New working era

Eight-hour days may fade with new technology

We need to start thinking about unemployment in a different way, especially with the rapid advancement of technology. 

This is the view expressed by project officer of the Social Development Sustainable Development Department with the World Bank, Nicola Magri, who said we now live in an era where technology is at a very advanced level and therefore we need to move away from the concept years ago of working in a office or an environment for eight hours a day in order to work, when it can simply be done from anywhere with the use of technology.

 

Nicola Magri addressing the audience at the presentation of Digital Jam 3.0.
Nicola Magri addressing the audience at the presentation of Digital Jam 3.0.

“In the current world we need to think of unemployment in a different way; so we need to abandon the whole concept where we go to an office environment and we sit there for eight hours a day.

“That is the old way and a lot of the staff who works in an office today is more dynamic and to perform various task or activity you just need a computer and Internet connection. So that is the kind of change we are trying to approach,” Magri said.

During the presentation to the winners of Digital Jam 3.0 – Caribbean Edition – Linking Caribbean Youth To Global Digital Opportunities held at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the team MediRevu, which includes Shannon Clarke, Samora Reid and Lybron Sobers, captured first prize.

From left, winners of Digital Jam 3.0 Shannon Clarke, Lybron Sobers and Samora Reid.
From left, winners of Digital Jam 3.0 Shannon Clarke, Lybron Sobers and Samora Reid.

Magri said, “Digital Jam 3.0 is the Caribbean updated version of Digital Jam 2.0, which has to do with the development of apps around the region. It is an initiative of the World Bank with partners like the OECS secretariat and the government of Jamaica which focuses on tackling youth and unemployment.

Digital Jam leverages with information and communication technology in a couple of ways and one is app development with the growing market of apps and software which is a booming sector, particularly video games.

“With specific regards to apps development, we put up a apps competition, divided into four categories which included games changers, stunning beginners for people who had no idea on how to develop an app but still wanted to try, the third being pioneers of the Caribbean and the fourth e-learning application which allows you to study and read on your tablet or smart-phone and access content that is available online,” Magri said.

Digital Jam 3.0 was launched on November 22, 2013 and by the end of December 180 ideas were received around the region with the finals being held over a two-day period in Kingston, Jamaica on March 1 and 2.

He added that 55 teams were short listed with more than 700 people involved, 40 teams reached the finals with 20 teams being invited to pitch their ideas and then the emerging winners.

According to Magri, there is potential in the Caribbean to mentor and support entrepreneurs and the whole idea of Digital Jam 3.0 since its existence has gone from 3,000 to more than 10,000 likes on Facebook.

He also noted that the concept was not about the World Bank or CDB, it’s about the youth being engaged and being challenged to venture out and try to develop their ideas.

Founders of MediRevu said the app was built to help doctors and patients monitor their diagnosis.

“One of the things that doctors have actually complained about is that they don’t have a tool to improve patient compliance, that they don’t have a tool to monitor their patient and we said that we would build that tool which is now called MediRevu, which is a mobile app build to give automatic patient follow up to keep engaging their patient to follow their prescription,” Clarke said has he spoke on behalf of the group in relation to what the app is all about.

In a time when unemployment is on a rise among young people within the region, portfolio manager of Private Sectors Development Unit with the CDB, Peter Blackman said they are aware of the central role technology plays in transforming our regional economies and recognize that the region’s youth must take centre stage in such initiative.

Portfolio manager of Private Sectors Development Unit with the CDB, Peter Blackman.
Portfolio manager of Private Sectors Development Unit with the CDB, Peter Blackman.

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