How the Caribbean can Lead in Exceptionalism
Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Mottley declared that the time is NOW for the Caribbean to pivot and to showcase its exceptionalism; and to lead the world in the post-Covid era.
Honourable PM Mia Mottley shares Leve Global’s and our Exceptional Caribbean belief that it is time for the Caribbean to elevate itself and take a leadership role in the world. It has been our firm belief that while the Caribbean has been adversely impacted by colonialism and slavery leading to a feeling of “self-contempt” and a “lack of cultural confidence”, we need to learn to love and appreciate who we are as Caribbean people, and stop comparing ourselves to others. It is only then we can truly be exceptional and lead.
Dr. Poon shared a very timely piece entitled, “Love Yourself. The Beginning of Everything” where she encourages black people in post-colonial societies to love ourselves – believing in ourselves, loving who we are, having the right attitude, being creative and fostering knowledge and learning. And this is precisely the message that Prime Minister Mia Mottley has for the people of the Caribbean. “The things that we do best are worthy of halleluiahs.”
With the health and economic hardships that Covid-19 presents the world, and indeed the Caribbean, we need to embrace this crisis and turn it into an opportunity. Prime Minister Mottley dares the Caribbean to pivot – to assess where we are, see where we need to go and take decisive action to position ourselves as leaders; in other words, to become in Nassim Taleb’s words, ‘anti-fragile’.
PM Mottley further states that our Caribbean identity is a serious issue that we need to understand and appreciate at the individual, country and regional levels. As she rightly affirms, there are some important questions that we as Caribbean people need to start asking ourselves – “Who are we”; “what makes us”; “how do we solve our own problems”; “what is our purpose”; and “what is the value of our contribution?” Until these questions are fully answered, and the answers fully understood and appreciated, the Caribbean will not be able to make the difference that it can; it will not be able to pivot.
PM Mottley urges the region to pivot – from infancy to maturity, from dependency (on agriculture and tourism) to resiliency and might I add, regenerative development and anti-fragility. The Caribbean has limited its role in the global arena largely because of limited resources but in the areas we are able to excel we have not been able to create any significant ‘moon shots’ (a term PM Mottley quoted from Peter Minshall to mean exceptionalism).
She further admonishes the region to pivot from risk-aversion to innovation. She declares that “we are revolutionaries in our own way; we are artists, inventors and pioneers” creating some of the best and brightest minds and influential icons that have impacted the world. So, we need not be risk-averse; we need not be afraid of change; of leading.
With that in mind, she urges us to take our role as leaders in the digital age and embrace technology. She believes that we can add our own Caribbean-ness, flair and uniqueness to create digital ‘moon shots’; to combine our unique culture with digital technologies to influence and wow the world. The future of the world is technology. This is our future. This is where we need to pivot and NOW is the time.
You can watch Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s full speech below.
Kevon Wilson, is a premier researcher and strategist. He has more than 16 years’ experience in research, digital marketing, and strategic planning in over 15 countries around the world.
He is co-author of many of Leve Global’s research publications such as Big Data – Delivering the Big Picture to Drive Competitiveness, Everything You Need to Know About Internet Marketing, The Top Ten Emerging Markets as well as market publications on the American, British, German, Japanese and Canadian markets.
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