In September 2015, the United Nations announced the Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Adopted unanimously by world leaders, their implementation started in 2016 with more than 150 pledging to mobilize efforts, resources and partnerships to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change while ensuring that one is left behind.
In February 2017, Jamaica hosted the 10th Caribbean Meeting of Minister of Labor. During this meeting, it was highlighted the fact that even though the Caribbean has made significant social and economic improvements in the past 20 years, the global economic deceleration and the decrease of commodities prices are directly affecting short and medium term development prospects of the region. If we add the fact that the Caribbean region is the most vulnerable to natural disasters, and a lack of economic diversification and productive development, these realities will shock small economies and have a negative impact in the labor market development and employment rates in the Caribbean, especially among young people.
UN SDG 8 supports the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. This goal won’t be achieved if there is not a balance of productive development, growth, technology, employment, human capital and economic and social policies. In other words, there is a need to develop “engines of growth” that will be the source of more and better jobs, particularly for young people.
The Caribbean Innovation Challenge - CIC
The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Organization of American States (OAS), in collaboration with regional partners, will launch the Fifth Edition of the Caribbean Innovation Challenge, a special award category of the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas (TIC Americas) with the objective to engage young people from the Caribbean to work together with governments, private sector and international organizations in the development of the “engines of growth” that will create more and better job opportunities for young people in Caribbean.
CIC will run parallel with TIC Americas and it will host its finals at the Young Americas Forum, the official participation platform for young people at the Summit of the Americas. By connecting CIC with the Summit of the Americas, young people from the Caribbean will have the opportunity to prepare, debate and present their recommendations and plans of action to the Heads of State and Government attending the Summit, having a direct impact in decision making processes for policy and priorities definition.
1. Phase 1 (Semi-Finals): Teams complete their concept paper, business model, a tool for online presence (website, Facebook group or blog) and a collage of promotional photos, video or graphical presentation. A BOOT (Business Opportunity On-line Training) Camp and various technical resources are available to Teams to develop their ideas into solid projects and to create a practical strategy for implementation. Groups of international judges will review these plans and select the top eight Finalists to move onto the Finals.
2. Phase 2 (Finals): Finalist Teams will present their "pitch" for the CIC Awards to international judges who will select the winning team/s. Winners will have the opportunity to showcase their products or services in an international event, gathering representatives from the private and public sectors, academia, among other national and international guests.