The inaugural Montserrat Conference will convene on Saturday, November 14th, 2020 and aims to provide a forum for discussion and debate on the future of the island.
According to a release from organisers, attendees and presenters will meet virtually and will converse with and challenge each other from 11AM to 4PM as well as during the time set aside in the pre- and post-conference schedule.
The Montserrat Conference is a public policy research group that works collaboratively to identify ideas, policies, actions and resource needs that are vital to Montserrat’s development and ensure that these issues are the subject of focused examination and effective action by government, opinion leaders and the general public.
The Montserrat Conference taps into the experiences, skills and intellectual resources of Montserratians and friends of Montserrat at home and in the diaspora, across private and public sector organizations and civil society to generate ideas for the advancement of Montserrat.
The Conference will engage with Montserrat’s political, social and economic leadership, publish policy papers and enhance public education through debate, discussion, conferences and other activities that will stimulate open-minded dialogue and advance citizen engagement. The November 14th one-day conference is the first public event
hosted by the group following its formation in early 2020.
Shirley Osborne, member of the Montserrat Conference, says the group believes that Montserrat has the capacity to figure out, for itself, a future that embraces the aspirations and ambitions of its people and that does not require either the diminution of Montserrat’s heritage or the erasure of our unique culture.
“We believe that it is the responsibility and right of Montserratians ourselves to set the tone and the parameters for the direction of the island’s development,” Osborne said. “Events organized by The Montserrat Conference will bring people together in diverse groups, large and small, to stimulate open-minded dialogue, foster enlightened leadership and advance citizen engagement. These gatherings will broaden the Montserrat professional perspective and personal understanding of those involved in the study, formulation, execution, and criticism of public policy for Montserrat.”
The programme for the November 14th virtual lists presentations and discussions on population, energy, transportation, health and youth.
Peter White, the former head of MonLec and MUL, will present the paper, The Role of Energy in the Development of Montserrat. “The way we see ourselves and identify our status is critical to our existence and development,” he says. “The less dependent we are on outside forces to steer our development and future sustainability, the better off we are. In any realistic analysis of our situation it must be recognized that all scenarios for development must take into account the cost and availability of energy in some appropriate form to be used. The question then becomes how do we acquire the required energy to support our needs now and in the future at a cost and availability that can contribute and not be a hindrance to achieving our goals.”
Regarding the new hospital and the quality of the health care envisioned for Montserratians, Dr. Lanval Daly says, “We see the possibility for Montserrat to position itself as a centre of excellence for the delivery of whatever hospital healthcare it chooses. We recommend, therefore, that the hospital immediately seek to develop a culture of Total Quality Management (TQM). Total Quality Management is a systematic participatory approach to organizational management which encourages an organization to exceed the expectations of its customers.”
This, the Inaugural Montserrat Conference, is intended to be only the first in a variety of opportunities for dialogue and action planning between and among individuals and groups interested in ensuring the quality of Montserrat’s future.
The inaugural Montserrat Conference is an online event. Attendance is free. Registration is required at www.montserratconference.org