‘Technology will not wait for us to get our acts together’

-Gaskin urges proactive approach to advancements as hundreds attend Innov8 Summit

At the STEMGuyana booth, children were given an opportunity to show off their creativity with the use of Lego bricks as seen here.

GTT yesterday opened its inaugural Innov8 Summit, where Business Minister Dominic Gaskin made a call for a proactive approach to technology to nurture advancements.

During his address at the opening of the three-day event yesterday morning at the Marriott Hotel, Gaskin called the summit a “wonderful platform” to reiterate the recognition of technology as a vehicle for advancement in all areas of development.

“Technology is a driver and will not wait for us to get our acts together. So, we have to be proactive in our approach to technology and we have to create an enabling environment in keeping up with the latest technological advancements. There is always something new and there is absolutely no reasons why the next big breakthrough cannot start right here in Guyana,” he added.

Lost in virtual reality: Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin seemed to have been enjoying the time spent in virtual reality while at the GTT Innov8 Summit.

Gaskin reiterated the major role played by technology in every facet of society. “It is my belief that those of us who look to the future and invest time and effort in learning and developing tomorrow’s systems are the ones who will be in the best position to benefit from what lies ahead,” he added.

Gaskin also noted the role of technology in moving forward with the proposed green state strategy framework for Guyana.

“Technology is a pillar on which our development hinges. In particular, it is a tool for green development. It is through innovation and technology that we will find greener ways of doing things without compromising the quality of life that we are accustomed to. We now have a golden opportunity to save, spend and invest oil revenues within a framework of rules that will ensure benefit Guyanese people for generations to come,” he said.

“A lot has already been said and the debate still rages on but I can say in all sincerity that our government will ensure that the Guyanese people become the beneficiaries of our country’s natural wealth and I want to urge you all to pay attention to the real developments that are taking place and not become distracted by that tiny, vocal minority who seem bent on killing the enthusiasm that we all need to energise us into making the right choices for what lies ahead,” he added.

Accommodation at the opening ceremony of the Innov8 Summit proved to be an issue as children who travelled from as far as New Amsterdam were made to sit on the floor.

Hundreds flocked to the venue yesterday morning for the start of the summit, which will continue tomorrow and on Tuesday.

The first two days will serve as an “open house” to wow visitors with innovations of local and international origin, showcasing technology in the ways never seen before. Experts from Google, Microsoft and other companies are also expected to demonstrate how gadgets, robotics and over the top (OTT) applications like YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp can improve everyday life.

A Business Forum is slated for day three, which will bring together business leaders, tech entrepreneurs, thought leaders, innovators, creativity experts and public sector personnel to engage in discussions on ways that technology can drive businesses and the economy forward in Guyana.

In his remarks at the opening yesterday morning, GTT Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Nedd said the summit is designed to inspire Guyanese youth to explore opportunities in the technology field.

He described the

summit as an opportunity for persons to showcase their talents and inspire Guyanese youth to explore the opportunities that exist within the technological realm. “Very often in Guyana we have many experts. But those experts—we have to ask ourselves—are they really experts? Or do they just have access to an outlet so they use that outlet and fool the masses? Quite frankly this is about showcasing the people that actually know about technology, live technology and it’s really about inspiring our children to be a part of what I would say is a real renaissance. Over the next few days, I really want you to look, learn and ask as many questions as you can, be a part of innovation,” he said.

“Everybody talks about oil and what oil and gas will do for the country but ultimately it is left up to us and our children’s children to make a difference. This is about getting the children involved and opening their minds and giving them a place that they can form thoughts of their own,” he added.


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