The “Shaping the post pandemic Jamaica” Ideathon created a collaborative space to generate innovative solutions to address challenges that affect communities in the Caribbean country after COVID-19.

Kingston, Jamaica - September 26th, 2021.- The NCB Icon Lab, developed by The Trust for the Americas through its DIA Program, with the financial support of the N.C.B. Foundation, and implemented by Mico University College, held the virtual ideathon: “Shaping the post-pandemic Jamaica.” This two-day event sought to spark youth’s creativity and capacity for innovation by working in teams to develop solutions to problems affecting their communities.   

Mrs. Nadeen Matthews Blair, CEO of the N.C.B. Foundation; Mrs. Jamilia Crooks-Brown, N.C.B. Foundation Programmes Administrator; Mr. Quimey del Rio, Senior Project Officer for DIA at The Trust for the Americas; Dr. Asburn Pinnock, President of Mico University College; Mr. Franklyn Bennett, Director of the School of Continuing Studies of Mico University College; Mrs. Sharon Heslop-Brown, Project Coordinator of The Mico Foundation; Mr. Andrew Samuels, NCB Icon Lab Coordinator, and Ms. Sandy Shaw, NCB Icon Lab Coordinator participated in this ideathon.  

Throughout the weekend, young innovators engaged in icebreaker activities and learned about Business CANVAS modeling methodologies. In groups, participants were encouraged to think about three main issues on how the pandemic has impacted the five areas listed below and how they can be addressed to help each sector.    

  • Education  

  • Tourism  

  • Youth Employment 

  • Gender equality 

  • Commerce 

Facilitators guided conversations and triggered discussions to assess each topic, rank the problems in terms of documentation and data available, feasibility, and start coming up with solutions to tackle the identified challenges.  

The brainstorming sessions allowed attendees to discover key partners such as government agencies, NGOs, civil societies entities, and private companies to contribute to areas such as loss of jobs, digital education for children, transportation for tourism, among others.  

Mr. Franklyn Bennett, Director of the School of Continuing Studies of Mico University College, stated: "The Mico is here to serve, nurture and make sure no one is left behind." 

Mrs. Nadeen Matthews Blair, CEO, N.C.B. Foundation, shared: “Greatness is already within each of us and we also hold the key to unlock that greatness. It is important for young persons to recognise early that they have the power to change the world. With digital technology, that power has been magnified.” 

Mr. Quimey del Rio, Senior Project Officer for DIA at The Trust for the Americas, concluded: “ICON is an acronym for Innovative, Creative, Outstanding, and Nationalistic. Through access to technology, and digital and entrepreneurial curricula, the NCB ICON Lab seeks to foster an entrepreneurial mindset to advance economic and employment opportunities for at-risk youth in Jamaica.” 

Since 2016, The Trust for the Americas has benefited over 2230 Jamaicans (59% are women) with the DIA Innovation Labs, providing them with digital skills, crucial to solving challenges in their communities and creating economic opportunities. 




About The Trust for the Americas:  

The Trust for the Americas is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS). It was established in 1997 to promote public and private sector participation in social and economic development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our initiatives, implemented through local partner organizations, seek to improve access to economic opportunities as well as to foster innovation in vulnerable communities in the hemisphere. To this end, The Trust also promotes social inclusion and good governance. The Trust has offices in Washington, D.C., Colombia, and Canada.  


More information:   

Facebook: The Trust for the Americas  Twitter:   @Trust4Americas  

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