Look to the future

In order to shape a society, we need to look to the future; that is what policy planning is all about.

This comment was made by Democratic Labour Party (DLP) St. Michael South East candidate, Rodney Grant, as he delivered the lecture at the Astor B. Watts lecture series at the DLP Headquarters recently.

Speaking on ‘Leadership Post 51’, his address highlighted different reforms and actions needed to ensure that Barbados flourishes in the next 51 years, while focusing on the importance of looking into the future as a way to plan and implement these policies.

“When we’re planning policy, we have to think of the future – what is it I want this action that I’m going to do now achieve? What is the change I want 50 years from now?” he said.

For instance, Grant maintains that just as Barbados depended heavily on sugar to sustain its economy in the past, the country now depends too heavily on tourism. He views this industry as much too vulnerable for the country to have such a reliance.

“My concern is that it is one of those vulnerable things, too vulnerable, for us to just lean upon. Yes, we are trying to build up other services, but we have to move fast to create alternative economic engines and drivers for our economy,” he said.

“This is not an indictment on now, this is just how things should have been done three decades ago.”

He stressed that it is imperative for persons to be thinking now about the kind of economic independence they want for their country so that plans could be made to move towards that direction.

“Some of the academics at UWI should be able to help us unravel some of the mysteries that compound us as developing countries. There must be a role in terms of bringing more approaches to the table,” he said.

“We’re training all these people [economists], but it’s not enough to train, one of the things they should be able to do is come up with new models. And that is what international people are doing. We’re finding that it’s hard to keep up with technology because every time you look around there’s a new iPhone model and new iPad model; in the same way we need new economic models and social models to help our economy grow.”(CLF)

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