Opening Session & The Vision Of A Sustainable Island: The Aruba Experience

Welcome by conference organizers James Ellsmoor and Dr. Didacus Jules and introduction to the themes for the week in addition to key points to maximize benefits of participation.

As the Prime Minister of Aruba, Mike Eman expressed a very special ambition. In 2020, Aruba aims to be a fully sustainable, self-sufficient society. A 5-star society, as he likes to think of it. A sustainable society running on green energy, in which economic growth serves the wellbeing of the people. Now, as Leader of the Opposition, he reflects on his time in office and his hopes for the future.

Speaker

James Ellsmoor

Founder of Island Innovation

James is the founder of Island Innovation, an organization that works with diverse rural and island communities around the world to develop solutions for sustainable development and prosperity. Island Innovation uses its global network to find innovative answers through modern technology and sharing good practice, building digital bridges between far-flung islands. James also has a Masters Degree in Island Studies from the University of the Highlands and Islands.

James is also a co-founder of Solar Head of State, which works with governments to push action on renewable energy. The NGO has focused on small island developing states (SIDS) with solar installations on the Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Government House in Saint Lucia and the Presidential Palace of the Maldives. SHOS is now working with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Pacific Island Development Forum to install solar on the official residences across these organizations’ combined 24 member states.

James Ellsmoor

Founder of Island Innovation

Mike Eman

Opposition Leader & Former Prime Minister of Aruba

Mike is a politician and civic leader, who served as the Prime Minister of Aruba from 2009 to 2017, designing and implementing a vision of sustainable and shared prosperity that put Aruba on the path to greater use of renewable energy, a diversified knowledge-based economy and a stronger sense of community and social cohesion. Mike also served as President in 2016 of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association of the European Union, promoting a strategy to pursue sustainable development among its members. He advocated for a global transition to renewable energy, becoming a strong voice on the climate change threat facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS), speaking at key fora, including the U.N. Security Council (2015) and the U.N. 3rd International Conference on SIDS (2014). Today, Mike continues his political work as Leader of the Opposition and resides in Aruba, working tirelessly to support sustainable development for island communities and as an advocate for renewable energy.
Mike Eman

Opposition Leader & Former Prime Minister of Aruba

Didacus Jules

Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

His Excellency Dr. Didacus Jules assumed the post of Director General, of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States in May 2014. In this capacity he is responsible for driving the regional integration thrust towards a single economic and social space involving ten Eastern Caribbean States.
Dr. Jules had had extensive regional and international experience, most of it focused on education, social policy and organisational transformation. He served as Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council (2008-2014) leading a thorough modernization of the Council. He has also served as Vice President Human Resources Cable and Wireless St, Lucia (2005-2008); Permanent Secretary for Education & Human Resource Development St. Lucia (1997-2008) as well as Permanent Secretary for Education and Chief Education Officer in revolutionary Grenada from 1981-1983.
He has provided consultancy services to national governments, regional and international organisations in the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and North America. He chaired the World Bank’s Vision 2020 Committee on Education in the Caribbean and has served on many private sectors, educational, and philanthropic boards. He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, an MSc in Curriculum & Instruction and a PhD in Educational Policy and Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a MBA from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill.
Didacus Jules

Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States