Day 2 kicked off with a recap from Mr. Ronald Hinds, Chairman, eBusiness Roundtable. There were highlights that recurred throughout the day from other speakers that was amidst the content of Gerd Leonhard’s presentation:
- Data exists. Data is everywhere.
- Effective broadband delivery is essential to enablement of the future.
- As it pertains to security, the digital economy carries with it potential for good and bad.
- Legislation is necessary to supporting the digital revolution.
- The millennials will be the ones who innovate, because their solutions will be based on new ways of seeing problems.
Dr. Simone Ahuja – Frugal Innovation: Lessons from and for Emerging Economies
Dr. Simone Ahuja came next to deliver her Keynote presentation, ‘Frugal Innovation: Lessons from and for Emerging Economies’
She started by breaking down the preconceived notions of innovation. Innovation is everywhere, but do we understand who is responsible for it? Innovation is the successful commercial exploitation of a new idea. Dr. Ahuja gave many current examples, including Trinidad’s own Northgate College, who innovated through their ‘Cubes in Space’ project. (Read more – http://www.cubesinspace.com/awardwinners.html)
Because this Symposium was geared towards leaders and CEO’s, there were a lot of takeaways for them. Dr. Ahuja contrasted the two types of leader-thinking – Fixed vs Growth mind-set.
- Leaders with fixed mindset – set in stone, not open to change, afraid to take risks
- Leaders with growth mindset – believe innovation can be nurtured and improved, do not approach things fearfully
The Principles of Jugaad Innovation are:
- Find opportunities in adversity
- Do more with less
- Think and act flexibility
- Keep it simple, reducing complexity, focused on core of problem
- Include the margin, who are were solving problems for
- Follow your heart
- T&T, as an emerging economy is a prime landscape for positive innovation.
As was given in Gerd Leonhard’s Keynote presentation, Dr. Ahuja left us with examples that can be utilized as case studies. One such was the ‘Tata Nano’ car. (http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-02-27/learning-from-tatas-nanobusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice).
Dr. Ahuja also reiterated a point that Gerd also made in his presentation that failure is crucial to progress.
“If you’re not failing every now and again, you’re not doing anything innovative.’ – Woody Allen.
ICT and Social Media
Social Media and Mobile entrepreneurs were center stage in this discussion that was moderated by Chike Farrell, CEO of Caribbean Ideas. Karel McIntosh, of Livewired Group (http://livewiredgroup.com) as well as Eesa Mohammed of F1rst (http://f1rst.com/) both spoke about the need for local companies to spend time ‘creating’ content. As Eesa spoke on the targeting possible through social media, Kern Elliott, of iGovTT’s Application Support and Chune mobile app creator, chimed in to express the benefits of the mobile evolution: real-time notifications. The audience was challenged on the issue of using social media responsibly in the workplace. Policy, adaptability and trust are some of the key ingredients to creating work environments that were open to social media but guided responsible use.
Mr. Mohammed spoke from the perspective of his business stakeholders, since his company’s goals were to connect businesses. Geolocation and social media analytics have been driving forces in his company’s mobile app, F1rst.
Karel’s expertise is assisting companies to hone their voice and content strategy. In that regard, she leads by example in her own company’s content marketing and use of social media. She sees Social Sales and Social Customer Service as low cost means of effectively marketing goods and services. She also looked at the need to make content that was branded, identifiable and interesting, and she suggested methods for doing such.
Innovative Youth: Our Vision, Our Future
Youth innovation was the focus in this panel and there is so much of it in Trinidad and Tobago. As raised by Wesley Gervais (121 2012 winner) and Stefan Boodoo (Codejam 2014 winner), the problem lies in the commercialization of these innovations and ideas. A lot of the time the buck stops where the spotlight ends, and victory turns to defeat, as young innovators have no funds or no opportunities to commercialize their products.
Stefan Boodoo further explained that his wining strategy was taking the advice of mentors and having confidence in himself and his idea. He also brought to light the issue of access to data, as the owners of data in the Caribbean traditionally keep it to themselves.
Anil Sadhoeram – Building Human Capital to Drive an Innovative Culture
Anil Sadhoeram, originally from Suriname but now living in Holland, spoke about building human capital. He displayed the current culture through examples of popular themes in music, games and technology and how these things have accelerated since their conception. In essence, Mr. Sadhoeram wanted to bring the delegates through the process of redefining our paradigms, in order to build a workplace that naturally innovates.
Mr. Sadhoeram asked questions that would challenge us even in education, as this sets the stage for entry into the workplace. In changing our mindsets, education has to be re-tooled. Does this need to be an institutional change? Can this be challenged at the workplace? Can workplaces facilitate continuous learning and curiosity?
The essence of innovation always challenges us. How can we build human capital? We must use our imagination. The biggest machine we have is our minds, if we use both our left and right brain much creativity can be formed in our fast growing planet.
The next session led directly into discussing Mr. Sadhoeram’s key points, accompanied by Rabindra Danny Jaggernauth (eBusiness Roundtable), Scott Hilton-Clarke (Managing Partner of Inspiration Laboratories) and Miguel Carillo (Executive Director of Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business).
Unleashing Competitiveness with Data Informatics
Simon Aqui of IBM Trinidad moderated the final session for the evening. In this session, Mr. Keith Thomas (Management Consultant at Futcarlea Services) started with a very precise definition of Analytics. His key points were that ‘data informed what you do, and companies that use them were far more successful’.
Mr Tony Edwards (Opus Viva Consulting) spoke at length about utilizing data to manage performance, the process involved and the elements for success.
Gerard Cooper (CFO, TSTT) took us through the Analytics model at TSTT. He spoke about their challenges, solutions, success stories and lessons learnt. Today the organization uses visual analysis, has a vibrant analysis community that share and learn together. TSTT utilizes data for everything, and their customer segregation is driven by data. Costs savings are data-driven. He suggested their approach: 3D: Data Driven Decision-making.
Mr. Ronald Hinds took another opportunity to wrap up, then delegates were thanked for the patience, diligence and attention throughout the Symposium. A cocktail reception then welcomed the delegates, with a performance by Kes the Band, along with wine and cheese.
Now, we look forward to great implementations of all that has been learned, until we meet again in 2016.