News Releases

UWI Five Islands to lead discussion on the Future of Work in the OECS

For Release Upon Receipt - November 24, 2020


On Monday, November 30, 2020, The University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus in Antigua and Barbuda continues its Public Advocacy conversations aimed at enhancing the global competitiveness of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). This month’s feature presenters tackle the topic: The Future of Work in the OECS Region from 6.30 P.M. Eastern Caribbean time/ 5:30 P.M. Jamaica time.

In keeping with the objectives of the  Campus’ Public Advocacy Series, esteemed speakers, His Excellency Dr. Didacus Jules, a St. Lucian educator and current Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Dr. Cardinal Warde, Engineer and Engineering Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, intend to use data and research to shape the narrative surrounding policy which can positively impact the region’s ability to contend with like players on a global scale.

Automation, machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) have become the norm in today’s society. These advancements of the 4th Industrial Revolution have changed our lives and the ways in which we function, daily. So too will the jobs of the future transform, leaving The UWI, and each of its campuses, the challenge of preparing graduates for what has already evolved into unique workforce needs of not only the OECS region, but beyond. Today’s students, born in the digital learning age, will create new pathways in the industries chosen for their careers and will assume various roles on multidisciplinary teams and must be able to do so within the scope of a technological world.

His Excellency Dr. Jules who has served as Permanent Secretary for Education and Human Resource Development in the Ministry of Education, HRD, Youth & Sports in St. Lucia from 1997‐2004 is well-known as a radical educator, and will be one of the leaders who will be discussing this pertinent topic.  Offering a glimpse into his talk, he said, “The nature of work has been changing dramatically over the past 10 years at a differential pace across the world.  In developed economies that trend has been much faster than in less developed economies. These changes have been largely driven by technological innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and computing.  COVID has accelerated these changes and while having a disastrous impact on our tourism dependent economies, it also has created opportunities for transformative disruptions in how we live, work and play.”

His co-presenter, Dr. Warde, is equally prepared, being one of the world’s leading experts on materials, devices and systems for optical information processing and displays.

Dr. Warde’s current research is focused on the development of opto-electronic neural-network co-processors that give computers brain-like computing power which will serve well for this discussion, itself driven by technology, data and research. Dr. Warde serves as the president of the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation (CADSTI), and as Interim Executive Director of the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF). CADSTI and the CSF are focused on stimulating science and engineering-based entrepreneurship, and assisting with the implementation of STEM education reform to promote more science and technology for the economic development of the Caribbean.

Through its Public Advocacy series, The UWI Five Islands Campus is pleased to bring these critical conversations to the fore, in an effort to propel the human capital capacity of the OECS and wider Caribbean region. In 2019, The UWI Council approved the establishment of Five Islands as its fifth Campus, with the vision to provide a development platform for countries of the OECS and expand The UWI's regional capacity to deliver higher education for the 21st century.




About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)