Prime Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad and Tobago will be on the MIT campus Oct. 7 to give the keynote address of the first MIT Caribbean Students Conference.
Prime Minister Manning's speech will be followed by a series of workshops highlighting a number of issues facing the Caribbean today.
"The workshops are geared towards a think tank format, creatively using facts, parallel thinking and critical thought, to generate, like a breath of fresh air, new ideas in approaching on old issues. Important in creating this effect is making the conference open not only to Caribbean students, but people from all walks interested in the issues being approached," according to the conference web site.
The conference is sponsored by the MIT Caribbean Club, along with the Graduate Student Council; the Undergraduate Association; the Graduate Students Office; the MIT Public Service Center; the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and music. There are also several corporate sponsors.
According to the conference web site, the event's purpose is "to encourage an active thinking process among emergent Caribbean leaders and empower them to think and act with a sense of stewardship and personal responsibility for the fate of the region; to recognize the effectiveness of using technology, creativity and networking in development;ï¿½ï¿½and to generate new, creative, instrumental ideas for approaching old socio-economic issues."
Immediately following the conference, the MIT Caribbean Club will compile participants' contributions and discussions in a written report on the conference. The report will be sent to the heads of government of all countries represented, and to international organizations with vested interests in the issues covered, in order to build support for activity shooting out from the conference discussions, as well as support for future Caribbean conferences at MIT.ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½
"The conference is a significant event and a turning point because it is a first step for emergent Caribbean leaders to start an active thinking process, thus empowering them at college level to act with a sense of stewardship and personal responsibility for the fate of the region," said Christopher Chapman, the president of the MIT Caribbean Club. "We will engage young, politically unprejudiced minds in generating creative, instrumental ideas for approaching old socio-economic issues, tangibly studying the effectiveness of using technology in development."