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Farah Theodore
Farah Theodore

It is a wonderful opportunity as an Island Innovation Ambassador from Dominica to participate in this year's Virtual Island Summit (VIS).

The Summit, held entirely online over the course of September 6th-12th, 2021, will feature heads of state, academics, and entrepreneurs from global islands, including Dominica, to discuss a range of complex issues including but not limited to: the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, sustainable development, renewable energies, responsible tourism, and many others.

In the run-up to the VIS, the Island Innovation Ambassadors from +350 islands worldwide have had occasion to communicate and liaise with each other, serving as bridges between their communities. This has provided an opening to connect distant islands and to amplify the voices of politicians, entrepreneurs, innovators, activists, and community leaders on the challenges faced and solutions being developed on islands worldwide.

The ambassadors will be representing the interests of their islands and able to discuss with other attendees, speakers, and decision-makers throughout the VIS. Anticipated to have over 10,000 island stakeholders in attendance, the VIS is the only global summit bringing together stakeholders from around the world and enabling the public to listen in.

Some of the feature speakers include but are not limited to Ralph Birkhoff - Chief Commercial Officer, Island Growers LLC; USG Courtenay Rattray - High Representative for Least Developed, Landlocked Countries, Small Island Developing States, United Nations; Ruth Santiago - Trustee, Earthjustice; Francesco Sindico - Founder and Co-director, Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG); Elisapoti Veikoso - Project Manager, Tonga National Marine Spatial Planning Project; Dr. Angus Friday - Blue Economy Director, WAITT Institute; Nagaraja Rao - Head of Investment Facilitation, PFAN; Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson - Editor, Pacific Environment Weekly; Sandra Uwantege Hart - Blockchain Innovations & Cash Transfer Lead, OXFAM; Howie Firth - Director, Orkney International Science Festival; Azell Francis - Energy Policy Associate, CARICOM; Dr. Fco. Javier Roo Filgueira - Forward Project Coordinator, Forward Project.

Island Innovation brings together the private sector, government, utilities, NGOs and universities to advance innovation for sustainability and prosperity in islands worldwide.

James Ellsmoor, Island Innovation founder, commented: "The Island Innovation ambassadors play an incredibly important role in transmitting sustainable innovations between island communities and sharing best practices. This year's ambassador cohort is incredibly passionate about economic and environmental issues facing islands, international cooperation, and sustainable development''.

I would like to encourage all and sundry who has an interest in such matters, or are at least curious, and have the time, to join in as it is a free event.

For more information, visit the Island Innovation website: islandinnovation.co.

Theodore Levitt once said, "Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things".

This Virtual Island Summit is a favorable moment to exchange ideas while troubleshooting the issues affecting us all by 'thinking up new things, and eventually doing them. After all, "the value of an idea lies in the using of it" - Thomas Edison.


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