Many Trinbagonians who travel abroad have used Uber and in general have given positive feedback about the experience since Uber was launched, it has garnered headlines around the world.

It is therefore a reflection of our reactive approach to mostly everything including the recent arrival of Uber in T&T which has seen questions arising over the high tech service. We ought to have been proactive and anticipated not only Uber but all the high technology, ecommerce, digital and ICT business models.

As we struggle to diversify our oil and gas economy into an entrepreneurial, innovative, creative and forward thinking economy that creates value and services that are sustainable, we should be proactive.

The arrival of Uber isn’t a surprise. It was inevitable.

As T&T faces up to the truth of the current variant of an economic downturn we must prepare to embrace the opportunities and challenges. The development of new markets depends on our innovation capabilities.

Changing our strategic paradigm and organising for creative problem-solving are key as is a commitment to the innovation process. In our post slavery and post colonial reality we appear to have focused on the redistribution of wealth as being more important than the production of wealth.

We are still slow in facilitating entrepreneurial efforts that can create new productive capacity. There are needed conversations that we should be having as a society if we are serious about addressing the growing gap between the haves and the have nots, rich and poor. Be it inadvertent or deliberate the construct of many of our institutions enable and sustain the divide.

If we are serious about a diversified economy. We must be intentional in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. If we continue to be defensive and protective of what we have and where we are, T&T will find itself behind the curve.

There are enormous opportunities in technology, entertainment, music, art and sport. Our laws and policies act as an impediment and discourages risk taking entrepreneurs.

In a fast moving global economy staying in front of the curve will at the least keep us in the game. The youth and young people of T&T deserve better.

Recently I read where chairman of the Economic Advisory Board, Dr Terrence Farrell, predicted that by 2030 T&T will stop being an oil economy. If that is to happen the creative industry and sport industry should be encouraged.

A lot is riding on T&T’s capacity and mindset in respect of economic diversification. Anticipating and preparing in advance for the arrival of the Ubers of the world will be important.

We must have an ambitious vision for T&T. Listen to everyone around you with new ears. Sometimes you have to take a short term loss for a long term gain. No matter what the setback or disappointment. It’s about learning and growing. All things workout for good and betterment when you have faith and self belief.

To help the next generation new jobs have to be created. New entrepreneurs have to be helped to build their businesses. The TTOC is planning to host the second annual Sport Industry T&T conference on March 9. This follows on from an encouraging inaugural conference last year.

There is a vibrant sport industry in T&T, its up to us to let it shine.

Editor’s Note—Brian Lewis is the President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC), therefore his opinion is not a reflection of the organisation.