Global tech heavyweights participate in Tech Beach Retreat
There was a lot of excitement surrounding the second staging of The Destination Experience's Tech Beach Retreat hosted at Iberostar in Montego Bay recently, as the event attracted a flow of Silicon Valley success stories to the island's shores.
This included Pilar Manchon, director of Cognitive Interfaces at Amazon; Jamaican-born Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade Communications, which just concluded its sale to Broadcom for US$6 billion; and most notably, Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square. Dorsey leads two multi-billion-dollar publicly traded companies, which have been viewed as highly innovative disrupters in the industry.
Visiting Jamaica for the first time, Dorsey shared the story of Twitter's growth from a simple idea shared by friends into a massive global enterprise, which has driven numerous global shifts and played a huge role in discourse on global issues.
He also spoke about the evolution of Square, which was designed to empower people around the world to be more enterprising, facilitating an easier payment system using their cell phones. He expressed interest in the Caribbean market, pointing to the need for both banking and regulatory partnerships.
ELEVATE THE SCENE
He didn't shy away on controversial topics, which he appears passionate about, wholly endorsing blockchain technology and bitcoin as the tools millennials will use to change the world. On the issue of artificial intelligence and jobs, he stated, "We have a treasury secretary in the US who said that AI will not cause job loss for 50 to 100 years." He continued, "It's not just stupid ... it's irresponsible." The view of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is one that is not very popular with technologists. Recent reports suggest that up to 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide by 2030.
The goal of Tech Beach is to elevate the Caribbean's tech scene on the global stage, and to help drive a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the region, providing access to markets, capital, and other necessary resources.
Tech Beach was presented with the support of NCB, The Development Bank of Jamaica, The Jamaica Tourist Board, Kuelap, Contax360, Jampro, Connexus, and KIC Ventures.