NASSAU – Discussion of the capacity for innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean began on Thursday in The Bahamas at the annual Inter-American Development Bank assembly, which comes at a time of contraction in the region’s main economies.
The IDB has reserved the first two days of the event for sessions where experts, businessmen and representatives of civil society will discuss some of the main economic problems facing Latin America and the Caribbean.
On Thursday, during the assembly’s official opening session, the IDB brought to Nassau six examples of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region as well as a seminar on urban sustainability.
On Friday, the assembly will continue with another day of events and seminars focusing on the energy and climate challenges facing the countries of the region, especially in the Caribbean.
The last two days of the assembly are reserved for the IDB governors’ meeting.
The six innovation projects presented on Thursday correspond to initiatives in Barbados, Honduras, Colombia, Bahamas, Argentina and Jamaica.
On presenting the projects, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno emphasized that the six “excellent” examples of entrepreneurship “are living proof that there is no unique model for achieving innovation.”
“There is no age for innovation, which is a combination of different origins, different countries and very different life experiences,” Moreno added.
Three of the projects were created by women while Honduras was represented by Javier Caceres, who at age 17 thought up an underwater device that attracts and kills the larvae of mosquitoes that spread diseases such as dengue and Zika.
However, the project that captured the imaginations of the delegates was that of Colombia’s Rosalba Cardona, a 76-year-old social entrepreneur of a sprawling cluster of low-income neighborhoods in Medellin.
Cardona designed a device that collects and purifies rainwater to help solve the problem of the scarcity of potable water in the community.