UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government Hosts Visioning Workshop for Government Leaders in the West Indies

May 10, 2011
Contact: Ben Meyers
(518) 442-3892

The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany – SUNY is host to a visioning workshop for government leaders from the West Indies. Building Capability for Government Transformation: A Visioning Workshop for Government Leaders is taking place in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The workshop is endorsed by the Ministry of Public Administration, Government of Trinidad and Tobago and sponsored by Microsoft Corporation.

Microsoft Workshop Group

Pictured from left to right: Terrence Philip (Microsoft); Pradeep Raman (Microsoft); Lorenzo Madrid (Microsoft); Honorable R. Nan Gosine-Ramgoolam (Government of Trinidad and Tobago); Honorable Ambrose V. George (Government of Dominica); Gillian Macintyre (Government of Trinidad and Tobago); Atiba Phillips (National ICT Company Limited-iGovTT); Theresa Pardo (CTG).

Using a capability-based perspective, the workshop is presenting visionary perspectives on emerging technologies and offering workshop participants a framework to turn those visions into an action plan for their governments. Throughout the three days, government leaders from the West Indies are engaging with thought leaders from academia, government, and Microsoft about the role of technology in fostering public sector innovation. 

“Working with our partners in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and Microsoft, we have brought together a community of public leaders from like-minded nations to share in the latest thinking on fostering public sector innovation,” said Theresa Pardo, workshop chair and director of CTG. “We have been working with public managers at all levels for close to twenty years to help them better understand the layers of complexity that present a daunting challenge to those who are responsible for choosing, funding, building, implementing and evaluating IT innovations.”

At the opening session of the workshop, Senator Honorable Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam, Minister of Public Administration, Government of Trinidad and Tobago said, “Similar to this envisioning workshop, which aims to get government officials in the region thinking about and innovating with ICTs to achieve development goals, so too has this nation identified technology as an integral catalyst towards ensuring the development of our people. Trinidad and Tobago can boast of being one of the most ‘connected’ countries in the region with a mobile penetration rate in excess of 100% and approximately 40% of households connected to the Internet. However, while we continue to expand levels of connectivity, we must increasingly look towards translating our usage into ICT innovation.”

In his remarks to the workshop audience, Honorable Ambrose V. George, Minister of Information and Telecommunications, Government of Dominica, said, “The essence of good governance and good planning is the ability to foresee, identify, and embrace critical concepts and ideas that serve as new stimulus to economic, social, and cultural diversification. But of greater importance to efficient planning is the formulation of well-defined strategies that lend to effective policy. […] The region has a tremendous opportunity to connect into the global information society and significantly prosper from the social and economic benefits of the digital economy. Governments must assiduously pioneer and lay the foundation for such change.”

Microsoft Workshop Participants

Attendees listening to workshop sessions about visionary perspectives on emerging technologies.

The multi-sector and multinational workshop team includes CTG director Theresa Pardo and CTG program managers Donna Canestraro and Meghan Cook; John Bertot, Professor and Director of the Center for Library and Information Innovation, College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland; and Microsoft’s Lorenzo Madrid, Worldwide Director of Microsoft’s Technology Strategy Office, Ariel Matías Pacecca, Latin American Director of Public Private Alliances (PPA), Josemaria Valdepeñas Rubio, Regional Technology Officer at Microsoft, and Flavio M. Calonge, Government Director for Microsoft Latin America and the Caribbean. 

As workshop chair, Pardo is leading the attendees through three days of presentations and interactive sessions that prompt government leaders to consider their current capabilities for transformation and how to build new capabilities to implement change in their governments and societies. The workshop is being attended by over 50 representatives from the governments of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Dominica. A final report of outcomes from the workshop will be made publicly available. 

The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology. 

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