UWI Five Islands to lead discussion on the Future of Work in the OECS Region


Antigua New Room

On Monday, November 30, 2020, The University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus in Antigua and Barbuda continues its Public Advocacy conversations aimed at enhancing the global competitiveness of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). This month’s feature presenters tackle the topic: The Future of Work in the OECS Region from 6.30 P.M. Eastern Caribbean time/ 5:30 P.M. Jamaica time.


In keeping with the objectives of the  Campus’ Public Advocacy Series, esteemed speakers, His Excellency Dr. Didacus Jules, a St. Lucian educator and current Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Dr. Cardinal Warde, Engineer and Engineering Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, intend to use data and research to shape the narrative surrounding policy which can positively impact the region’s ability to contend with like players on a global scale.


Automation, machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) have become the norm in today’s society. These advancements of the 4th Industrial Revolution have changed our lives and the ways in which we function, daily. So too will the jobs of the future transform, leaving The UWI, and each of its campuses, the challenge of preparing graduates for what has already evolved into unique workforce needs of not only the OECS region, but beyond. Today’s students, born in the digital learning age, will create new pathways in the industries chosen for their careers and will assume various roles on multidisciplinary teams and must be able to do so within the scope of a technological world.


His Excellency Dr. Jules who has served as Permanent Secretary for Education and Human Resource Development in the Ministry of Education, HRD, Youth & Sports in St. Lucia from 1997‐2004 is well-known as a radical educator, and will be one of the leaders who will be discussing this pertinent topic.  Offering a glimpse into his talk, he said, “The nature of work has been changing dramatically over the past 10 years at a differential pace across the world.  In developed economies that trend has been much faster than in less developed economies. These changes have been largely driven by technological innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and computing.  COVID has accelerated these changes and while having a disastrous impact on our tourism dependent economies, it also has created opportunities for transformative disruptions in how we live, work and play.”


His co-presenter, Dr. Warde, is equally prepared, being one of the world’s leading experts on materials, devices and systems for optical information processing and displays.


Dr. Warde’s current research is focused on the development of opto-electronic neural-network co-processors that give computers brain-like computing power which will serve well for this discussion, itself driven by technology, data and research. Dr. Warde serves as the president of the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation (CADSTI), and as Interim Executive Director of the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF). CADSTI and the CSF are focused on stimulating science and engineering-based entrepreneurship, and assisting with the implementation of STEM education reform to promote more science and technology for the economic development of the Caribbean.


Through its Public Advocacy series, The UWI Five Islands Campus is pleased to bring these critical conversations to the fore, in an effort to propel the human capital capacity of the OECS and wider Caribbean region. In 2019, The UWI Council approved the establishment of Five Islands as its fifth Campus, with the vision to provide a development platform for countries of the OECS and expand The UWI’s regional capacity to deliver higher education for the 21st century.