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August 24, 2015

Recap of the Annual Curator's Meeting in Geneva



I represented Barbados at the World Economic Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland last week as Curator of the Global Shapers Bridgetown Hub and the experience was nothing short of incredible.
The Global Shapers Community is an initiative of the World Economic Forum and is developed and led by young people who are selected on the basis of their achievements and commitment to make a difference in their local communities. The Community of over 5000 young people under the age of 33 is divided into a network of Hubs in every major city around the world. Each Hub manages projects that focus on various issues such as youth development, entrepreneurship and sustainable development.
With my Caribbean posse: L-R: Aruba, Suriname, Kingston Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Montego Bay Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominican Republic.
The Bridgetown Hub was founded in 2013 and is managed by 5 hub members. I took over the role as Curator in July for a year and received full funding to attend the Annual Curator’s Meeting in Geneva.
Over 450 Curators from 142 countries came together to share challenges faced in ongoing projects and to develop strategies on how best to enhance and accelerate their impact. Working together in an environment of trust and understanding to build practical solutions that have global impact is one of the key features of the Shapers community. I now have Hub partners and great friends in Africa, North America, the Middle East and ASEAN community who are there to share resources, experience and skills.
Not only was it a priority for me to ensure that Barbados had a seat at the table, but to raise the profile of the Caribbean youth on a whole. I attended a provocative session on long term investing, infrastructure and development with industry leaders based at the World Economic Forum who focussed on the ‘blended economy’ concept. We had the opportunity to discuss specific issues faced by the islands in the Caribbean and potential ways in which the regional Shapers can work together to come up with sustainable solutions. The focus is on creating long term, scalable impact.
The 5 day event consisted of panel discussions, team building exercises, workshops and community service in Geneva and surrounding areas.
On the final day I was part of a small group of Shapers who volunteered for a creative session at a shelter for asylum seekers being housed in a bunker beneath a hospital on the French border.
Interacting with this group of young men from Eritrea, India and Ethiopia who were currently ‘in limbo’ and had been through so much adversity was an incredibly humbling experience. We had Shapers from Italy, Mozambique, USA, Morocco, Indonesia, Norway and Canada in our team who were pretty taken aback at first; we didn’t quite know what we were in for. Luckily, the Curator from Mozambique had facilitated similar group ‘sessions’ with at risk youth and within a few minutes we were all dancing to music from our respective countries and sharing dance moves. I made sure to introduce them to ‘All ah we’ by Peter Ram! Seeing the Curators applying their leadership skills in a difficult situation like that reaffirmed my passion for this compassionate, global community.

The images of our community service session above were taken by Hugh Weber.
The Bridgetown Hub will be focussing on growing membership significantly in the next year and will be recruiting young people between the ages of 18-30 who are not only passionate about building a better Barbados, but have also proven themselves to be leaders and capable of getting things done as part of a team.
Get in touch with the Bridgetown Hub via Facebook.com/GlobalShapersBB or Twitter @GlobalShapersBB
You can find out more about the Global Shapers Community via @GlobalShapers or globalshapers.org
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August 12, 2015

Annual Curator's Meeting in Geneva

After a whirlwind week recovering from Crop Over, it's time to get serious again.

As I type this, my hands are shaking because I'm so excited for the week ahead! I'm going to Genevaaaaaaaaaaa!


Since 2013, I have been a part of the Global Shapers network and at the beginning of July I took over as the Curator/President of the Bridgetown Hub. You can read more about the Hub here.

The Global Shapers Community is unique in its reliance on empowered young people to shape and lead their Hubs under the guidance of the Community Charter. Each Hub is organized in an autonomous way under a Curatorship. The Curator is the functional lead of the Hub for one year, with a mandate starting on 1 July and ending on 30 June.


Once a year, the current Curators are brought together in Geneva in order to discuss the purpose, mission, values and culture of the Community in order to ensure the success and sustainability of each Hub and the greater network at an event called the “Annual Curators Meeting”. The Meeting provides an opportunity for the next generation of Curators to exchange best practices on relevant issues, from selecting Shapers to Hub Governance, to exchange insights with World Economic Forum colleagues on varied regional issues and pressing world challenges, and an opportunity for Curators to create local impact in the host city of Geneva by serving the local community. 

I was fortunate enough to be sponsored by the World Economic Forum this year and I will be in Geneva from Aug 13th - 17th!

I can't help but expect it to be similar to my life changing One Young World experience and even if it isn't, I am so honoured to represent Barbados as part of a community that I feel very strongly about.


This will be my first time in Geneva and I know that the Geneva Shapers have a packed itinerary planned for us so I can't wait to see what's in store. Thought we won't have much spare time to ourselves, I'd appreciate any tips and tricks for those who may be familiar with the city in case I get a chance to explore. Especially food, ANY food suggestions are encouraged :)

I'll be tweeting and posting as much as possible, so follow along via @skiptomalouuu and skiptomalouuu on Instagram.

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August 11, 2015

Crop Over Chronicles: Kadooment 2015


We joined Baje International on the road again this year and absolutely loved it

I was less than impressed with my costume though, since it was tinier than anything I have ever worn before and I didn't get any feathers as part of the package. Serves me right for waiting until the last minute to book my costume I guess. I was also slightly concerned that J's male costume was more elaborately designed than mine...


I spent the week before Kadooment stressing about what I was going to wear on the road and ended up buying a sequinned leotard [because those are obviously readily available during Crop Over!] and sprucing up a friends' old feather collar. Apparently it's really difficult to smuggle feathers into the country because they're from China, who knew? I didn't really care that I didn't match perfectly, once I was covered and as glittery as possible! I think I may have overdone it on the feathers though, as I was o obnoxious people hitting others across the face with my feathers every time I turned around...#paradiseproblems


Cool, rainy weather + great friends + plenty tuuuunes + Machel performing on the road = epic Kadooment!

Here are some snapshots from the roadddddddddd:


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August 10, 2015

Island Diaries: Crop Over Chronicles 2015

It's been pretty quiet on the blog recently and I take no responsibility for it.  I'm wholeheartedly blaming Crop Over.

Though summer is technically our 'offpeak' tourist season, the island comes alive during the months of June-Aug thanks to the Crop Over festival and there are parties pretty much every day of the week and friends visiting or coming home to partake in the festivities. This is a double edged sword because though the partying is great, it really offsets the regular 'routine' and the hangovers really wreck havoc on general productivity. 

Another upside to this chaos is that everyone needs a babysitter or nanny so that they can go out to party, which means great business for my agency, Island Sitters, so I can't really complain. Things. have. been. so. busy!

From booze cruises to concerts and breakfast parties, here are some of my highlights from the Crop Over Season [Kadooment will get it's own post!]:

Tipsyyyy


Booze Cruise



Jouvert: 

A large street party , the word 'Jouvert' is a contraction of the French jour ouvert, or dawn/day break.

The celebration involves music, mud, paint, chocolate and thousands of people dancing through the streets. The festival starts well before dawn and peaks a few hours after sunrise.

Jouvert with her Jouvert gear the night before :) 
[Squeaky clean before]
[After!]
[After party hose down]

Scorch Breakfast

As the name suggests, this was a breakfast party that started at 5am. We arrived at 7 and started on the mimosas! It was scorrrrching [yes, I did that] hot by 10am and I was like an overexcited labrador puppy when they brought out a garden hose to cool the crowd down #onlyinthecaribbean


Machel Concert [with a special guest appearance!]

Partying the night before Kadooment is a bit of a stretch for most of us, but we couldn't really pass on the opportunity to see Machel perform at Kensington Oval. As if we weren't excited enough to have snuck into the front rows of the VIP section (RIGHT under the stage, I swear I felt drops of sweat from the performers), we really flipped out when he started playing 'B*tch better have my money' and spurred the crowd on by asking if we liked that song...
Most of us knew that Ri Ri was in the island for Crop Over but I may have shed an excited tear when she actually walked on stage. in the rain. singing her little heart out.
It was a beautiful, soggy moment. 
I apologize in advance for the sound quality in the snippets below, but rain + crazy speakers do not bode well with my little phone mic!


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