School of Digital Transformation and Innovation in the Caribbean

August 12, 2024 - August 15, 2024
Venue: CTU Headquarters, 4 Mary Street St. Clair, Trinidad and Tobago

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Concept Note

Theme: Meaningful connectivity for social and productive development

  1. About the School of Digital Transformation and Innovation

The School of Digital Transformation and Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean serves as a dynamic capacity-building program for policymakers. Through lectures, panel discussions, case studies, and peer learning, it delivers pertinent, up-to-date content on analytical skills, transformation trends, and best practices. 

Formerly known as “The Digital Transformation and Innovation Summer School,” the program has been collaboratively organised by prominent entities, including the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), CAF – The Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, Cetic.br (Regional Center of Studies for the Development of the Information Society – a Department of NIC.br), the Datasphere Initiative Foundation, and the Latin American and Caribbean Technical Internet Community – represented by LACNIC, ICANN, ISOC, LACTLD, LAC-IX, LACNOG, and Red CLARA.

With ten editions executed so far, the School has evolved into a significant cooperation platform. It engages policymakers, international experts, and professionals from diverse sectors in intersectoral dialogue on the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation and innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean. The School is being proposed exclusively to a Caribbean audience for the first time this year.

  1. Why is a Caribbean version of the School of Digital Transformation and Innovation needed?

In today’s interconnected world, the imperative for socioeconomic development through digital transformation is clear. The School of Digital Transformation and Innovation for the Caribbean recognizes the unique challenges and opportunities faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the region, especially given their convergence of debt, cost-of-living, and climate crises.

The School aims to foster innovation in the Caribbean by addressing issues such as inadequate telecommunications infrastructure, susceptibility to natural disasters, financial constraints, and data-centric models. Bridging these gaps is essential for successful digital transformation, enabling the Caribbean to harness emerging technologies for economic growth. Critical analyses of global digital transformation trends and their implications for sustainable Caribbean development will be a key focus.

Strategic adaptability is crucial for entities within SIDS to promptly adjust strategies in response to external changes. Decision-makers must be agile, making quick decisions and reallocating resources based on continuous monitoring of the global digital ecosystem. This proactive approach ensures that digital transformation strategies remain relevant and aligned with evolving circumstances.

The School will be a four-day event, with three days dedicated to specific strategic themes. Organising partners will be responsible for different segments, culminating in a closing ceremony where participants who complete two thirds of all activities will receive a certificate of participation. A showcase of existing innovative solutions for public policy problems is also contemplated on Day Four.

  1. Organising Partners

The 2024 edition of the School will be co-organised by the following institutions:

ECLAC: The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

CAF: Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

CETIC.BR: Centro Regional de Estudos para o Desenvolvimento da Sociedade da Informação

Internet Technical Community: LACNIC, ICANN, Internet Society, LACTLD, LAC-IX, LACNOG, Red CLARA. 

CTU: The Caribbean Telecommunications Union

UWI: The University of the West Indies

  1. Objectives

The main objectives of the 2024 edition of the  School include:

  • Knowledge Enhancement: To provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of digital transformation, including its technologies, impact, and potential in the Caribbean context.
  • Improved Policy Development: To facilitate discussions on policy frameworks that support digital transformation, ensuring alignment with regional and international strategies.
  • Innovative Solutions: To encourage the development of innovative strategies to tackle digital challenges and leverage opportunities within SIDS.
  • Collaborative Networking: To facilitate networking and collaboration among policymakers, stakeholders, and technology experts to promote a shared vision and coordinated efforts towards digital advancement.
  • Capacity Building: To strengthen the skills and capabilities of participants to effectively engage with emerging technologies and adapt to the dynamic digital landscape.
  1. Thematic Pillars

This edition of the School of Digital Transformation and Innovation in the Caribbean will bring together leading specialists, people in charge of formulating digital transformation policies and researchers interested in the role of innovation and digitalization for the development of the region, with the objective of providing a space for learning and debate whose common thread is meaningful connectivity. 

The School will be organised around the following three (3) thematic pillars, namely:

Internet: operations, actors and current challenges (TECHNICAL COMMUNITY)

  1. Technical aspects of the operation of the Internet.
  2. Normative and regulatory aspects of the operation of the Internet. 
  3. Current challenges and debates: Internet fragmentation, ‘fair share’  
  4. Internet governance: Using multistakeholder approaches to find equitable solutions

Transitioning To A Digital Economy For All: Governance And Regulatory Implications (UWI with support from CETIC.BR)

  1. Driving the Digital Economy: Effective Data Use and Governance
  2. Unleashing the Power of Data with AI and Other Analytics in the Caribbean
  3. Data as a Digital Public Good
  4. Balancing Data Risks and Opportunities
  5. Understanding and Mitigating Risks in Digital Public Infrastructure
  6. Unpacking Meaningful Connectivity in the Caribbean Context

Digitalisation of the Economy to Improve Industries’ Productivity and Competitiveness (ECLAC with support from CAF)

  1. Digitalisation of production processes and green technologies
  2. Security and Data Governance
  3. Examining the Global Digital Economy and Financial Inclusion
  4. Sustainably Financing Digital Transformation
  1. Methodology

The School will adopt a multifaceted approach to achieve its objectives:

  • Lectures and Workshops: Participants will be engaged through interactive lectures, case studies, and workshops led by experts in the field.
  • Panel Discussions and Debates: Through panel discussions and structured debates involving industry experts, policymakers and academia, dialogues will be leveraged to share diverse perspectives on digital transformation in the Caribbean.
  • Tech Demos/Site visits: Insofar that existing technology solutions are being applied outside of the Caribbean and at a small scale within the Caribbean, demonstrations of a select number of solutions will be encouraged to provide participants with real-world insights into successful digital initiatives.
  1. Target Audience

The School targets mid-to-senior level policymakers (at least seven years of experience) from Digital/ICT, Finance, Trade, Planning & Economy, and Legal Affairs ministries; regulators; chambers of commerce; industry stakeholders; academics; and representatives from international organisations involved in formulating or shaping public policy and strategies related to digital transformation and innovation within the Caribbean region. Maximum seating capacity is forty (40). A select number of participants will be granted a fellowship to attend.

  1. Date and Duration

Date: 12 to 15 August 2024

Time: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM (UTC -4)

Location: CTU Headquarters, Mary St, St Clair, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Mode: In-person participation

Language: English [no interpretation service will be available]

Certificates: Certificates will be awarded to those who participate in at least two-thirds of the activities.

Registration: Expressions of Interest are being sought, by Invitation, to attend the School

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD PROVISIONAL AGENDA

TIME ACTIVITY SPEAKERS
DAY ONE – TECHNICAL COMMUNITY
OPENING CEREMONY
9:00 Introduction and Housekeeping Announcements
9:05 Opening Remarks Mr. Rodney Taylor

Secretary-General, CTU

9:10 Welcome Remarks Representatives,

ECLAC, CAF, UWI, Cetic.br | NIC.br and Technical Community

9:25 Workshop Group Photo
9:30 Introduction to the Internet Ecosystem and How the Internet works: Actors and Processes Involved in Everyday Internet Access  
This pillar will spotlight different facets of the Internet ecosystem and its actors, presenting a tiered view encompassing infrastructure providers, the standards and protocols facilitating Internet access, and content and applications. It will explore the intricate interplay between technical and policy considerations, delving into the responsibilities of various actors to guarantee meaningful connectivity for end-users. SPEAKERS

1. Moderator – Kevon Swift, LACNIC

2.Facilitator Christian O’Flaherty, ISOC

3.Facilitator Albert Daniels, ICANN

4.Facilitator, LACTLD (Rocío De La Fuente or Patrick Hosein)

5. Nico Scheper, LAC-IX

6. Luis Cadenas, Red Clara

10:30 WORKING COFFEE BREAK
11:00 Introduction to the Internet Ecosystem and How the Internet works: Actors, Processes and Emerging Trends. (con’t)  
As this session continues, it will address emerging issues related to technical Internet coordination. SPEAKERS

1. Moderator – Kevon Swift, LACNIC

2.Facilitator: Christian O’Flaherty, ISOC

3.Facilitator: Albert Daniels, ICANN

4.Facilitator:LACTLD (Rocío De La Fuente or Patrick Hosein)

12:30 LUNCH BREAK
13:30 How do we connect the unconnected and create a resilient Internet? Policy and regulatory perspectives
Furthering Internet penetration in the Caribbean and ensuring that the Internet remains resilient are some of the main challenges we must overcome. The objective of this session is to address the current challenges to connect the unconnected in the Caribbean, and to transcend the traditional focus on Internet infrastructure and resources by examining innovative models for closing the gap such as community networks. The session will also explore practical considerations to make the Internet resilient, which is particularly critical in times of disasters. During the session, the concept of universal connectivity and Internet resilience will be analysed, and the role of Internet resilience in disaster recovery will be examined through real-life cases. SPEAKERS

1. Moderator/Facilitator – Christian O’Flaherty, ISOC

2.Facilitator: Annie Baldeo, TATT

3.Facilitator: Sidney De Weever, BTP, St Maarten

4.Facilitator: Bevil Wooding, ARIN

15:15 COFFEE BREAK
15:45 Multistakeholder Negotiation in Practice – Unpacking The ‘Fairshare’ Debate
What is the multistakeholder model? How can we apply it in our countries? Unlike traditional forms of centralised and exclusively governmental governance, the multistakeholder approach is presented as the most viable option to address the current challenges of the Internet. This approach promotes the concept of “rough consensus”, which has been shown to offer better results in solving such problems than any other alternative. For this session, there will be a simulation of a multistakeholder negotiation on the topic of “fairshare” in the Caribbean. A chronological review of fairshare debates around the world will be done, and then a multistakeholder role-playing exercise will ensue with the goal of defining a workable solution for equitable and sustainable Internet development that considers all interests. SPEAKERS

1. Moderators – Kevon Swift, LACNIC & Christian O’Flaherty, ISOC

17:00 END

 

 

TIME ACTIVITY SPEAKERS
DAY 2  – The University of the West Indies with support from CETIC.BR
Transitioning to a Data-driven Economy: Governance and Regulatory Implications
9:00 Driving the Digital Economy: Effective Data Use and Governance
In an era where data holds unprecedented value, this session responds to the need for deep understanding  of the purpose, function and power of data, and the challenges of regulating data flows, to empower the digital economy.

 

The session shows how exploiting data not only shapes novel industrial and business models but also ushers in a new economic paradigm where emerging markets and intermediaries harness and learn from data itself. It recognizes that effective data governance is pivotal, steering investments in digital infrastructure and technologies, while also furnishing precise insights into the efficiency of both business and government services. The session discusses the role of regulation in striking a fair balance between innovative service delivery and safeguarding the rights of end-users, who are the primary generators of data.

Moderator: Kim Mallalieu

 

Facilitators:

1. Maurice Mc Naughton

2. Ana Laura Martinez (Cetic.br, NIC.br)

3. Rosario Heras, Independent Consultant

Notes:

 

9:30 Practical and Potent: Unleashing the Power of Data with AI and Other Analytics in the Caribbean
This session demonstrates the transformative power of data with AI and other analytics to drive innovation and address pressing challenges in the Caribbean. It underscores the need to develop Caribbean talent to apply data science to solve local and regional problems; provides several examples of how such talent has already developed potent data science solutions across multiple sectors in the region to optimize processes, improve decision-making, unlock new opportunities, and more. These examples illustrate not only the potential of indigenous talent but also the tangible benefits of leveraging homegrown innovation to drive growth and competitiveness in local industries. Existing and potential opportunities for data science capacity building are identified.

The session will close with a discussion on the risks associated with AI; a review of global developments on the governing of AI for humanity; and the impact of AI on the Latin American and Caribbean region, with recommendations emerging from broad stakeholder consultations.

Moderator: Kim Mallalieu

 

Facilitators:

1. Patrick Hosein

2. Craig Ramlal

3. Rosario Heras, Independent Consultant

10:30 COFFEE BREAK  
Data as a Digital Public Good  
11:00 This session demonstrates the critical role of data in empowering emerging Digital Public Infrastructures (DPIs): identity, payments and data eXchange. It considers the benchmarking of the Caribbean’s data ecosystems through the lens of governance, capacity and open data availability and use. It reflects on the Caribbean findings in the 2022 Edition of the The Global Data Barometer (GDB).

 

Moderator: Kim Mallalieu

 

Facilitators:

1.Maurice Mc Naughton

2. Rosario Heras, Independent Consultant

11:45 Balancing Data Risks and Opportunities
This session describes how to navigate the data value chain through purposeful data governance and regulatory mechanisms including those that treat with access to information, open data, data protection and privacy. Moderator: Kim Mallalieu

 

Facilitators:

1.Maurice Mc Naughton

2. Rosario Heras, Independent Consultant

12:30 LUNCH BREAK
Safe, inclusive and meaningful digital transformation for all: governance and regulatory Implications
13:30 Understanding and Mitigating Risks in Digital Public Infrastructure  
This session demonstrates that Digital public infrastructure (DPI) is increasingly important to the transformation of public services, their delivery and reach. It cautions that, like traditional public infrastructure, its design and implementation call for standards, guidelines and safeguards to ensure safety and inclusivity.

 

The session presents the DPI lifecycle and classifies risks to safety and inclusion associated with each of its stages. It identifies key mitigation strategies that fall to various DPI actors; and outlines the current global initiative to develop Universal Safeguards for DPI.

In a case study activity, DPI actor teams explore their respective roles in different lifecycle stages. Group lightning presentations reveal perspectives on critical dimensions of safeguards and actor interdependencies, as well as design and implementation challenges and opportunities in the Caribbean context. Key takeaways are shared.

Moderator: Maurice Mc Naughton

 

Facilitators:

1. Kim Mallalieu

2. Matthew Mc Naughton (TBC)

 

15:15 COFFEE BREAK  
15:45 Unpacking Meaningful Connectivity in the Caribbean Context  
This session issues a reminder that an inclusive digital society, where everyone, everywhere can harness the power of digital technology and services for social advancement and economic growth, remains an overarching goal of digital transformation.

 

The session recognizes that meaningful connectivity is a necessary though not sufficient requirement for digital transformation to deliver on its promise. It defines meaningful connectivity, considers existing methodologies to measure it; and promotes its general methodological harmonization, utilizing a mix of standardized and context-appropriate measures. It analyses example use cases of Caribbean digital gaps and recommends mitigation and response strategies to achieve meaningful connectivity to enable all to benefit from the promise of safe and inclusive digital transformation.

Moderator: Maurice Mc Naughton

 

Facilitators:

1. Kim Mallalieu

2. Ana Laura Martinez  (Cetic.br)

3. Edwin Fernando Rojas Mejia (CEPAL)

4. Franziska Seiffarth (GIZ)

17:00 END

 

TIME ACTIVITY SPEAKERS
DAY 3 – UN ECLAC with support from CAF
Aligning Digitalisation and Productivity Goals: Review of Practical ICT Applications.  
9:00-10:45 A paradox emerges as digital technologies promise substantial economic enhancement but fall short in translating digitalisation gains into significant productivity growth in specific regions. The aftermath of the global financial crisis, reduced business dynamism, and underperformance of low-productivity firms contribute to this decline. OECD research underscores shortcomings in crucial complementary factors and policies, highlighting the intricate interplay between different technologies, firms’ capabilities, and supportive policies. Shortfalls in these factors impede widespread digital technology adoption, disproportionately favouring firms with advanced technical, managerial, and organisational skills, thus exacerbating existing productivity disparities. This pillar will delve into practical examples of digitalisation initiatives that have successfully driven productivity growth. 1.     EU representative

2.     Sebastian Rovira, ECLAC)

 

 

Moderator: ECLAC

 

10:45-11:00 COFFEE BREAK  
11:00-12:30 Security and data governance  
Escalating cyber threats pose a growing challenge to the digital transformation and sustainable economic development of nations, particularly impacting safety, prosperity, and resilience in developing regions like the Caribbean. Many Caribbean SIDS lack the essential capabilities, resources, skills, and institutional frameworks to manage cyber threats effectively. The current financing model for cybersecurity activities is problematic, as some countries rely on a ‘residual model’ from IT budgets instead of a continuous and seamlessly integrated investment within national budgets. Additionally, the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals, projected to reach over 3.5 million unfilled jobs by 2025, hinders the attraction and retention of skilled personnel in the public sector. To address these challenges, integrating cyber resilience into the development agenda is essential, emphasising the need for enhanced collaboration between the cybersecurity and development sectors to achieve more effective, sustainable, and resilient outcomes against evolving cyber threats. 1.     Sebastián Cabello (SmC+)

2.     Representative from UK

3.     Other (TBD).

 

Moderator: TBD.

 

 

12:30 LUNCH  
13:30- 14:30 Examining the Global Digital Economy and  Sustainable Digital Finance.  
The profound impact of digital technologies on global economies opens fresh avenues for Caribbean SIDS to bypass outdated infrastructures, draw insights from others’ experiences, and tap into emerging markets. Digital advancements break down traditional barriers for entrepreneurs and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), enabling them to establish a multinational or internationally competitive presence from the outset. This transformative potential, however, necessitates robust governance to ensure effectiveness. Furthermore, digital finance emerges as a key catalyst for positive growth, development, and financial inclusion, especially in underserved and unbanked communities of developing nations. Guaranteeing the sustainability of the financial sector amid its digital evolution is paramount to addressing the financial needs of diverse populations. 1.     Digital finance specialist (TBD).

2.     Others (TBD).

 

 

TIME ACTIVITY SPEAKERS
DAY 4
09:00-10:00 General Evaluation and Distribution Of Certificates Representatives,

ECLAC, CAF, UWI, Cetic.br | NIC.br and Technical Community

CLOSING CEREMONY  
10:00-10:15 Closing Remarks Mr Rodney Taylor, Secretary-General, CTU

Representatives,

ECLAC, CAF, UWI, Cetic.br | NIC.br and Technical Community

10:15-11:00 BRUNCH  
Workshop & On-site Visit – Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’s (GoRTT) Developers’ Hub and Data Centre initiatives  
11:00-14:00 Space aimed at presenting the kick-off of the route (schedule) of the studies developed with the support of CAF, under the consultancy of Deloitte Spain, highlighting the relevance that the representation of different actors in the country has for the Caribbean region, among which stand out, governments and their institutions, content or software developers, among others. It is expected to have the exchange of ideas or suggestions that contribute to strengthening the project.

 

1.   Ministry of Digital  Transformation (Trinidad and Tobago) –  (TBD).

2.   CAF (TBD)

3.   Deloitte Spain (TBD)

4.   Developers Hub (TBD).

5.   Others(TBD).

Facilitator: Deloitte Spain (TBC).

END OF SCHOOL