Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 5th 2013 Contents BG12 | REGIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt DECEMBER 2013 • WEEK ONE
BrightPath a non-profit foundation, in collab-
oration with Columbus Communications, has
launched TechLink, a tech education initiative
offering Caribbean-wide community-based
training in digital content creation. One hun-
dred-plus young persons and small business
entrepreneurs participated in a full day of workshops at the
regional launch of TechLink in St George s, Grenada, on Novem-
"Our vision is to take the seeds planted in Grenada and
translate it into Caribbean apps, Caribbean books, Caribbean
photos, Caribbean videos, and most importantly, Caribbean
solutions to Caribbean challenges," said Bevil Wooding, founder
and executive director of BrightPath.
He told the Business Guardian that TechLink will run in
countries across the region from Belize to Suriname, helping
youth, parents, seniors, educators and small business owners
to apply technology to everyday life.
"The launch of TechLink in Grenada is part of a revolution
in community-driven technology education in the region."
The Internet is perhaps one of the most empowering ever
created. Here in the region individuals as well as organisations
are using the technology to find voice and challenge the status
He explained that BrightPath is partnering with governments,
the private sector and on-the ground community groups in
St Lucia, Barbados, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica,
St Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat to ensure the initiative
goes beyond events and workshops to make a meaningful
impact in each community it touches.
"Our partnership with Columbus is obviously key. As a
major provider of Internet services and digital content to the
region, their support allows us to practically demonstrate how
broadband connectivity can be used to support both social
and economic development business. This connection is not
always obvious as many people can place a tangible value on
the Internet if they are not exposed to its potential. This is
where education is so vital."
"For the region to translate it natural creativity and talent
to success in the digital age attention must be paid to digital
literacy and the development of technical skills in digital
content creation. At the same time, we must also focus on
fostering the mindset that says the Caribbean has much right
as anyone else, anywhere else in the world, to create content
and develop solutions that meet local needs and have global
That s why it s so important that we highlight local and
regional success stories in the tech sector.
The programme includes a Caribbean Tech Innovators Award
component to profile individuals and organisations who are
doing pioneering work on the Caribbean tech scene.
"People are accustomed to the examples of successful young
technology innovators coming from North America or elsewhere.
Where have to hold up the examples and success stories that
are closer to home, more relatable and that can inspire a new
generation of home grown tech innovators."
The old cliché is that technology, by itself, solves nothing.
TechLink aims to demonstrate how, when coupled with effective
leadership and directed at real human needs, technology can
change the fortunes of a whole region.
"TechLink is about linking real people to real opportunity
by exposing the practical application of broadband Internet
in terms that people can relate to in real life: access to essential
government services, expanding markets for online businesses.
You know, real stuff."
In that sense, the programme has less to do with technology
and more to do with the value of the Caribbean content, said
Rhea Yaw Ching, corporate vice president of sales and marketing
"History has shown us that delivering fantastic speeds at
affordable prices doesn t necessarily translate in people s minds
to any real value. And so, we want to reach out, through the
TechLink initiative, to demonstrate to people the connection
between technology and empowerment."
Columbus subsidiary Flow Grenada recently introduced a
free upgrade of residential broadband packages to 100 Mbps.
"We re going beyond just talking about what we can give,
to enable communities to discover what they can create," said
"We are a creative people, and the opportunity is ripe for
that creativity to be more fully expressed in our digital space,"
Six Caribbean nationals were recognised
for their contribution to advancing technology
innovation in the region at the launch of the
BrightPath Foundation TechLink initiative
BrightPath, in collaboration with its cor-
porate partner Columbus Communications,
presented 2013 TechLink Caribbean Inno-
vators Awards in five categories to Ingrid
Riley of Jamaica, Nerissa Golden of Montser-
rat, Deanne Scott and Teddy Frederick of
Grenada, Juma Bannister of T&T, and
Stephen Lee, a Jamaican-born US nation-
al. The TechLink Tech Community Service
Award, which recognises individuals and
organisations making a significant impact
at a community level in technology advocacy,
education, public awareness and innovative
solution implementation, was presented to
Golden for Outstanding Contribution to
Caribbean Storytelling and Encouraging the
Participation of Women in ICT, through her
www.trulycaribbean.net web portal and
"It feels good to be honoured for some-
thing that just became a way of life," Golden
told the Guardian.
Continued on Page 13
Bevil Wooding, founder and executive director of BrightPath
Foundation, conducts a workshop with young participants at
the launch of TechLink in St George's, Grenada, on November
PHOTO COURTESY RELATE STUDIOS.
Six Caribbean nationals receive awards
Nerissa Golden of Montserrat:
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