Islands face some unique developmental challenges that are often exacerbated by their small size, remote locations and inability to take advantage of the benefits of economies of scale. These circumstances force islands to develop innovative and adaptable solutions which create means of revenue generation that preserve their delicate natural ecosystems. Islanders have historically been creative and resilient people who transform their problems into new opportunities for revenue generation that marry traditional knowledge and modern technologies. Fostering and promoting new models of economic development will require new perspectives of success that support equitable use of resources and lead to sustained growth and maintain environmental integrity. Emerging businesses built of this philosophy require commitment from both the public and private sectors. Youth have a key role in developing the potential for such interventions and capitalizing on the entrepreneurship opportunities which exists.
This panel explores some exciting case studies of green technopreneurship and innovation in the Eastern Caribbean that hold global lessons. It addresses opportunities in energy, water, marine ecosystems and agriculture. The panel identifies some of the enabling factors that can be addressed regionally to support ongoing green innovation for bolstering emerging markets and trade on islands.
Programme Coordinator, Sustainable Energy Unit at Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission
McHale has held positions as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Invest Saint Lucia, the national investment promotion agency; Executive Vice President of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA); Research and Development Advisor at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO); Permanent Secretary in Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Tourism; and Director of External Relations at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), where he served for some ten (10) years, prior to a five (5) year stint as an economist at the Ministry of Finance in his native Saint Lucia.
OECS Country Adviser for the Caribbean Business Angels Network (CBAN)
Noel was not able to complete secondary school, but he never allowed that to interfere with his thirst for knowledge. The self-taught inventor, with a knack for engineering, is receiving acclaim for building the Eastern Caribbean’s first solar-powered, mobile desalination plant. With a grant from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program (GEF-SGP) to the Laborie Fishers and Consumers Cooperative Project, Noel was able to build the facility, which can produce 1,000 gallons of water daily.
The facility is a marvel to behold. It is located near the ocean, opens up ‘transformers-style’ to get the desalination process going andif there is a storm, it can be folded up, taken away and stored in a safe place until the all-clear is given.
Under his stewardship, Algas Organics has processed over 1 million pounds of Sargassum seaweed into fertilizer for export regionally and internationally. Johanan has been recognized for his innovation locally and internationally:
Commonwealth Youth Award For Excellence in Development 2019, Forbes 2019, Young Leader of the Americas 2018, Prime Minister's Award for Innovation in Microbiology 2018, Huffington Post 2017, OECS Top 30 Entrepreneur under 30 2017, Caribbean Beat Top 25 Achiever Under 25 2017, and Young Entrepreneur of the year 2017.
CEO of Algas Organics
Dr. Jackson was appointed as Executive Director in October 2018. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Project Management, both from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He also holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. He is a Registered Engineer (PE) in Jamaica, a member of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Gary C. Jackson
Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency