The wonderful world of innovation…
Daily Archives: July 17, 2014
Creativity. Confidence. Innovation
I have many fond memories of the daring backyard expeditions my sister and I went on as children. Many of our adventures included narrow escapes from the ferocious raptors we imagined to be living in the tall rows of corn in our garden. We imagined that the only way to survive was to lure the raptors into our dog’s cage with a bowl of sugar milk, and then quickly slam the gate shut to trap them inside. I had a very creative imagination as a child, and I wasn’t afraid to share my ideas with others. Yet as the years passed, I came to think of myself as an unimaginative person incapable of generating creative ideas.
Unfortunately, I am not the only adult who feels this way. A recent study by Adobe found that only 52 percent of Americans would describe themselves as creative [i]. Imagination and creativity are embedded…
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The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights has released an excellent report today on the right to privacy in the digital age, blasting the digital mass surveillance that has been taking place, unchecked, by the U.S., the U.K, and other world governments. The report is issued in response to a resolution passed with unanimous approval by the United Nations General Assembly in November 2013. That resolution was introduced by Brazil and Germany and sponsored by more than 50 member states. This report turns the tide in the privacy debate at the United Nations and opens the door for more substantive scrutiny of states’ surveillance practices and their compliance with international human rights law.
Does crime pay?
The Economist recently published “Crime in the Caribbean: Policing for Profit” (by M.W.), an article on private security groups, whose guards may outnumber the police on several islands (by three to one in Jamaica, for example).
In May the Guardsman private-security group opened a new command centre in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. Snipping the ribbon was the prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller. Looking on were her long-serving predecessor, PJ Patterson; the opposition security spokesman; and Jamaica’s then police commissioner.
Private security is a serious business across Latin America. According to a 2013 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), there are more private security guards than police officers in the region. The Caribbean is particularly fertile ground. [. . .] Fear of violence and property crime is rife; so is distrust of the police. A UNDP seven-country survey published two years ago found less than a quarter of respondents believed their…
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Great news for Tobago…
Tobago is on the Caribbean on responsibletravel.com’s list of 10 award-winning destinations promising memorable holidays that will also “make a real, positive difference to local people and conservation efforts.”
The online travel agency said of Tobago: “A world away from the all-inclusive resorts, feel the rhythm of the real Caribbean in Tobago. And nowhere else in the Caribbean offers such a diversity of wildlife and habitats in such a compact area. Try this nature tour for forest forays, snorkelling, turtles and birdlife.”
The article included destinations in Brazil, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, and several in the United Kingdom and the United States.
[Featured above, a blue-gray tanager (Thraupis episcopus), which lives in areas from Mexico to Brazil, and is known in Trinidad and Tobago as blue jean.]
Also see http://www.responsibletravel.com/
The power of the word…
BBC Radio 4 will broadcast “Derek Walcott: A Fortunate Traveller” on Sunday, July 13, 2014. In this 28-minute segment, Glyn Maxwell, former student of the Saint Lucian Nobel laureate, has a conversation with Derek Walcott.
Description: Glyn Maxwell meets the Nobel Laureate poet Derek Walcott at his home on the Caribbean island of St Lucia on his 84th birthday. From his beach home, Walcott talks about the sea and what it is like to come from a place he feels to be without history. He remembers his late friend Seamus Heaney and enthuses about Edward Thomas and Philip Larkin. They talk of teaching poetry – Glyn was once Derek’s student. He reads some of his own poems and, from memory, a sad and beautiful lyric by Walter de la Mare. The surf and the tropical rain make their own calypso music.
For more information, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0495r41
Power to the innovative spirit
The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC), a project of the World Bank and its global entrepreneurship program infoDev, has announced the 11 winners of its first regional proof of concept (PoC) competition. The countries represented in the selection are Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Proposals include projects on biofuels from microalgae cultivation, wastewater treatment; solar-powered desalination systems for rural communities; alternative animal feed in farms; bio-fertilizers, alternative soil conditioners and fuel briquettes (from castor oil waste); renewable energy in Pedro Banks; an H2-Flex hydrogen hybrid project; fiber optic solar indoor lighting; recycling expansion; and sustainable agri-business paper products.
The successful applicants will receive grants of up to US$50,000 to develop, test, and commercialize innovative, locally relevant climate technology solutions.
Officially closed on April 20, the PoC has received more than 300 applications from 14 countries, including territories within…
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