Smart Barbados Week 2019 will take the form of a 4-day symposium hosted by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology (MIST) in partnership with the Barbados Chamber of Commerce (BCCI), the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), Internet Society Barbados Chapter (ISOCbb), and the Small Business Association of Barbados.
It seeks to engage workforces and the wider Barbadian public with knowledge needed to support our transition to a Smart Barbados. This means adapting to new technologies, transforming traditional structures and working practices in our Public and Private Sector organisations to new digital standards.
Dr. Annalee C. Babb is an international consultant with more than 15 years in executive management specialising in international technology policy, innovation and management, telecommunications policy analysis, digital convergence, broadcasting, new media, entrepreneurship, branding, marketing, investment and export promotion.
She currently serves as Special Envoy and Special Advisor to the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology, Government of Barbados, where she offers strategic and policy guidance on national digital transformation, SMART Bridgetown, SMART Barbados, the University of the West Indies Innovation Hub, e-Government, e- Governance, investment climate efficiency, and the ease of doing business in Barbados.
From 2011 to 2015, Dr. Babb was a member of the International Advisory Board of The Research Council, Sultanate of Oman, where she provided strategic advice to foster innovation, leading-edge research, emerging technologies, and competitive advantages to help leverage the future development and prosperity of Oman.
Dr. Babb received her Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Massachusetts, where she wrote on “Small States, the Internet and Development: Pathways to Power in a Global Information Society”. She also holds the degrees of Master of Arts in International Law and Diplomacy, and Bachelor of Arts with honours in Mass Communications, Journalism and Political Science.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Claudette McGowan is a global information technology leader with more than 17 years of success leading digital transformations and designing new approaches that improve service experiences. She has worked in the technology industry for organizations such as Deloitte, Metropolitan Police Services, North York General Hospital and Bank of Montreal. Claudette began her career at BMO in 2000 and she is the current Chief Information Officer, Enterprise Technology Employee Experience.
Claudette is a published author of 5 books and founder of the Black Arts & Innovation Expo. Claudette holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Business Administration. In 2018, Claudette was recognized as Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. In 2019, she was also the recipient of two prestigious awards: AdWeek Magazine heralded Claudette a Toronto Brand Star and the Digital Finance Institute honoured her as one of the Top 50 Canadian Women in FinTech.
Mark is one of those rare animals who’s developed long and successful track records at the highest levels of the digital and creative industries, in multiple disciplines – as a creative practitioner, as a business lead, and as an economic development strategist. With the ability to range from big visions to the tiniest detail, he couples strategy with successful, genuine and meaningful on-the-ground stuff.
He graduated from St Martin’s School of Art, London and became London’s [and probably the world’s] youngest commercials editor, then its youngest commercials director, making films across the world for clients including Coca Cola, Walt Disney, Volkswagen, Ford, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. Business-wise, he first took charge of the fortunes of a start-up at the age of 22, and helped it grow into one of the most successful commercials post-production companies around. He’s worked in, and with, start-ups pretty much ever since.
At the same time as working in film Mark took on many other creative challenges. In 1996 he became the world’s first Creative Head of a Premiership football club – helping to massively increase the brand power and commercial activities of [the then fashionable] Middlesbrough AFC. He was also co-founder and creative head of radical and highly successful training company ClickHere Ltd – sold to Tanfield Plc in 2003.
Mark has also sat on numerous advisory and regulatory boards at local, regional and national level, including Audiences North East, the Film and Television Skills Advisory Group, North East England [2003 – 2007], the Tees Valley Learning and Skills Council [2002 – 2006], and the Creative Industries Advisory Group Member, ONE North East [2001 – 2005].
In 2003 he took over DigitalCity in the Tees Valley, North East England: in the eleven years under his leadership it went from ‘troubled’ paper exercise to a fully-fledged and brilliantly successful creative and digital cluster initiative, acknowledged as one of the greatest projects of its type anywhere in Europe.
Mark was its ‘architect’ and champion, and with a mission to create and maintain a vibrant, successful and self-sustaining digital and creative supercluster. It delivered everything a regeneration project should do [which they often don’t], including massive company growth, hundreds of jobs, significant private sector investment and huge local economic impact. In his time there, Middlesbrough – the centre of the initiative – went from plumb bottom of over 400 areas in England to fourth place in terms of the proportion of high-growth-potential tech companies [Experian]; and in 2013 it was identified by the Financial Times as one of the UK’s digital hotspots – the only one in the UK north of Birmingham.
Mark’s history in tech has been a long one. The film industry has alawayds been an early adopter, and Mark ordered some of the first non-linear editing systems for the editing company he ran back in the 1980s. At DigitalCity he started his long association with tech accelerators: there in 2009 he co-founded The Difference Engine – Europe’s first true, intensive tech accelerator, and on moving to Scotland in 2014, designed and executed Scotland’s first accelerator – the UP Accelerator. And since 2015 he has been a major player at CivTech® – the world’s first ever public-sector focused accelerator: he’s currently its Programme Director.
He still walks the walk creatively, and is currently developing a potentially huge cross-gender, worldwide children’s entertainment franchise – a future-based action-adventure story universe with soccer, the world’s most popular sport, at its heart.
He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife Janet Archer and a constant stream of visiting artists, performers and technologists. And when he has time he escapes to the wonderful, rugged landscape surrounding the city because he’s a passionate [but very slow] cyclist.
Julian is a best-selling author, serial entrepreneur and business consultant featured in Forbes, The Guardian, Telegraph, Sunday Times and Huff Post.
Over the years he has launched award winning businesses, helped hundreds of startups raise funding and also worked with high profile brands including Virgin Media, the NHS, Transport for London and the World Bank.
In 2014 he founded Ultra Education – an organisation which teaches primary and secondary school children about business and entrepreneurship.
Since then Julian has worked with thousands of school children and is supported by 20 entrepreneurial ambassadors including Apprentice Winner Ricky Martin and Action Aid Chair and Non Exec Director of NHS England Margaret Casely Hayford.
He passionately believes if Britain is to safeguard it’s entrepreneurial future we need to take a different approach to entrepreneurial education and move away from the concept of the of the entrepreneur burning out for material gain and towards the idea that an entrepreneur is someone who does what they love and makes money from it.
This discussion addresses what is involved in building a national innovation ecosystem and the value of building one in a small, open economy such as ours. We are seeking to understand the role innovation can play in contributing to Barbados’ economic development, given that it does not have scale and maturity of other countries and cities that benefit from it. We want the perspectives of the various stakeholders who would be critical to the creation of such an ecosystem, including:
Some of the words used to describe Barbadian attitudes include “risk averse”, “inflexible” and “passive”. Those are not characteristics that one would associate with a progressive and innovative Barbados. What would we say are the characteristics of a “smart” Barbadian? How do we create an environment and culture in which innovation and transformation can flourish and those characteristics we desire are inculcated in all of our citizens?
This workshop will take into account the discussions around the components of an innovation strategy, the work that the various stakeholders have already started including CivTech and the culture change that we know needs to be addressed. The facilitator will engage the participants attempt to develop some next steps that begin to address some of the issues identified and to build on the work that is already being done in order to move Barbados in a more innovative direction.
The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre is a conference centre facility on the Caribbean island of Barbados. Owned by the Government of Barbados, and managed by the government agency Barbados Conference Services Limited, the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre is just outside the capital city of Bridgetown, in St. Michael.
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