The 4th Annual Montserrat Conference is scheduled for Saturday, November 18, 2023 with a focus on the experiences of Montserrat’s young people.
According to a release from the conference, the “Membership asked that this year’s conference examine what it means to be a young person of Montserrat – living in Montserrat or in the wider nation, today – the aim being to explore aspects of critical importance to the future of Montserrat, through the experiences and ambitions, challenges and choices, and grievances and celebrations of young people in/of Montserrat. The Conference acknowledges the dilemma within the question, Leave or Remain? because its members have all experienced it themselves but recognise that the circumstances and opportunities are significantly changed.”
The theme this year, therefore, is “BEING YOUNG IN MONTSERRAT: BRIGHT PROMISE OR BROKEN BOND”
Under this theme, young people will examine what it means to come of age in Montserrat today. They will discuss what obligations, rights, and responsibilities – if any – they see themselves as having regarding the island and whether Montserrat has any in their regard. They will also ponder the ways in which both sides are managing these.
The panelists will answer questions such as: Do young people have any obligation to contribute to Montserrat’s development; if not why, and if so, why, and how?
What responsibilities does Montserrat have to prepare youth for life? Is Montserrat currently fulfilling those responsibilities? If yes, in what ways or sectors? If not, why not and how might that be remedied?
During the four-hour conference, eight adults under the age of thirty-five will communicate the challenges encountered by young people of Montserrat with regard to their prospects for personal development and professional advancement. They will also engage with the audience on the questions and responses, facts and opinions. The speakers will say what potential and possibilities they see for Montserrat’s future and identify any opportunities they think could or do exist for young people to contribute to Montserrat’s development and the decisions it makes for the future.
They will dissect, openly and without reserve, what they see as their pain points and their outlooks. They will discuss the considerations that confront them in deciding “Leave or Stay”, i.e. the why, when and whether to leave Montserrat, and, most importantly, whether to return.
Among the speakers and panelists will be Dr. Tiffanie Skerritt, physician, Jayesh Sadwhani, entrepreneur both living on Montserrat, and Dr. Arianna Silcott-Lo, public health management professional living in the wider nation.
The full roster will be announced over the next couple of weeks.
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.
Conference ’23 will, like all other Montserrat Conference events, support the mission of the organisation to engage with Montserrat’s political, social and economic leadership. The Montserrat Conference is committed to publish policy papers and enhance public education through debate, discussion, conferences and other activities that will stimulate open-minded dialogue and advance informed citizen engagement.
Conference ’23 will be livestreamed via social media. Registration is free but is required for people wishing to participate directly in the ZOOM discussion.