Ramirez and Valmiki Maharaj used their social media channels to bring attention to important government plans which appear to be out of tune with the expectations of many citizens.  Dale’s comments about the proposed AstroTurfing of Mandela Park contributed to an outcry which resulted in the Prime Minister tossing the Mayor under the bus when he suggested that it was a salesman’s dream.  Valmiki’s post about the removal of the PowerGen Towers has not received similar traction but several citizens have made suggestions about how the site might be used. 

As a pacifier, citizens have been offered an entertainment piece with a short window to view the lighting of the towers prior to the removal and destruction of this 120-year-old landmark.  My interpretation is that when mild mannered citizens are motivated to speak up in this way, it is a message that the government and the citizens are moving in opposite directions.

In 2016 the Artists’ Coalition of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) presented a plan to the Economic Advisory Board of how the space could be transformed and the history preserved.  This approach is neither new nor unique to Trinidad and Tobago.  A quick global scan will point to the re-purposing of the Toronto Power Station, the transformation of the Battersea Power Station in London and the retrofitting of the Potrero Power Station in San Francisco.  In every instance, the repurposing of former power stations fit into a wider tourism plan to change the dynamic of the space and attract different traffic for commercial benefit.

“San Francisco’s Central Waterfront has been a center of industry for over 150 years. While industrial uses will continue to be an important element of the urban fabric in the Central Waterfront, including at PPS, the City’s Central Waterfront Area Plan identifies the site as a location for additional growth and a wider range of land uses, including residential, commercial, and parks.”

There are many other examples of alternative approaches to destroying and erasing historical landmarks.  As cities change and develop, the focus seems to be on repurposing and redesigning spaces.  The concept of redeveloping the city of Port of Spain is welcomed but the vision must give consideration to maintaining our iconic buildings and spaces. 

Development is not solely about building new structures.  Of greater importance, development is also about creating an aesthetic which sees the beauty around us and works towards its improvement.  It is about understanding that monuments and old buildings and structures teach us about our past and what went before.  They help cultivate pride in our past and respect the struggles of those who went before us.  They help ground us in understanding who we are as a people.

Old photographs of Port of Spain tell me about tramcars and trains as a means of transportation, elegance and style while dancing at the Princess Building and gingerbread-style houses in East Port of Spain.  These images help me to feel a sense of pride and uniqueness as a people.  

The continued removal and destruction of iconic structures wipes away our history and adds to the disconnect many feel with the land of our birth making it difficult to accept any notion of blooming where we are planted.  As the disconnection intensifies, more and more of our people entertain the thought that a better life can be had elsewhere.  

Demming Chronicles chat with Tourism Professional, Warren Soloman & Graphic Designer, Ayrid Chandler

Trini in Montserrat

Warren Solomon, director of the Tourism Division in Montserrat comments that the pandemic has provided the region with an opportunity to rethink and re-design our tourism offerings especially since the Caribbean is seen as one of the world’s most famous holiday destinations.  The experience of living in Montserrat with a population of barely 5,000 (the size of a pre-pandemic Carnival fete) has helped him to have a greater appreciation for the unique beauty of our smallness.

Regional Transportation

He acknowledged that regional transportation has a major role to play in stimulating and sustaining the tourism sector.  As a micro island where airlift is limited, the current offering is on 9-seater carriers which Montserrat is planning to improve to 19 seaters later this year.  The region’s traditional focus on North America and Europe as source markets could be refocussed to target our Caribbean people as a potential market.  The major implication would be to find a way to make regional travel less expensive and more convenient.  It is well noted that intraregional travel is expensive, time consuming and not easily available.

The Cruise Ship Opportunity

With the potential rebound of the cruise industry, the Caribbean has an opportunity to renegotiate some of the lop-sided terms and conditions which currently exist so that the host islands benefit from gaining a greater portion of the tourist dollar which is spent on visiting the destination.     

Our sustainable development agenda must include focussing on changing the way the tourism product unfolds in the region and understanding that there is an untapped market in regional tourism.

Destined to be a Designer

At 20:40 the conversation moved to how design impacts our daily life with Graphic Designer Ayrid Chandler.  Growing up in a Catholic home, her form 5 assignment was to prepare for career choice.  She followed the advice to reflect and pray for guidance and Design “popped up”.  (True Story) Her childhood was spent helping her father who worked in Advertising critique television commercials while her friends looked at cartoons and puppet shows.  Photography, graphic designer and event execution were the ways she contributed to her Alma Mater, so it is not unusual that she ended up as one of our country’s leading young Graphic Designers.

Crisis of Identify

In reflecting on the role of design in national development Ayrid commented that Trinidad and Tobago is in great need of a re-branding exercise which would provide an opportunity for us to reflect on who we are?  Inherent in the design process is an element of problem solving and a 360-degree approach to communicating about anything.  By way of example if she embarked on a national re-branding exercise, she would ask the question: “how to do you want people to feel when they interact with you each time?”  Consider the profound impact that reflecting on this, and similar questions could have on our national psyche.

Ayrid graduated with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design Cum Laude from Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta in 2012.

T&T’s Olympic athletes are suffering from govt’s haphazard approach to sport

Originally published on on Monday 9 August 2021

I dedicated 30 months of my life to planning Trinidad and Tobago’s staging of the inaugural Caribbean Games 2009 (CG09) only to have it canceled because of the  H1N1 virus.

Despite the pleadings of the organising committee, the Games were cancelled just six weeks before the opening ceremony—dashing the hopes and aspirations of hundreds of Caribbean athletes who hoped to perform before Caribbean audiences as part of their Olympic preparations. 

Photo: Jereem Richards, acknowledges his divine help, after copping the the 200m title at the Commonwealth Games on 12 April 2018.
Richards did not medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
(Copyright Alan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

The Tokyo Olympics suffered a different fate and was staged under emotionally ‘cold’ circumstances which ended with Trinidad and Tobago not appearing on the list of 86 countries that medalled.

Postings on social media and other in-person conversations lament the poor performance of our athletes, particularly when compared with the phenomenal successes of our Jamaican brothers and sisters. We forget that Jamaica has a system, a process, and a structure for selection and nurturing.  

What we need is a clear understanding of the root causes of our poor performance.

A major factor is the absence of a contiguous master plan aimed at discovering, building, and nurturing potential athletes from throughout the country despite whichever administration is in control. Over the years, several different plans have been developed for sport but with each new administration comes the abandonment of the previous plan.  

We seem to have forgotten that in a population of just over one million the talent pool is small, so it is not wise to try to reinvent the wheel simply because the face of the minister of sport has changed.

Photo: (From second to left to right) Concacaf president Victor Montagliani, then TTFA president David John-Williams, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and deputy House Speaker Esmond Forde cut the ribbon to formally open the TTFA Home of Football in Couva on 18 November 2019.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

Nothing has happened in the past few years to give me the confidence that sport is seriously on the government’s radar. Sustained good performance will continue to elude us until we engage in serious planning to make sport the weapon of choice of our youth.  

The haphazard approach of creating a league here and competition there will neither unearth nor develop the talent needed to compete on an international stage. We continue to think that concrete structures will make a difference forgetting that, without a plan which focuses on the individuals, we will have nothing.

We continue to do well, particularly in track and field, because of the single-handed dedication of a handful of volunteers and almost-volunteers (barely paid individuals) who seem to thrive on the psychic rewards they enjoy from giving. These men and women continue to earn my total respect.

With the conclusion of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Ministry of Sport has an opportunity to set new goals and put a plan in place for the next Olympic Games. The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has an opportunity to purge itself of its ineffective leadership and provide a space for a cadre of competent, selfless leaders who would make positive change.

Photo: Tyra Gittens competes in the qualification rounds of the women’s long jump at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
(Copyright AP)

If you have hung around sports for long enough, you will know the story of the late Lystra Lewis (OBE) who has the enviable record for being the coach of the 1979 Trinidad and Tobago Netball team. In addition to winning the World Netball Championships, Trinidad and Tobago became the first country to host and win the championships.  

Her repetitive advice when I worked with her was to focus on the children and provide the structure for their performance. The advice is still golden, especially now that our performance in Tokyo has shown that talent is not absent, but without the appropriate vision supported by system and structures the next Olympics, like so many other facets of our nation’s endeavours, will stimulate the same empty conversations.

“D” Chronicles chats with Singer Charmaine Forde & “Olympic Daddy” Brian Wood

Early Talent Discovery

Charmaine Forde is the first person to sing during one of our interviews. Enjoy a sample from the song which launched her career. At the age of 11, she received a standing ovation at Trinity Church for singing “Hear Oh Lord” which was written by American social justice advocate and at-the-time Roman Catholic seminarian, Ray Repp (1942-2020). And so began this “vocal stylist’s” journey as an international singer.

Marketing is Key

She comments that having talent is just one part of the package because success requires the dedication and hard work of a supportive team. Her advice to young and emerging singers is to excel in a specific genre but master a variety so that you can perform under different circumstances.

Living the Caribbean Rhythm

While acknowledging that Trinidad and Tobago is a difficult space for singers and vocalists to thrive Charmaine is confident that persistence and resilience will eventually result in great success. Look out for her next project – Charmaine’s World which will focus on the rhythm of living your life in Trinidad and Tobago and the region.

Olympic Daddy – Brian Wood
At 15:00 the conversation embraces “Olympic Daddy” Brian Wood, father of Trinidad and Tobago’s first female Olympic Judo qualifier Gabriella Wood. Boring but true Brian shared that his family inspires him to do whatever is necessary for their success. His goal is to improve the lives of each member of his family.

Dedicated facilities

As Gabriella’s business manager, he has vicariously shared her experiences of being trained at dedicated athletic development facilities in Mexico and Hungary. Gabriella was first identified by a Cuban coach in. He lamented that oftentimes our sporting activities are pushed by parents who are helping their children achieve their dreams and once the child moves, the interest of the parents’ wain and the sport is faced with finding a new champion.

Unearthing Talent

Having invested his personal resources into Gabriella’s journey, he has learned that success in sports on a national level requires the development of a robust funding mechanism as well as the creation of programmatic structures to attract youth participation. Gabriella’s journey was multi-country and provided an opportunity for a coach who would otherwise not have had the opportunity in his home country because of the intense competition.

Future Vision

Our future success from identified sports can occur by triaging our natural local talent, under unutilized international coaches, and corporate support. Structure, systems, and processes are the key considerations if we are to make the best use of the talent which abounds in our country.

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 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.