salcc unthink festival

A Thought Festival on Globalization and Sustainable Development

June 15, 2021

Be Part of Our Live Audience!

salcc unthink festival

UNTHINK aims to promote new thinking, ideation and strategic action for the globalization and development agenda.

The festival will be hosted annually by the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, in honour of Nobel Laureate Sir Arthur Lewis.

June 15th – the 30th anniversary of the passing of Sir Arthur Lewis – has been selected as the date of the festival.

Why Unthink?

The ongoing and evolving COVID‑19 global health pandemic has resulted in a significant loss of lives and livelihoods in addition to an unprecedented impact on the global economy with significant implications for developing countries. However, it can be argued that the global economy has been in the throes of a major transformation for the last two decades or more where declining sectors are disrupted by new and emerging business models and trade patterns.

The impact of the pandemic has been not only to accelerate the processes of digital globalization but also to lay bare the fragilities (i.e. import dependencies, debt overhangs, digital divides) and the inequalities (i.e. racial reckonings, gender-based violence, vaccine nationalism) in the global political economy. The pandemic also forces us to think again about the models and perspectives on global development and to consider action on the epic challenges of climate change and environmental despoilation.

In short, we are arguing that unthinking is the first critical step in fashioning a preferred reality.

Why W. Arthur Lewis?

W. Arthur Lewis, who is considered as one of the pioneers of development economics is globally recognized for his iconic contribution to economic theory (i.e. Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour, 1954). Lewis can be also described as an economic historian and long-wave theorist whose work analysed turning-points in global development. In particular, his early work entitled “Labour in the West Indies," published by the Fabian Society in 1939, chronicled the impact of the Great Depression on the Caribbean. The context is viewed to have had a formative influence on the young scholar.

The Festival and the follow-up publication aim to draw on the main insights from W.A. Lewis’ 1979 Nobel Prize lecture, the “Slowing Down of the Engine of Growth” which presaged the global economic crisis of 2007/8. We would also draw on what can be described as Lewis’ magnum opus, (Growth and Fluctuations, 1870-1913. Allen & Unwin, London, 1978) that provides a rich historical analysis of core-periphery economic and trade relations during a period of great economic, technological, political and social change.

In summary, we are of the view that the Post-Pandemic context provides a useful framework to apply Lewis’ theory of historical change and transformation from a global and sustainable development perspective.

growth and flunctuations sir arthur lewis
hyginus leon

Dr. Hyginus Leon

Keynote Speaker
TIME: 8:15 AST

Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon is the sixth President of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the regional development finance institution based in Barbados. He was elected at a Special Meeting of the CDB Board of Governors held on January 19, 2021 for a five-year term, and assumed office on May 4, 2021.

Dr. Leon has over 30 years of experience in economic development and has directed macroeconomic and financial policy support to government authorities in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, and the Caribbean. He worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for more than 24 years, serving as Mission Chief for Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, The Bahamas, and the Gulf States of Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates, as well as IMF’s Senior Resident Representative in Jamaica and Nigeria.

Prior to his engagement with the IMF, Dr. Leon was an Associate Professor at State University of New York at Old Westbury in the United States. He has also served as Director of Research at the Central Bank of Barbados and Country Economist at CDB.

Dr. Leon holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Economics from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom (UK) and a Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc.) in Economics from the University of London also in the U.K.

ha-joon

Dr. Ha-Joon Chang

Keynote Speaker
TIME: 12:00 AST

Dr. Ha-Joon Chang teaches economics at the University of Cambridge. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, he has published 16 authored books (five co-authored) and 11 edited books. His main books include The Political Economy of Industrial Policy, Kicking Away the Ladder, Bad Samaritans, 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism, and Economics: The User’s Guide. His writings have been translated and published in 42 languages and 44 countries. Worldwide, his books have sold over 2 million copies. He is the winner of the 2003 Gunnar Myrdal Prize and the 2005 Wassily Leontief Prize.

Featuring Introductions by

caribbean futures
AST8:30 am

Caribbean Futures

This panel kicks off the Thought Festival by grappling with perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for Caribbean society going forward with the recognition that the crises of economic underperformance, indebtedness and chronic health, among others, have been exacerbated by the global pandemic. The focus is on regionalism as well as global competitiveness issues, all key ideas that were propagated by William Arthur Lewis in his writings as well as his activism and institution-building work in the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

climate action
AST10:30 am

Climate Action

There is no gainsaying the importance of climate change and climate action from a global public policy perspective. Small island developing states like the Caribbean are considered hotspots given the implications of climate change for these economies and societies. What are the new ways of organizing both the global and the local to respond to the unfolding context?

industrial revolution
AST12:30 pm

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

The global economy is witnessing a rapid process of disruption and reinvention with the spread of the fourth industrial revolution. The new technologies are transforming business models as well as the trade and development equation. What role can institutions play in accelerating capabilities among small firms and small countries?

creative futures
AST2:00 pm

Creative Futures

The creative economy has experienced both the downside of the global pandemic as well as the upside in relation to the growth of the digital creative economy. How can creative entrepreneurs navigate this minefield? What role can institutions play in the financing and facilitating of the paradigm shift that the creative sector represents and is impacted by?

youth and social entrepreneurship
AST8:00 pm

Youth and Social Entrepreneurship

Youth employment and entrepreneurship are expected to be one of the hardest hit areas due to the global pandemic. How is this to be addressed and what role can new models of social entrepreneurship play in advancing the interests of the next generation of entrepreneurs, activists and changemakers?

first national bank st lucia

1st National Bank is St. Lucia’s first indigenous bank and has led the way in pioneering banking over the past 80 plus years. 1st National continues to make invaluable contributions to national development as the Title Sponsor of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College’s inaugural UnThink Thought Festival.

We thank them for their generosity and continued support for the College’s initiatives.

1st National Bank. Here… for You!

first national bank st lucia

1st National Bank is St. Lucia’s first indigenous bank and has led the way in pioneering banking over the past 80 plus years.
1st National continues to make invaluable contributions to national development as the Title Sponsor of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College’s inaugural UnThink Thought Festival.
We thank them for their generosity and continued support for the College’s initiatives.
1st National Bank. Here… for You!