Issuu on Google+

have directed and dominated economic life from the colonial period to the nationalist era. They have taken the region forward, but as a model or strategy for entrepreneurial mobilisation, wealth expansion and distribution, they constitute an obsolete paradigm. Traditional and emerging entrepreneurial groups must combine their efforts within new institutional arrangements to refashion the fiscal space and find fuel for movement. Everywhere in the world that has achieved sustained growth in recent decades the power of small and medium sized business has been paramount. These enterprises are driven by non-traditional corporate groups. As small investors and innovators their transformational power has been extraordinary. In this regard, the Caribbean is in urgent need of a 21st century economic democracy movement in much the same way that it demanded political democracy in the early decades of the 20th century. Within this expanded space a new and creative cohort of corporate leaders can enter and energise the base of the regional economy. This is the space in which university graduates are expected to enter and transition from the classroom to corporate culture, driving diversification as a common enterprise experience. In this way we can test the integrity of the judgement that for our region the short to medium term outlook on economic activity is negative. The University’s time, then, is in this “now”. It is difficult to image an enhancement of economic competitiveness without the structural mobilisation of applied research to industry innovation. Only the value added of new and organised knowledge, that is, applied research, can drive the innovation

The Caribbean is in urgent need of a 21st century economic democracy movement in much the same way that it demanded political democracy in the early decades of the 20th century.

THE PELICAN/ISSUE 14 –

9


UWI Pelican Issue 14