(Nassau, Bahamas): Hundreds of delegates from across the Caribbean attended the virtual RF Economic Outlook on May 6th under the theme, Global Digital Disruption: Threat or Opportunity? The event featured 7 international experts who discussed the impact of emerging technologies on geopolitics, global cyber risks, healthcare, energy, digital currency, tourism and the Caribbean economy.
Among the highlights of the day were opening remarks by the Minister of Tourism, The Honorable Dionisio D’Aguilar, M.P. He noted that the event theme was an important one considering the disruptive impact of technology in the region. “I must say,” Minister D’Aguilar said, “the last few years have been somewhat of a crash course in understanding the highly complex, carefully nuanced and rapidly advancing technological framework that now dictates how much of the developed world and our core markets operate.” He further highlighted the need for research and data-driven strategies that would drive economic development in The Bahamas, particularly in the tourism industry, focusing on digitizing travel and providing greater access to visitors through a “nuanced balance” between face to face interactions and technology.
Caribbean Economist, Marla Dukharan, elaborated on this theme in the event’s featured workshop under the topic, Digital First: Rethinking Our Caribbean Future. “We have to disrupt our own way of doing things,” she said, noting the impact of COVID-19 on the overall Caribbean economy and the projected recovery in some countries taking as long as four years. Mrs. Dukharan outlined several ways Caribbean nations can take advantage of disruption to generate domestic revenue which include participation in Education Technology (EduTech) and attracting talent through long-stay tourism models.
A favourite among the event delegates was Daniel Kraft, M.D. and his presentation, The Future of Health & Medicine: Where can technology take us? He spoke about technologies like FitBits, smartphones and smartwatches as tools to provide better healthcare in the digital age, along with opportunities like accelerated learning, remote monitoring and medical tourism in the Caribbean. Other presentations included Emerging Technology, Geopolitics, and the Future of Intelligence by cybersecurity expert, Amy Zegart, The Caribbean Central Bank Digital Currency Landscape by cyber tech guru, John Kiff, Lessons in Hospitality by renowned hotelier, Chip Conley and The Future of Energy by inventor, Ugwem Eneyo. Closing the event was adventurer, Matt McFadyen who took viewers through a virtual journey through the North Pole and some of the deadliest seas in the world in his presentation, To the Ends of the Earth.
RF Group CEO, Mr. Michael Anderson, thanked the event sponsors for their continued partnership and for helping to make it a success year after year. RFEO 2021 was proudly sponsored by RF Bank & Trust, Aliv, Cable Bahamas Business Solutions, Doctors Hospital Health System, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited, Glinton Sweeting O’Brien Counsel and Attorneys-at-Law, J S. Johnson Insurance Agents & Brokers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and The Tribune Media Group.