25 July 2005

Three Options

Over dozens of conversations with people of all types, The Jenius has noticed a recurring pattern: We begin by criticizing one aspect of Puerto Rico, only to find that 20 minutes later, We have covered politics, the economy, education, health, ethics (usually “lack of”), debts, morality, business, laws, crime, price increases, infrastructure problems and the media. In other words, We try to “fix” one thing only to discover “everything” needs fixing.

So where does one start? The Jenius doesn’t have the answer, but He is willing to provide options. First, as usual, some ground rules:

If you believe that government (better known as The Fools) is the solution, stop reading. These options are not for you because you aren’t needed.

If you think that most of Our problems are to be solved by Uncle Sam slinging money at Us in ever-greater amounts, go away. These options are not for you because you aren’t wanted.

If you think Puerto Rico can’t solve its Own problems and is thus doomed, take a hike. These options are not for you because you are part of the problem.

These options are for those of Us who take the time to seek solutions, care about Our Future and have the Talent, Will, Intelligence and Vision to put them into action. We may be a minority, but We’re each worth many hundreds of Fools, Fools’ fans, parasites and spineless naysayers.

Here now are 3 options The Jenius believes could help turn the tide. They are all within Our reach as part of the Internet Industry/Knowledge Economy sectors. They all depend on group effort aimed at Island-wide growth, so that unity will provide far-reaching benefits. And lastly, they can be started immediately.

----- Increase the amount of information about the Internet and Knowledge Economy at all levels. Seems obvious, almost trite, but the fact remains that it must be done. The average Puerto Rican is unaware of the value of the Internet as a commercial, economic, industrial and social tool and is woefully under-prepared to deal with the explosive nature of frequent and powerful opportunity sets. Unless We bring them consistent, contextual, valuable information on these topics, We will continue to fail Our generation and the ones coming after.

----- Develop “project teams” to compete only in global markets. These project teams will be self-created, possibly based in existing facilities such as UPR-Mayagüez, the Bayamón campus of the Interamerican University and other such locations. (And indicating that UPR-Mayagüez is part of the government is a niggling point, for who would be better-suited for additional development than the acknowledged local leader in global tech projects?) The purpose of the project teams is to come up with a stream of ideas on how Puerto Rican resources--human, commercial, industrial, technological, innovative--can compete in global markets. Partly-entrepreneurial, partly-academic and wholly tech-oriented, these teams will compete against each other for funding from private sources (local, U.S.- and European-based.)

----- Establish a semi-annual “Vision Symposium” where thoughtful business, academic and industrial leaders in high-tech, education, telecom and other related fields are invited for a 3-day series of small group discussions, idea exchange forums, full-fledged presentations from developing projects and conferences aimed at answering key questions for the global economy. Each Symposium can be sponsored by private companies and universities and by holding two a year, can create a flow of interest, ideas and information that is unmatched in Our current circumstances.

It is impossible to change an entire nation in a matter of weeks. All we can aim for is to change Our part of the nation and let that example lead Us into a better future. These are three options. Whether these or from others, We must choose Our path and act upon that choice. If We do nothing, that's exactly what We'll gain.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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