Caribbean FutureScape (CFS) is a compelling, real-time technology immersion experience that demonstrates the speed, efficiency, transparency, resilience, ease and simplicity of life in a fully integrated digital Caribbean. Completely interactive, CFS enables participants to experience first-hand how greatly improved their lives would be by the effective application of ICT.
CFS is a simulation of a futuristic confederation of five Caribbean States that use information and communication technologies (ICT) to create digital communities and thereby accelerate their social and economic development. CFS participants, once registered as a FutureScape citizen, are able to move freely from country to country with their capital and goods, buy and sell goods and services, establish a business and access services in any of the Caribbean FutureScape countries.
This simulation is established through appropriate coordination of the offerings and services of a host of technology developers, entrepreneurs, communications services providers and service integrators. All Government services are common across Caribbean FutureScape and accessible locally by citizens and the Diaspora from anywhere in the world. In this way, participants are able to recognise that a digital Caribbean is within reach and could be achieved through meaningful collaboration and partnerships.
Following the CFS experience, seminars are held to explain the technologies which enable CFS services, how they could be effectively deployed and the value of collaboration from the level of governments to public-private partnerships in making the vision of a digital Caribbean a reality.
The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) first hosted Caribbean FutureScape in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 30th April to 1st May 2019 in commemoration of its 30th Anniversary. This was the first technology immersion event of its kind in the Caribbean. A second edition of Caribbean FutureScape was hosted in Suriname from 18th to 20th September 2019.
Rationale for Caribbean FutureScape
Today, in traditional conference-type sessions, presenters are competing with devices for the attention of delegates. Furthermore, if the delegates cannot appreciate the significance of the topic to their circumstances, they quickly lose interest. The CFS format creates an interactive experience that fully engages participants and enables them to understand the power of technology and in practical applications. Experiencing applied technology, greatly enhances understanding of the transformative potential of the technology.
Objectives of Caribbean FutureScape
- To enable Caribbean citizens to experience the transformative potential of ICT in a futuristic Caribbean Single ICT Space and prove that a digital Caribbean is indeed within our reach;
- To demonstrate the possibilities for free movement of people, goods, services and capital, and rights of establishment in a Single Market and Economy;
- To promote greater understanding of the benefits of collaboration by Caribbean governments in establishing the Single ICT Space; and
- To prove that competing ICT services providers can be mobilised to collaborate to build the ICT Space.
The Caribbean FutureScape Experience
Citizens experience real-time, cutting-edge ICT in real life situations and thereby understand the game-changing transformation Caribbean life could undergo when technology is properly applied. Different ICT-enabled services and activities are experienced in each of the five countries.
Participants in the Caribbean FutureScape Experience
Hundreds of citizens from all walks of life have visited Caribbean FutureScape, including Prime Ministers or their representatives, Ministers of Government, Senior Public officials, senior representatives of private sector and international organisations and the general public, including students from many secondary schools.
Sample Feedback from Caribbean FutureScape Participants
- “Every CARICOM Head of Government needs to experience this!” – Prime Minister of Grenada
- “When can we have Caribbean FutureScape in Jamaica?” – Minister of Government, Jamaica
- “An amazing experience” – Minister of Government, Barbados
- “Interesting and meaningful in demonstrating the importance of technology for social and economic development” – Senior representative of the International Telecommunication Union
- “Marvellous! I am sorry that my Minister was not able to attend” – Trinidad and Tobago Public Servant
- “Mind-blowing” – Trinidad and Tobago ICT Consultant
- “This could have been Singapore. Excellent!” – Digital Monetisation Scientist
- “Is this real? Why don’t we have it in our country?” – Student of Queen’s Royal College