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This two day conference highlighted the benefits and challenges for Jamaica’s development in the globally competitive knowledge economy. Some 90 thought-leaders from the private sector, public sector, media, NGOs, education and the political space, brainstormed and enthusiastically participated in the conference. The event was lead by a distinguished international group of experts in knowledge economy transformations and global competitiveness including Principal Advisors, Dr. Jean-Eric Aubert and Prof. Carl Dahlman (former Directors of the Knowledge Economy Division of the World Bank Institute), Prof. Neville Duncan, Dr. Dawn Elliott, Mr. Kenneth Hynes, Dr. Densil Williams, Prof. Evan Duggan, Prof. Hopeton Dunn, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, Dr. Andre Gordon, Mr. Robert Gregory, Dr. Anne Crick, Dr. Gunjan Mansingh and Mr. Richard Lumsden. The conference was opened by The Most Honourable Professor Sir Kenneth Octavius Hall, ON, GCMG, OJ, who indicated that it was now widely accepted that countries have been embracing knowledge and innovative related policies to improve growth and competitiveness and that policies should “identify, enhance, and exploit intangible assets in the areas of education, innovation, information and communication technology, and the prerequisite economic and institutional regime.”
The first session chaired by Prof Neville Duncan saw five presentations were delivered, which were geared towards establishing a shared understanding of key terms and concepts.
The second session chaired by Dr. Densil Williams saw four presentations being made on specific knowledge sectors in the Jamaican economy: ICT, telecommunications, hospitality and tourism and agriculture.
In the third session chaired by Prof Evan Duggan four presentations examined issues and policies related to two critical knowledge economy pillars; education and innovation and the nexus between both which provides the capability of powerful and important synergies; knowledge management and Vision 2030.
The fourth session was chaired by Prof. Winston Davidson and had two presentations; . Dr. Jean-Eric Aubert in his presentation provided some insight into innovation policy and suggested some generic policy measures to support innovation, for Jamaica. Prof. Carl Dahlman reviewed issues and policies of the Knowledge Economy related to education and training.
Three key Action Plans were subsequently crafted.
• How to engage public and private sector leaders in the drive for Knowledge Economy and Society transformation
• How to exploit competitive niche projects as a source of jobs creation and wealth increase
• How to adjust the Education and Training System to Competitiveness and Knowledge Economy Needs
All presentations are available at the Knowledge Society Foundation website www.knowledgesocietyfoundation.com
The conference was sponsored by Spatial Innovision (www.spatialvision.com) using proceeds from the Pioneers of Prosperity Award