Creating a Smarter Cayman

IBM hosted a Smarter Cities conference in New York City in early October. Mr. Paul Gallagher, IBM’s local representative, kindly invited me to attend (thanks, Paul!). The project is part of the company’s Smarter Planet initiative that is intended to motivate world leaders and global citizens to introduce new technological systems and policies that will improve the quality of life for billions of people and save our planet from the consequences of global warming.

Starting with cities makes sense. In 1990, only 13 per cent of the world’s population lived in cities. That number is forecasted to increase to 70 per cent by 2050. We are adding the equivalent of seven New York Cities to the planet each year. So what does this have to do with Cayman and on the focus of this magazine, economic development?

There are lessons to be learned from other countries that are adopting strategies to improve their communities. Cities around the world are introducing revolutionary ways to improve public safety, health care, transportation, education and government services by using technology to improve systems and access to records. Some of these strategies could improve our way of life and stimulate economic development. There are many lessons that can be learned from the experiences of other communities. You will be hearing more about some of these best practices at future Chamber meetings and public discussions.

Every year THE CHAMBER features articles about economic development. Chambers around the world are leaders in this area. In this issue, we review the state of the economy and consider some diversification strategies including a special article about investing in Cayman art. Past President Mr. W.

Burns Conolly discusses the work of the newly formed Planning and Regulations Committee that he chairs. The changing face of George Town is featured as we explore some of the Government proposals to contract a cruise berthing facility and to move the cargo port to the east of Grand Cayman. This proposal has sparked considerable debate about the future development of the capital.

This issue is filled with information. KPMG, one of the Chamber’s Business Assistance partners, explains how businesses can manage cash during these challenging economic times in the first of a four part series. Caymanian facilitator, Mr. Gregg Anderson, provides useful tips about business continuity and disaster recovery planning. There’s a special section promoting the importance of local shopping and the member businesses participating in this year’s Chamber Business Expo at the Family Life Centre from 22nd – 24th October. Special thanks to LIME for serving as the title sponsor for this year’s event. 

This month I begin my 16th year of service to the Chamber. Where has the time gone? I’d like to thank the membership for its support and encouragement. There have been many challenges, but many more successes. I look forward to continuing to work with the membership as we seek to support, promote and protect business and community success in the Cayman Islands.