Future of Cayman Forum creates a strong platform

The Future of Cayman economic initiative was developed through a partnership between the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Government.

It has brought together key personnel from a broad range of industries in both the public and private sectors that are helping to shape a path forward for Cayman’s economy. Targeting two of the most crucial issues affecting Cayman’s business community, the Future of Cayman Forum took place in November 2012, bringing together experts in their fields to discuss the key topics of how to build a smarter infrastructure and how to develop talent.

In all, 28 sponsors from both public and private sector organisations supported the Forum, highlighting tremendous support across all sectors.

Speaking with one voice

Tristan Hydes, deputy chief officer, Ministry of Finance, District Administration, Works, Lands & Agriculture, co-chairs the Future of Cayman’s infrastructure group and participated on a number of panel discussions throughout the one-day event.

“The Future of Cayman Forum attracted a high level of discussion on issues such as the best way to approach public-private partnerships to create infrastructure projects, the need for Cayman to develop a waste management policy and leading trends in telecommunication infrastructural development. These are all crucial issues that we look forward to examining in more detail this year,” he said.

Barry Bodden, managing director of Island Paving and vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, co-chairs the infrastructure driver group and confirmed that such discussions could only benefit Cayman’s economy.

“By examining exactly where we are with such important issues we can design a plan for moving each project forward,” he explained. “This can only be achieved by pooling our collective energies to ensure that we all speak from the same objective. The Future of Cayman Forum helped us achieve this central platform.”

Talent generation a major issue

The Develop Talent driver co-chairs are Mary Rodrigues, chief officer with the Ministry of Education, Training and Employment and Samantha Nehra, vice president of People and Development with dms.

Mrs. Nehra was delighted with the support shown by the public for the event as a whole and the Develop Talent driver group in particular.

“The Future of Cayman Forum attracted strong support from the local community as evidenced by the high volume of attendees, with 170 members of the public joining conference speakers on the day,” she confirmed.

“The Develop Talent breakout sessions concentrated on issues such as ensuring Cayman has a sufficiently skilled workforce and developing the next generation workforce engaged attendees with interactive discussion on how to meet the human resources needs of the business community.”

Mrs. Rodrigues was equally pleased with the strong support, which, she confirmed, had extended well past the event itself.

“Following the results of the post-Forum survey, the majority (three quarters) of those who wish to help further with the Future of Cayman initiative wish to do so within the Develop Talent driver group. This is a fantastic endorsement of how strongly the public believes in developing home grown talent to fulfil the personnel needs of the business community,” she commented.

Shane Howe, FOC Steering Committee chair, explained that the Future of Cayman initiative in no way ended with the close of the Forum.

“I would like to thank those who contributed their time at the 2012 Forum and those who are committed to moving this initiative forward, and to remind everyone to visit the Quick Wins page of the Future of Cayman website for more detail on progress made to date.

“We plan to hold a series of smaller Future of Cayman events more frequently with a narrower focus in community venues,” he explained. “These will take place in between the major forums.”

Mr. Howe also confirmed the up and coming Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors conference has invited speakers from the infrastructure driver group to serve on a panel at the conference to share information about the initiative. The conference is being held at the Marriott Beach Resort on 28 February 2013.

How to get involved

The Future of Cayman initiative is creating a blueprint for growth so that everyone in Cayman benefits.  The success of the initiative depends hugely on the support it receives from the public. There are many ways in which to show your support of the Future of Cayman initiative:

  • Volunteer to participate on a driver group committee – Driver group committees are responsible for working with the driver group co-chairs to action the items that have been identified to achieve the objectives under each driver. Each driver group meets at least four times a year and provides regular updates to the Steering Committee so that achievements and progress can be posted to the Future of Cayman website. Volunteer participants can sign up to be part of one of the driver group committees (or subcommittees) and commitment is as little as one hour per month.
  • Individuals and organisation can endorse the initiative to show support – Organisations can become a partner in progress sponsor. All funds go toward on-going administration of the event and future events. Download a letter template for endorsing the Future of Cayman initiative at www.futureofcayman.com/templates/standard/endorse/Letter-of-Full-Endorsement.pdf
  • Advocacy – Local officials can be contacted to let them know the policy that supports the Future of Cayman initiative is endorsed, thereby reinforcing the fact that the Future of Cayman initiative is aligned with the community’s vision for Cayman’s future and speaks to its needs and wishes for future growth. Visit www.futureofcayman.com/sample-letter for a letter template for that purpose.

Those interested in becoming involved should visit www.futureofcayman.com/take-action to see how to contribute to this vital initiative.

To volunteer or be on a driver group committee, contact Chamber CEO Wil Pineau, CCE at 743-9122 or by email at [email protected]