Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Tuesday, September 1, 2020 – The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus recently launched its inaugural Student Entrepreneurial Competition on Climate Change. The competition was launched at a joint Webinar between ACCA and The UWI Open Campus entitled Investing in the future: business and finance professionals can tackle climate change. The competition is scheduled to run from September 2020 – July 2021 and will see student teams competing at the national and regional levels in the two stages of the competition.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus, Dr Luz Longsworth in her remarks at the Webinar indicated that “The UWI has been a leader in the area of SDG 13, which is the sustainable development goal that deals with climate change, and has for decades been at the forefront of climate research and advocacy that highlight the need for this issue to permeate not just the scientific community but all communities that need to survive…”
She noted that “in order for leaders in 4.0 environments to address and mitigate the issues of climate change there are five areas of which they should be aware: social responsibility, data driven decision making, innovation—which is the key element of the future, leadership—thinking without any concept of a box, and creating talent champions—thinking of future leaders.”
“The climate change competition is aimed at our youths and is challenging them to look at entrepreneurial solutions to climate change. The future is now and we as leaders must empower our young people to take us there,” said Dr Longsworth.
The goal of the competition is to provide useful educational and entrepreneurial experience focused on important real-world experiences. It will focus on climate change and how the Caribbean can best adapt to and mitigate resulting social, economic and environmental impacts. It will seek to address short and longer term challenges in the region as a result of climate change.
The competition will see student teams from The UWI campuses and other universities across the region, working together to submit their ideas in the form of proposals, business plans and concept papers on topics focused on current and projected climate change impacts on the Caribbean’s environmental, economic and societal sectors.
President of the Guild of Student, Mr Leon Dawson in endorsing the competition on behalf of the Open Campus Guild of Students stated “as a student of The UWI Open Campus and a resident of the region who depends so heavily on mother nature for survival, it is imperative for us to know and understand the importance of protecting the environment and to know how to reduce the threats of climate change.”
Dawson added, “this competition will provide a platform for students to showcase their different instruments on ideas, such as policies, regulations, technological devices and financial incentives that are needed for climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
This competition will serve as an important catalyst for environmental and social sustainability and business development throughout the Caribbean. It will focus on environmental conservation and justice, country specific or regional policies and laws, innovative businesses to reduce carbon footprint, impactful communication and environmental education as well as urban and community resilience.
As the region continues to heed the call for climate action, The UWI Open Campus looks forward to working with the student teams to develop and support sustainable solutions to the Caribbean’s climate change mitigation efforts.
Teams will be awarded points based on impact, innovation, team dynamics, use of social media, viability and potential. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
For information on how to participate in this competition, please visit www.open.uwi.edu/climate-change. The deadline for entry is September 30, 2020.
About The UWI
For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Glol African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport.
As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019.The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. For more, visit www.uwi.edu.
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)