Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Youth challenged to find tech solutions for urban problems - Gleaner Online and partners stage workshop

Published:Friday | May 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Terri-Karelle Reid (left) and representatives from her department, along with a group of Urban Labs for Youth Innovation participants at The Gleaner on Wednesday.
The Gleaner Online’s Ricardo Neil (right) gets a hearty laugh from Shanae Owens (left), Urban Labs coordinator, Zabrina Smith, entrepreneur/student, and Carllone Bennett on Wednesday.
1
2

Several youth from communities across the Corporate Area were given the opportunity to create applications and programmes that will help to fill information gaps which exist in areas such as climate change, crime and violence and youth unemployment, among other social issues.

The opportunity came at a workshop which took place Wednesday at The Gleaner Company's offices in downtown Kingston. It saw participants from communities such as Mountain View and Denham Town in Kingston. The event was executed through the Institute of Law and Economics; Trust for Americas and the Organization of American States, who collaborated with The Gleaner Company (Media) Ltd.

Shanae Owens, lab coordinator at the Urban Labs Youth Innovation Project, told The Gleaner that the event was to create an avenue in which youth can express themselves and fulfil their potential.

"It's really a space to foster youth innovation and entrepreneurship. The stakeholders recognise that there is a lot of talent among youth in Jamaica. However, it seem they don't have any way of expressing their talents. They also have a lot of solutions to urban problems that are in Jamaica," she said.

"It's a space for them to come and create long-term projects and also start business ventures. The main objective is for them to find the solution to urban problems. Secondly, I want them to network with persons who are in the discipline," Owens said.

 

EXCITING OPPORTUNITY

 

Terri-Karelle Reid, sales and brand manager for Gleaner Online, similarly expressed enthusiasm for the opportunities that can accrue from the event for youth to develop themselves.

"When they approached us, we really appreciated and valued what is it that they are trying to do. A lot of the times, youth are labelled based on their circumstances and the question then becomes, 'How do we have them contribute to society? Do we just leave them?' So I am truly encouraged that we have the opportunity to empower them," she said.

"Many of them here today are very much interested in being entrepreneurs, social enterprisers, trying to figure out new solutions using digital platforms, and so we thought it was the perfect fit. Our company (Gleaner) offers so many digital services and we do it all in-house," she explained.

"We decided to bring them in and then we will be showing them what we do and assist them with their projects."