Can you afford to miss it?
As my grandmother once said (why did she have a saying for every occasion which always pops up in my mind, unbidden!): “Money makes the world go round.” Well, we can’t argue with that, I suppose; but how can we put our money to best use for our vulnerable islands around the world, in this age of climate change and COVID?
The Island Finance Forum 2021: Investment for Sustainable Development is starting soon, and if you are not yet registered, I do not know what you are waiting for. From Tuesday, April 13 to Friday, April 16, a range of erudite and high-profile speakers will address some relevant topics for islands around the world. It is free, and you can register here.
The Forum is organized by Island Innovation – which is the brainchild of self-confessed “digital nomad” and renewable energy aficionado James Ellsmoor – a young Englishman with a vision of sustainability and a passion for islands. James’ Solar Head of State project helped the Jamaican Office of the Prime Minister go fully solar and has promoted (and installed) renewables across the Caribbean through partnerships and youth competitions.
James told me about what he hopes the Forum will achieve:
“The Island Finance Forum addresses the important needs to find investment mechanisms to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs). By bringing together leading policymakers and finance professionals we will explore the opportunities to create new ways of driving sustainable development. Topics covered vary from blockchain to blue economy and a sustainable economic recovery for the Caribbean.”(Twitter conversation)
James is no stranger to amazing virtual meetings and conferences. I attended two of his Virtual Island Summits (the first was in 2019) and they were quite dazzling in their range and diversity of topics and speakers. For me they were a tremendous learning experience and most enjoyable. James has a dynamic and diverse team now, and you can meet them here and follow them on social media.
So. Among the Caribbean speakers will be two Prime Ministers: Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia and Gaston Browne of Antigua & Barbuda (who also chairs the Alliance of Small Island States, AOSIS); as well as Bermuda’s Finance Minister, Curtis Dickinson, and Saint Lucia’s Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Dr. Gayle T.C. Rigobert. There will also be speakers from the Caribbean Development Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Caribbean Diversity Fund, Bahamas Protected Areas Fund, the Caribbean Export Development Agency…and more.
Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, will also speak! Besides representatives of various island governments, there will be experts in environmental law and representatives of renewable energy entities as well as environmental funds…and more.
And what will they all be speaking about? The key topics are:
Financing a Blue-Green Economy for the Caribbean: Roundtable
New Opportunities to Access Capital and Investment for SMEs
Investing in Transportation Electrification: Building the Business Case for E-Mobility
Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth in a Post-Pandemic World: the Island Scenario
Pacific Islands Energy Roundtable
Practical Applications of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies for Sustainable Development on Islands
Financing the Green Energy Transition and Low-Carbon Infrastructure
Ministerial Roundtable on Economy and Sustainability for Global Islands
The Future of Innovative Finance Mechanisms for Ocean Conservation
Debt and Access to Finance for Small Island Developing States in Era of COVID-19 and Beyond
Insuring the Future: Creative Solutions for Risk Management
Impact Investing and ESG: An Opportunity for Financing Sustainable Development on Islands?
And there will be networking sessions, too. It’s quite a substantial agenda, I think you will agree.
There are also Virtual Island Ambassadors, across the world. Jamaica has ten Ambassadors, all young and enthusiastic.
Of course, if you want to keep in touch with Island Innovation and the work it is doing, you can subscribe to their always interesting and relevant newsletter, or follow them on social media.
And yes – sign up for the Island Finance Forum. It will be an enjoyable and stimulating experience.