Community Groups Join Common Sense Convois

The Sugar Heritage Committee and the Manatee Trust Foundation are among the groups that have come on board as partners in the Common Sense Convois 2012.
The Convois, an initiative of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies, publishers of the T&T Review, takes place next year from March 18th to the 25th in Trinidad and Tobago. The event has been structured as a series of collaborations with organizations and
institutions across Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Cartibbean in a deliberate policy of decentralization and public participation in order to eliminate the gap between the discussion of issues that affect people and the people themselves. At the same time, it putting communities and Convois participants in touch with each other, it gives communities an opportunity for showcasing their culture, services and products to the visiting contingent.
Discussions are currently underway with partners in Point Fortin, Tobago and in the wider Caribbean which will be announced once finalized. An exciting development involving Cuba is also in the works. The following is published in response to the many expressions of interest since the Convois was first announced in last month’s edition of the T&T Review:


Why the Common Sense Convois?
In a world of power blocs and global enterprises, the countries of the Caribbean need all the advantages to be had from collaboration and common platforms. However, at a time when it is most needed ,the integration movement is running out of steam. In the context of diminishing hope for a united Caribbean, the Common Sense Convois is a Civic intervention designed to dynamise, fertilise, prioritise and popularize the integration agenda among the people of the Caribbean. If successful, it will provide a renewed and popular integration mandate for Governments of the region as well as a functional network of support and input in the integration process from the public and private sectors. The precise shape of the nexus between the public and the institutional regional framework will be determined through the Convois process.
How will the Common Sense Convois in Trinidad and Tobago become a strategy session on a regional scale?
This is one of the most exciting aspects of the Common Sense Convois. While the main event will take place in Trinidad and Tobago, it will be networked to mini-Convois strategy sessions across the Caribbean and into the diaspora. Using communication technology, we hope to achieve the path-breaking feat of getting the region to engage in a common conversation about the current state of the Caribbean and its future over the course of the week of March 18 – 25th, 2012. Imagine what that could be like!

Who is the target audience?
At its core, our target audience are those, in every field, within and beyond the Caribbean, who have a real investment in the future of the region and who therefore have a vested interest in determining the shape of that future. The voice of all the interests will be heard. Our commitment to the issue of the Future is emphasized by the decision to allocate fully one third of the available registration to young people under the age of 25.

What makes the Common Sense Convois unique and different from conferences?
The Common Sense Convois is designed for maximum participation by all attendees, with the greatest possible cross-fertilisation of ideas, information and experience. To achieve the highest possible yield from this all-participatory brain-storming engagement, the Convois will utilise a combination of respected keynote speakers, research , advance expert materials, and a finely-tuned discussion format that ensures a dynamic yet disciplined process that moves each day’s proceedings towards clearly defined and sustainable outcomes linked to future action.

What are these outcomes?
While the Convois process itself will determine specific outcomes, its general objectives are:
• To enhance the cultural confidence of Caribbean people as a unique civilization, capable of dealing with the world on their own terms
• To dynamise the integration movement and create a defined nexus between the people of the Caribbean and the institutions, instruments and agencies of Integration
• To create an intensely rich intellectual experience
• To generate a heightened sense of communion among people who love and value the Caribbean
• To engage in direct dialogue with some of the most culturally rich communities of Trinidad and Tobago
• To develop solutions to specific sectoral challenges.

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