Wed | May 31, 2023

JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation hosts ‘Conversations for Greatness’ conference

Published:Saturday | April 1, 2023 | 12:26 AM
Patricia Sutherland
Patricia Sutherland
Donna Duncan
Donna Duncan

This year’s staging of the ‘Conversations for Greatness’ Conference, organised by the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, calls for ‘one love’ among Jamaicans.

The hundreds of community groups, youth organisations, non-governmental organisations and educational institutions which are expected to be in attendance at the event on today at The Jamaica Pegasus, are encouraged to forge a deep sense of connection, national pride and commitment to working together to create a better Jamaica.

Patricia Sutherland, chair of the Foundation and one of the conference presenters shared, “This conference was borne out of a desire to help to build a community of individuals with a passion and vision to transform Jamaica. As such, we decided to create a space for these individuals, who have already been exposed to the Foundation’s Conversations for Greatness (CFG) workshops. These beneficiaries will come together to share insights and gain a deeper understanding of the principles underpinning CFG and how to use them to ignite change in their communities through the use of the tools.”

Additionally, the conference is expected to give these like-minded individuals an opportunity to network, share skills and expertise and develop partnerships, as they formulate plans to create transformation in their communities, organisations and to develop national initiatives.

Celia Ebanks, conference organiser and programme manager at JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation noted, “This year’s staging builds on the inaugural conference hosted by the Foundation, in 2020, where we focused on helping individuals to do the work needed on themselves so that they could help others to also identify greatness in themselves and live purpose-driven lives.”

Drawing on the African philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’, which can be translated as, “I am because we are”, speaks to the interconnectedness of human beings and the collective greatness that we have, as such, the conference seeks to broaden the scope from a personal responsibility to a collective one.

“We believe that this discussion is timely as our nation continues to be plagued with many ills including crime, corruption, injustice, marginalisation, poverty and under-performance,” a release expanded.

The half-day event will feature Donna Duncan-Scott, group chief culture and human development officer at JMMB, who will explore the power of unconditional love to transform situations and outcomes during her presentation at the conference.

Duncan-Scott also serves as one of the conceptualisers of the Foundation’s CFG programme.

Paul A. Blake, counselling psychologist, minister of religion, motivational speaker and five-time author, will join the line-up of speakers and share from his personal journey. Having overcome a disadvantaged background and been written off as an under-performer, Blake, through finding his purpose, has changed his circumstances to achieve success and is driven to empower others to replicate this.

The genesis of the CFG programmes dates back to 2015, where the Foundation rolled out the mindset programme in the schools and saw marked improvement, including a reduction in absenteeism, disciplinary infractions and suspensions, improved parental involvement, greater cohesion among school staff; and increased trust levels in schools.

The conference is in line with the Foundation’s commitment to assist individuals to transform their lives, and empower them to make a meaningful contribution to society. As such, the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation is also an ardent supporter of other transformative programmes, including Teen Challenge, the Violence Prevention Alliance, Child Resiliency Programme, and Junior Achievement Jamaica, among others.

For more information on the Foundation’s Conversations for Greatness programme and how to be a part of the conversation, people may visit the Foundation’s Website,