Agenda

 
Registration

7:30 AM


 
Breakfast Sessions

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM


Breakfast Sessions

Participants have the option of attending one of three breakfast sessions. These sessions will be lightly programmed and offer an opportunity for networking around specific geographies and topics: the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, and the Visitor Economy across the Caribbean Region.


 
Opening Plenary Session

9:30 AM


Technology as a Tool: Improving Disaster Response, Recovery and Long-Term Resiliency in the Caribbean

As we convene for the second time as an Action Network, communities in the Caribbean are at a critical point: continuing recovery efforts from last year’s devastating hurricane season while preparing for potential storms in the current season. Innovative technological solutions have an important role to play in these efforts to make the Caribbean a more resilient and prosperous region. In advance of an imminent hurricane and in its immediate aftermath, innovative technological solutions allow individuals and organizations to communicate rapidly, respond to crises, and deploy critical aide. In the longer-term, new technologies are emerging in the Caribbean that can help foster resiliency in the face of a natural disaster and transform the region into a technological hub. In this session, panelists will highlight innovative technological approaches to disaster management, discuss the reliability of technological interventions, and explore the opportunities to transform the Caribbean into a more prosperous, technology-driven economic zone.


 
Morning Break

11:00 AM


Morning Break

 
 
Executive Sessions I

11:30 AM


Being Prepared for Quicker Assistance

Every $1 invested in disaster preparedness yields an estimated $4 saved in post-disaster recovery – and a far greater value in human life, health, food access, and livelihoods. Yet preparedness resources continue to trail resources dedicated to emergency response, even in high risk regions. In the Caribbean – where the islands are highly vulnerable to natural disasters, have limited disaster response resources, often lack adequate infrastructure, and have limited points of entry – emergency response logistics and preparedness initiatives are critical for protecting human life. This session will be broken into two sections. In the morning, participants will focus on emergency preparedness needs in the region and identify gaps in preparedness planning and operations. In the afternoon participants will focus on emergency response logistics, addressing field-based strategies that help bring supplies quickly to the region and affected communities.


 

Helping Farmers Recover and Thrive

Agricultural production in the Caribbean is dominated by smallholder farmers who are largely under-resourced and extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The 2017 hurricane season had a devastating impact on the agriculture sectors of several islands, compromising livelihoods and food security, and aggravating the region's food import dependency. In Dominica, where 25% of the workforce is employed in agriculture, the sector was completely decimated, and in Puerto Rico 80% of crop value was lost. Providing smallholder farmers in the most affected areas with technical and financial assistance and enhanced market access will be critical to recover livelihoods, increase food security, and re-establish agriculture as an engine of economic growth. In this session, participants will explore strategies to help smallholder farmers recover their yields, strengthen their resilience to natural disasters, and facilitate access to high value local and export markets.


 

Supporting Mental Health and Wellness After Disaster

Nearly eleven months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean region, the psychological impacts of the storms persist among affected populations, particularly in remote and marginalized communities. A continuing lack of basic needs, multiple barriers to psychosocial treatment, and gaps in training and referral systems exacerbate the trauma from the storms. Meanwhile, the approaching hurricane season provokes anxiety among impacted populations and underscores the need for more initiatives that increase psychosocial resilience and improve mental health care systems for the future. As mental health issues are increasingly recognized on a wide scale, there is an opportunity to strengthen and expand access to appropriate services. Participants in this session will workshop specific solutions to address common barriers to psychosocial care, and improve coordination and best practice sharing among organizations engaged in the space.


 

Building Long-term Resilient Energy Systems

Caribbean islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria have largely restored energy service thanks to rapid rebuilding efforts, yet vulnerability to future outages remains high and there is an increased urgency to implement affordable, sustainable, reliable and resilient sources of energy. A new wave of energy projects are underway or have been recently completed in the region, many of which integrate renewable energy and energy storage in order to meet these goals. As governments, NGOs and the private sector seek to accelerate and scale these efforts, they must navigate challenges such as financing, regulatory and environmental constraints, and effective collaboration between public and private entities. In this session, participants will dive into practical experiences from the past year, explore solutions to remaining challenges, and build partnerships to amplify and commit to further action.


 

Investing in Workforce Development

Recovery efforts following the 2017 hurricanes revealed a gap between rebuilding needs and technical skill sets among the local workforce – and therefore an opportunity to provide a pathway to reliable and profitable careers through vocational training In the construction sector there is an immediate need for high-skilled workers and an opportunity to train a new workforce of technical, sustainable retrofitters. In the hospitality sector, comprising a significant portion of many Caribbean economies, there is the potential to unlock high-paying jobs for a wide swath of the population. In this session, participants will look at innovative workforce development models, map out barriers and solutions for developing targeted vocational training programs, and lay the groundwork for partnerships that foster collaboration between employers and potential employees.


 
Networking Lunch

1:00 PM


Networking Lunch

 
 
Executive Sessions II

2:30 PM


Being Prepared for Quicker Assistance

Discussions will build on the morning Executive Sessions


 

Helping Farmers Recover and Thrive

Discussions will build on the morning Executive Sessions


 

Supporting Mental Health and Wellness After Disaster

Discussions will build on the morning Executive Sessions


 

Building Long-term Resilient Energy Systems

Discussions will build on the morning Executive Sessions


 

Investing in Workforce Development

Discussions will build on the morning Executive Sessions


 
Networking Reception

5:00 PM