We discussed the vision of Curacao. The vision of Curacao should be based on talent of the people. Today we celebrate the successes of our baseball players on the global stage. This is not sudden and not for s short period. This success is structural and is based on the talent. Former Minister Adrieaans stated that the people of Curacao have a talent: the eye hand coordination is exceptional.
We are in the era of creative economy and experience economy, more than the knowledge economy. The chances of the Caribbean are better in the creative economy than in the knowledge economy. The number of high educated people is not high enough. It should be in the range of 50%. According to Richard Florida a country needs three factors to succeed in the global economy: Talent, Technology and Tolerance. In this segment, the focus is on talent.
Knowledge economy: The knowledge economy is the use of knowledge technologies (such as knowledge engineering and knowledge management) to produce economic benefits as well as job creation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_economy, Accessed 12 March 2013)
Creative economy: The creative industries refers to a range of economic activities which are concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information. They may variously also be referred to as the cultural industries (especially in Europe (Hesmondhalgh 2002)) or the creative economy (Howkins 2001). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_economy, Accessed 12 March 2013)
Experience economy: The term Experience Economy was first described in an article published in 1998 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, titled "The Experience Economy". In it they described the experience economy as the next economy following the agrarian economy, the industrial economy, and the most recent service economy. This concept had been previously researched by many other authors. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience_economy, Accessed on 12 march 2013)
Definition of talent: A gift. Talent is not a skill. Curaçao people are multitalented. They have one then one more talent. This is in some cases a disadvantage because they cannot choose, specialize and become successful. Someone once said: there is more talent per square meter. Some examples: sports, baseball, tennis, theatre, music, medicine, management, art. Too many to mention. But talent is not enough. It is about development of talent. It is discipline. Much talent is wasted because there is not enough infrastructure. There is no priority for talent, we are more focused on academics. Many youngsters pursuit an academic career but have a different talent. This because academic has a higher status.
How come there is much talent? A possible factor is the diversity. That explains the talent for languages and also the ability communicate across cultures. The climate stimulates an outdoor lifestyle. It stimulates physical activity, and this might explain the physical intelligence. The small scale and of lack resources stimulates people to look for creative solutions.
But creativity is not enough. There must be a marriage between talent and management to foster a creative economy. According to the Curacao author Boeli van Leeuwen the people of Curacao geniuses but lack the discipline to function within a structure. This is a factor why people from Curacao are not more successful, despite their genius.
One obstacles is envy. This leads to a situation that people do not cooperate as Boeli van Leeuwen stated. All these condition create the conditions that force people to leave the islands to develop their talent elsewhere. It is a blessing that in most cases, they remain attached to the islands and often visit home especially during the off season. So they are role models for other youngsters and transfer their experience to the next generation.
In academics, we see another mechanism. Local universities cannot keep the local talent and pull the global talent. This leads to brain drain. Annually four hundred of the best high school graduates leave the island to attend universities, primarily in the Netherlands. Only a small percentage returns. There are many obvious reasons why they do not return. One reasons not mentioned often is the fact that they are educated in a 3.0 environment and cannot downgrade themselves to the 2.0 level of the island.
There is no clear government policy to develop and retain the talent. The reason for this is the lack of vision and the inability to seek proper advice from experts and thinkers. Of course, the lack of financial means is a factor, but it is mainly the lack of vision and prioritizing. The poor government policy is best illustrated in the field of education. The education system is totally out dated, and the quality level is too low. There is no focus on talent development and ICT. This are the two main factors that will determine the creative economy.
There are several possibilities to stimulate talent. There are several empty schools. One of these might be converted into an incubator for young entrepreneurs. The school of art can be reorganized, and a joint venture can be started with schools in the Netherlands. Successful events like the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival and Rotterdam Movie festival stimulate the local music talent and talent in the film in the film industry.
The Knowledge Zone and the Creative Zone can be created. The K-zone is a corridor of organizations in the knowledge economy in which cross sector innovation can be stimulated. The Creative Zone is a zone where creative minds meet and live. Both have a global appeal.