Looking Ahead: The Future of Virtual Technology

The Tech Islands Hub Summit began in March 2019 with the goal of creating an ecosystem where businesses, industry leaders, tech entrepreneurs and visionaries connect to develop and promote Trinidad and Tobago's tech environment while visualizing a future of technology in the country.

However, in 2020, the COVID -19 pandemic landed on our island, making public gatherings a threat to our health. But that didn't stop the event from continuing. A series of webinars were held to teach businesses and entrepreneurs how technology can be used to adapt and overcome hurdles through the various barriers and continue on the path of technological advancement in the industry in the age of digital transformation.

A year later, with the pandemic still largely upon us, we are pleased to once again announce our partnership with AMCHAM T&T to sponsor the Tech Hub Islands Summit (THIS). The Summit will be held from July 5-7, 2021 and is aptly themed "Now & Beyond".

Since March 2020, we have been forced to "seek shelter" in various forms as we attempt to create an environment that is less hospitable to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Fortunately, technology has come to our rescue to close the gap. Like many other companies around the world, Republic Bank has had to focus on making the "virtual" a deeper part of our reality. So much so that we are now asking ourselves if virtual space is going to enter the future as our new global reality. Will this last or will we fall back into old habits? For some of us this may be a welcome reality, for others understandably the opposite.

The adage "Never let a good crisis go to waste" is apt. We should use the challenges posed by the pandemic to take a critical look at our local landscape and rebuild our various systems to enable a more efficient society in the post-Covid era.

Our Executive Director, Derwin Howell, addressed the membership at the Virtual Media Launch on May 25, 2021, and spoke about how virtual our new reality has become, and that we should embrace it sooner rather than later.

"Our goal should be rapid national implementation with cross-sector collaboration. No consumer, business or government agency should be left behind due to hesitation, lack of resources or lack of knowledge. And most importantly, virtual switchover should not be seen as a chore, but a valued amenity, even a national necessity."

The steps we have taken as a national community towards technological diversification are small and growing and represent a willingness and ability to strengthen Trinidad and Tobago's tech ecosystem, improve the overall efficiency of our society and ultimately grow our local economy.

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