Miami Caribbean Code, the tech conference that bridges Miami to the rest of the Caribbean, is taking place on June 24th in Miami. Check out this interview with techie Henry Beaucejour, who will be one of the speakers at the event. Beaucejour is the editor of Haiti Tech News, and the Chairman of Haitian Caribbean Information Tech Council (Hacarabtech). Get a first-person handle on the conference through his eyes!
Kreyolicious: Tell us about yourself and what drew you to tech?
Henry Beaucejour is a dreamer, a visionary. I fall in love with anything related to technology. Understanding that technology is the backbone of organizations and companies around the world, especially developing countries. A couple of years ago, as I emigrated from Haiti to the United States, I found myself in a situation to bring [about] some changes. What drew me [to tech] was the passion to innovate and look at a better future for the youth. Our young people represent the future of this generation.
Kreyolicious: How did you get involved with Miami Caribbean Code?
I got involved after a briefing with Firmin Backer, one of the co-founders of the Haiti Renewal Alliance, a non-profit that promotes business development and investment in Haiti. Once Firmin Backer was in it…with his expertise in technical innovation, strategy development, along with his history in investment management, I thought it was something special.
Kreyolicious: Why do you think attending an event like this is important?
An event like this will allow the attendees to have a better exposure [to] and better understanding [of] how technology can bring people together…How technology can change the world to make it a better place to live as human beings, and also how new technology is being used to save lives.
Kreyolicious: What do you think attendees will learn from your session?
I am certain [that] after those attendees leave the session, they will change their minds, be more awakened to the vision that I have been sharing to the world for years in newspapers, different articles and social media. And they can also learn about the experiences of Haitian radio hosts Carel Pedre and JUNO7 who used Twitter and [other] social media [platforms] to inform the world about the earthquake and the cholera outbreak which ravaged their country, Haiti.
Kreyolicious: From what you can observe, why is tech so important in the Caribbean and Latin America?
As I said in the beginning, this is a vision. I hope other leaders in the Caribbean and Latin America share that vision to make those places a reference where Microsoft, Google, and others to come and recruit the best programmers and developers.
The Caribbean—and especially my homeland Haiti—needs foreign and local tech investment and technological knowledge diffusion. Creating the requisite infrastructure—from [a] techno park to better interne—would be significant steps. Jacmel, for example, with [its] arts community, walkable architecture and beautiful beaches, might be an attractive place for concentrated technology hub and a tech incubator. Haiti can create a special economic zone to attract foreign companies, with the aforementioned conditions. In return for any incentives, tech giants companies can open doors in Jacmel or Cap Haitian and employ or train local Haitians. I wish the same for beautiful islands Aruba, Jamaica and Trinidad and so on.
CLICK HERE to go on the Miami Caribbean Code website to keep up with the movement and to purchase tickets to this year’s edition of Miami Caribbean Code.