Jamaica: a conversation of 50 years and beyond. That’s tonight’s theme. We have heard about the birth and development of our nation and now it’s time to look to the future.
Before I go much further, I would like to express my gratitude to the G2K for inviting me to speak. I am certainly honored.
The Way Forward – Mission of this Generation
The theme that I was asked to speak on has very special meaning to me.
Special because for me, it has always been and will always be about the way forward. Aware and informed about the past, aware of our challenges, our successes and our failures, all of which have helped to shape Jamaica into the nation that it is today. I’m not old enough to be jaded by Jamaica’s past, but I’m still young enough to make a difference, a big difference.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” is a quote that I think my counterparts and I epitomize, each day I wake, I try to be that change that I so desperately want to see in Jamaica. I sometimes complain, I sometimes become frustrated, but mostly I work, contribute and keep myself productive because I want to leave this world knowing that I made a difference, a part of the solution and not a part of the problem, for my children, my children’s children, for Jamaica
Many of us are working hard to see real change in Jamaica. Whether it’s Tyrone Wilson from E-Media interactive – a young multimedia company that is paving the way for new Media in Jamaica which employs over 8 people.
Wayne Jones Jnr from Hybrid Solutions, who is pioneering mobile technology apps in Jamaica.
Alex Morissey from Jamaicansmusic, a premiere reggae portal with an audience of over 2 million people
The Moore brothers with Play Jamaica, Sandor Panton with Top5 Jamaica, Ingrid Riley with Kingston Beta and so many others.
We often worry about our talented people leaving our shores to help other countries grow, but many have stayed, many are staying because they love Jamaica and know that they can do a world of good for many here. Others, who have chosen to leave are representing us proudly and are doing immense good from afar.
As Martin Luther King said so eloquently
Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.
We’re not short on problems in Jamaica, but we’re also not short on opportunities.
Where the average person sees a problem, as an entrepreneur, I see opportunity, an opportunity to earn, an opportunity to create jobs, an opportunity to solve a problem
and an opporuntity to make a difference.
My focus for the last 2 years through my company, EduFocal, has been about leveraging technology in education, specifically with the use of the internet.
I remember, not so long ago when I was connecting to the internet at 25 kilo bits per second, now I’m connecting at 12,000 kbps.
For the benefit of the not so techie people in the room, when you’re connecting to the internet at 25kbps a 5 minute youtube video can take over 6 or 7 minutes to load. Now, in 2012 it takes seconds. I can still remember when I could barely find any Jamaicans online, now there are over 600,000 Jamaicans living in Jamaica on facebook. Jamaicans are embracing the internet and now we need to show them how they can use it to earn and create employment for others.
In the year of our 50th anniversary Jamaica has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world and almost 100% island-wide internet penetration via Digicel’s 4G. This, in my eyes is progress. Without these advancements I could not be an internet entrepreneur in Jamaica today. With that said we have a lot of work to do, internet connection prices still need to come down, the price of hardware needs to go down, people need to be trained and so much more, but as I said earlier, all of these problems are opportunities for industrious and creative thinking people to solve. Jamaica is almost 50 and we’re definitely on a mission.
Nobody has ever changed anything by remaining quiet, idly standing by, or remaining part of the faceless, voiceless masses. If you ever want to effect change, in your work, in your life, you must learn to persuade others.
And I want to do just that, persuade my family, friends and everyone else around me to be great, to believe that Jamaica can be the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.