Is the future of work online?

Digital Jam 2.0 is a Government of Jamaica/World Bank Youth Event scheduled for 28—30 June in Kingston, Jamaica.  The event comprises a coding competition, an apps competition, a 2-day seminar/conference, and a market place/job fair.

Although the answer to today’s question is an emphatic “YES”, there are still large swatches of the population across the Caribbean that have limited, or even no, access to ICT or the Internet. The situation is even more acute among our youth, which typically has the highest unemployment rates among our working age population.

At the press launch for Digital Jam 2.0 – “The Future of Work is Online” in Jamaica yesterday, 8 May, Giorgio Valentini, World Bank Representative to Jamaica, stated that in the Caribbean, young people under 30 represent 60% of the population. In Jamaica, and undoubtedly across the region, that grouping also accounts for 70% of the crimes committed. Hence it is imperative that countries find opportunities through which their citizens’ potential can be harnessed. The ICT/tech space offers a broad range of opportunities, which Digital Jam 2.0 hopes to showcase.

What is Digital Jam 2.0?

Digital Jam 2.0 – “The Future of Work is Online” is a 3-day event that will be held in Kingston, Jamaica on 28—30 June, at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Hosted by the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank, Digital Jam 2.0 consists of:

  • a 24-hour hackathon
  • an apps competition
  • a 2-day seminar
  • a market place and job fair.

More information on Digital Jam 2.0, as well as on the individual activities, can be found on the event website (

Digital Jam 2.0 Press Launch - Hon Lisa Hanna (Minister for Youth & Culture) at the podium

The hackathon

With a focus on sports, under the theme, Sprint Factory Apps to di World, this coding competition will

…bring together developers, designers, sports experts and sports journalists to explore to explore how technology can better enable the sports industry and sports as a social development tool and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for technologically inclined youth… (Source: Digital Jam 2.0)

In anticipation of the hackathon, three tech camps will be held across the Jamaica on 9, 10 and 11 May, to increase awareness, but more importantly to help participants to prepare for competition on 28—29 June.

The apps competition

For the apps competition, which will be held on 29 June, teams will compete to mobile or web-based software applications. Preceding the competition, two workshops will held with internationally recognized software developer and Jamaican, John Henry Thompson, inventor of the Macromedia Director Lingo Scripting Language. One of the workshops has already occurred, but the final one will be held on 18—20 May. Registration to participate in the apps competition closes on 15 May.

The 2-day seminar

A series of talks and panel discussions will be held on 29—30 June that aim to discuss trends and provide a forum for local and international speakers to share their success stories. Some of the agenda items include:

  • Click2Work ‐ How & Where to Get a Job Online
  • Digital Skills That Pays the Bills
  • From Apps to Cash‐ Top 5 Ways How to Monetize Your App.
  • e-Commerce ‐ 5 Steps to Building a Successful Online Business
  • Creating Game Apps that Win‐ Connecting Jamaica to di World Through Games

The market place and job fair

The market place and job fair will be a 2-day expo on 29—30 June, featuring Jamaican and international businesses. A key objective of the marketplace and job fair is to connect business, organisations and people, especially Jamaican youth, by:

  • showcasing local innovation and skills in the ICT/tech space
  • offering opportunities for employment, and
  • offering opportunities for networking and business development.

The market place, in particular, was conceived as a vehicle to highlight local innovation and skills in the ICT/tech space, by Jamaican youth. In addition to select local and international companies, persons between the ages 13—35, along with youth-owned local businesses can participate. The market place hopes to highlight ICT/tech skills, products and services, as well as those in the creative industry that make extensive use of ICT/tech tools.

As part of Digital Jam 2.0, international and local companies will be offering work opportunities that will be featured as part of the job fair. Equally important, a broad range of support services, such as career counselling, will be made available to the public during the event.

I’m interested… now what?

Digital Jam 2.0 will be open to public and will have free admission!

For those interested in participating in the hackathon, the apps competition, and/or the market place/job fair, registration is still open, so go to the event website for more details.

Also, to keep track of new developments and to participate in on-going discussions, do follow Digital Jam 2.0 on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of JAMPRO.