Themed Inspire. Innovate. Go Global., DLIC 2017 is ranked as one of the largest leadership conferences in the Caribbean region.
Pankaj Ghemawat, global professor of management and strategy and director for the Centre for Globalisation of Education and Management at the Stern School of Business in New York City, delivered the first keynote address at the event. Ghemawat addressed the themes “Semi-Globalisation – Impacts for Enterprises and the Region”; and “Internationalisation Strategies for Caribbean Enterprises – The Triple A Model”.
Ghemawat’s discussions centred on his theory of the Two Laws of Globalisation, The Law of Semi-Globalisation and The Law of Distance, which he noted businesses must be cognisant of when considering international expansion. His addresses delved into several analyses of global corporate expansion, and emphasised that careful strategy was now more important than ever in the current global political climate, as “traditional predictive reasoning seems to now have significant limitations, giving rise to greater uncertainty.”
Ghemawat urged the local audience to consider differences as opportunities to enhance Trinidad and Tobago’s performance, “Rather than constraints, differences can actually be sources of value creation,” he stated. “I have found that your kind of multicultural, diverse society is much better prepared to overcome challenges than homogenous societies. Diversity should be embraced in industry as well. The revival of the cocoa industry in Trinidad and Tobago is a reminder of your additional value opportunities,” he added.
The audience was also encouraged to widely explore new opportunities. “Seek innovation of a broad variety, and seek inspiration from broad sources,” he said. “Just because you’re not the first to do something doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing”.
In addition to Ghemawat, Jim Collins, a renowned business consultant, author, and lecturer on company sustainability and growth; and Sir Ken Robinson, who is a preeminent author, speaker and international advisor on education and innovation, and whose TED talk is the most watched in history, also spoke at the conference. Collins and Robinson both participated via a live, two-way interactive satellite feed. Collins spoke on the theme “From Good to Great”, and Robinson’s address focused on “Leading a Culture of Innovation”.
In his address, Sir Ken Robinson also noted the importance of diversity, saying, “Innovation is a collaborative process, it is about dynamic teams and diversity is key.”
He advocated for advancements to the system, stating that the future of Trinidad and Tobago and the region depends on its education system, and noting, “You can’t anticipate outcomes of innovation, but you can create conditions for it to flourish.”
In addition to the keynote speakers, a highlight of the event was a panel discussion, “Compliance vs. Creativity – What Creative Schools Should Look Like in the Caribbean” –, featuring Sir Ken Robinson, the Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the honourable Michael Browne, Minister of Education Science and Technology for Antigua and Barbuda, the honourable Myron Walwyn, Minister of Education and Culture for the British Virgin Islands, and moderated by Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
As part of the discussion, Dr. Gonsalves emphasised the importance of creativity in the education system to regional growth, stating, “Leadership is vital in the schools, and it is not a question of simply inspiring. The more difficult thing is to draw out of people what is good in them, what is creative in them, and to do so when the people themselves do not yet know that they possess that creativity.”
Guests had the opportunity to engage with the speakers via an interactive workshop and question and answer sessions. Professor Miguel Carrillo, Executive Director and Professor of Strategy at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business closed the event, and asserted the importance of local and regional business participants embracing innovation to enhance competitiveness.
This year’s edition of the DLIC was hosted by the school in partnership with Republic Bank Limited, Shell Trinidad Limited, Value Optical, Caribbean Lifestyle Communications, One Caribbean Media Limited, Caribbean Airlines, Hyatt Regency, Bmobile, Media 21, Massy Motors, Magic Mist, Total Office, and the National Lotteries Control Board.