On June 7, I got an opportunity to be part of history as a panelist for the first-ever Haiti Tech conference. Held in the Royal DeCameron Indigo Beach resort about an hour and a half from Port au Prince, I was surrounded by some impressive minds in tech hailing from companies including Google and Facebook. The two-day event and brainchild of Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, Christine Souffrant Ntim, welcomed hundreds into a beautiful space (albeit a hot one) in order to present solutions to digital challenges and infrastructural issues facing Haiti as well as provide a platform for storytellers, such as myself and my fellow panelists on the Power of Narrative session.
In my case, I talked about how we live in an age where digital is allowing us to shape media coverage and fight back against the generalization that so often adversely affects minorities. I drew parallels between negative international news reports about Haiti in contrast to the vibrant, hopeful spirit I encountered among its people as well as the narrative about Chicago (aka "Chi-raq")...neither of which encourage much open-mindedness or solution-finding. Here's a super quick snippet from our conversation, shot by my business partner and BFF Kozi Kyles. Please pardon my sundress, but the organizers advised "resort wear" for a reason. I cannot recall a time, other than a dalliance in Turks and Caicos last year, where the sun beat down on me like THAT.
The event, which also involved a lot of networking, enjoyment of the breathtaking grounds of Royal DeCameron, left an indelible impression on me. Here are a few more images for your enjoyment. If you get a chance, I encourage you to go to Haiti and experience it for yourself and stay tuned in for news about the 2018 conference. Trust, if you are interested in technology and innovation, it should definitely be on your calendar.