“The next Google could be based in the Caribbean,” or so says Dr. Cardinal Warde, professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and President of the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation (CADSTI).
Speaking at Microsoft’s London offices on 11th November for the first ever CADSTI STEM talk, Warde, originally from Barbados, told an audience of students and representatives from several Caribbean high commissions in London, that the Caribbean needs to be aiming bigger and higher with respect to technology and entrepreneurship.
“The next large multibillion dollar high tech company can start anywhere in the Caribbean or in the Caribbean Diaspora. We think that are people are smart enough to do this,” said Warde.
CADSTI is a network of professionals committed to the social and economic development of the Caribbean through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (also known as STEM) to foster innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the Caribbean and in particular, the Caribbean Diaspora.
Formed in 2012 to date, the programme has eight branches throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. It runs technology competitions and a four -week residential summer enrichment programme in Barbados every year for 16 and 17 years olds from across the Caribbean to develop their skills in science and engineering.
For the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK, there is an added bonus
“A lot of the programmes that we have developed to serve the Caribbean, some of them will serve the Caribbean natives here in the UK,” said Warde.
CADSTI-UK are also now hosting STEM Talks in London to encourage interest in the sciences in the Diaspora. The event on 11th November featured Andrew Phillips, Head of Biological Computation at Microsoft Research Group, Cambridge.
While CADSTI is only focussed on technology in the Caribbean, Warde is hoping that other individuals and organisations will inspire to create businesses and opportunities to do with climate change, oceans, and other areas where the Caribbean can be at the forefront of global research.
“We’re hoping for others organisations to fill in the places that we can’t reach,” said Warde. “Others need to step up to the plate.”
This CADSTI STEM talk was the first set of STEM talks. CADSTI is hoping to run these events every few months to continue to get Caribbean students in the UK interested in Science and Technology.
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