Musheer Kamau

Regional operations advisor, Caribbean Country Department, IDB, Musheer Kamau.

Have you been wondering what your future will look like? What your life will be in the next 20 years? With the fear, anxiety and uncertainties that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it, planning ahead has indeed become a difficult if not almost impossible task.

Add to that the many limitations that are imposed on small and developing nations in the Caribbean, it becomes even more difficult being a dreamer, big thinker or having elusive goals at this point in time.

However, that’s exactly the intended audience for the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) new book Pivot, The Future Makers, a graphic novel about a Caribbean family living in the year 2040.

This unique concept focuses on re-imagining tourism, electric vehicles and digital transformation.

It was illustrated by five local artists and tells nine fictional stories meant to inspire, and convey the limitless potential, possibilities and oneness of Caribbean people.

The book was launched on April 9.

The five illustrators are Rajendra Ramkallawan, Everald McBain, Shaun Riaz, Mariyah Rahman and Kenneth Scott.

Ramkallawan also did the cover art for the book.

The nine moonshot scenarios that imagine future real-life interactions represent infinite variations of the potential future but the personas and themes developed are representative of the most impactful challenges and opportunities the Caribbean will face.

It was created on the heels of the Pivot Movement, a movement by the IDB launched last year to harness the most innovate ideas for Caribbean development and create a plan for the future of the region.

Pivot is the product of a partnership among The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator (CCSA); Singularity University (SU) and The Destination Experience (DE).

Out of the 60-plus future makers cohort contributing to these three categories, Trinidad and Tobago nationals contributed in all three categories and are credited in the book.

Speaking with the Kitcharee recently, regional operations advisor, Caribbean Country Department, IDB, Musheer Kamau said: “We at the IDB group wanted to find a way to listen to what are the next ideas the people that we serve were interested in.

“The book is a collection of ideas that we got from bringing together people from across the Caribbean. We had artistes, entrepreneurs, leaders of business, policymakers, civil society, a lot of people from the private sector, etc. What we did for a series of weeks leading up to the creation of what this book is, we were challenging people in the region to think about moonshots that we can take that would significantly transform our outcomes for the Caribbean.

“And when we brought people into the space over a three week period to workshop, the big ideas that they came up with, they were thinking about how do we reimagine tourism? Which is a very important sector for the Caribbean. How can we take advantage of electric vehicles in order to augment certain outcomes? And then what would the digital transformation for the Caribbean mean. And that’s what we essentially got when we asked people to think without boundaries, think without filters,” he added.

Transporting readers into the year 2040 with its coloruful and vivid imagery, the stories told in Pivot, The Future Makers will remind you that you don’t have to look very far to be inspired about the next innovation.

Instead, the Caribbean could become a hub for some of the best world-changing advances.

The IDB said the aim was to take a break from focusing on the now and instead have conversations about what lies ahead.

Accompanying the book, Pivot’s theme song, “Shine” was also created by local group, Freetown Collective.

The song and music video celebrate the passion, creativity and potential of Caribbean people as is demonstrated in the book.

Freetown Collective’s lead singer, Muhammed Muwakil said: “Shine is a dedication to turning the tragedy of our histories into moments and legacies of beauty, time and time again. The Pivot movement is a recognition of our ability, as Caribbean people, to do that.”

If you have a big idea, even if you think it sounds ridiculous or impossible right now, the IDB is encouraging you to share it with them.

As one of the local contributors to the concept of re-imagining tourism, founder of the Roam Caribbean Travel App, Ariel Du Quesnay said it’s an “opportunity to get these ideas out of our heads and into reality”.

Additionally, the IDB said it is committed to helping Caribbean people find partners that could bring those potentials to life.

Kamau added: “It’s about giving people space to realise they can jump to the full expanse of their potential.

“I would love for this book to be everywhere. I wish we can have copies for every single Primary school student, Secondary school student, university student, policymaker.”

The book can be downloaded for free on IDB’s website.

Caribbean Pivot is also on social media.

About the Inter-American Bank (IDB)

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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