Today is May 30th or better known as trinta di mei. Exactly 50 years ago on this day, the refinery workers in Curaçao went on a strike to fight for racial equality and to show their discontent with the shrinking economy. The strike quickly turned violent leading to widespread looting, destruction, and two deads.
Now 50 years later things don’t seem much better. The refinery, currently operated by Venezuelan state-owned company PDVSA, is once again going through extremely difficult times. At the end of this year, the lease contract with PDVSA for the refinery will end, but Curaçao hasn’t been able to find a new contractor or, potential even better, an alternative to the refinery.
Opinions about the future of the refinery are very diverse and none of the parties is willing to comprise or able to single-handedly lead the island towards a better future.
How is it possible that 50 years after trinta di mei we are still struggling to unite for the greater good of Curaçao?
We have a problem with collaboration in Curaçao.
There are many visions and many plans. LTES (Tac Report), Vision 2020, National Development Plan, SDG Plan, and lately the Growth Strategy.
There are Innovation Plans, National Energy Plans, and Labour Market Development Plans.
And then there are stakeholders. NGO’s, Radio stations, Newspapers, Parliament, Ministers, Political Parties.
Many plans and many stakeholders. No action. No results.
The wellbeing of the people of Curaçao has not increased but decreased during the past 22 years. While that of the Caribbean islands has increased substantially.
There are many conferences too. A survey on Facebook shows that during the last year alone there have been numerous conferences.
Electric Vehicle recharged, Future of Work, Migration Conference and the list goes on an on.
During each of these conferences, the stakeholders meet again and some retired lady and a young professional stand up and look at the expert panel of speakers and at the member of parliament sitting on the front row: “ and what do we do next”?
People want action
People want to go beyond plans
People want to go beyond presentations and expert opinion of the panel
People want to take the initiative in their own hands
This is not something unique for Curaçao, but with so many shattered stakeholders it seems like this could be the reason why Curaçao’s economy and the people’s living standard in terms of GDP per Capita (Income per capita) has decreased.
What if the retired lady had a phone and internet and could take action in her own hands?
What if the young professional could follow up right ways and propose an implementation of the Wall of Fame for our National Heros by using her phone?
What if a conference could become a way to meet the people locally that you have been collaborating with on collecting data, doing analysis, creating policy and proposing and executing projects proposed? Instead of the place to discuss challenges and then go home and do nothing and waiting for politicians to take action?
What if Curaçao could pull all diaspora globally dispersed but all Yu di Korsou (Children of Curaçao), not because of their race, gender, political opinion, sex, sexual preference nor because they were born on Curaçao, but because they love the place we call home?
What if these people could fund the projects from wherever they are direct, not through banks that take a share of each transaction but they receive 99% of the sponsored money. Right from their mobile phone?
It is possible! With the technology available to us and new thinking models, we might be able to create an ecosystem like this.
Even better, we’re already creating it!
Bon Bini to the CuraDAO
A collaborative platform where anybody with a heart for Curaçao can come together to pool resources and take action.
CuraDAO uses new technologies such as Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies to create an open, honest and neutral environment for collaboration in Curaçao. The idea was initially started during the Curaçao Blockchain Week 2019 and will run as a pilot from June — December 2019.
The goal of the CuraDAO pilot is to improve the collaboration environment in Curaçao by empowering individuals to create projects with a positive socio-economic impact.
How does it work?
Let’s say Runy wants to teach local teenagers how to create a simple website, which they can then provide to others as a service. Through the CuraDAO he can create a proposal with his plans and request resources. The community then pools together the requested resources and decides in a democratic way if they think Runy’s project contributes to a better Curaçao. If they vote ‘Si’ the project is a go.
This entire process can take less than 3 days!
The CuraDAO pilot is an essential step towards creating this ecosystem. We will test out a very new concept, an organization built on the Blockchain. A so-called Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAO, in short, utilizes Blockchain’s functionalities to create a transparent (everybody can see what is happening), honest (everybody knows that the information is correct) and decentralized (everybody owns and maintains together) organization.
The results of the pilot will be presented at the year-end conference, Innovation Ç conference 2019.
Laga nos uni forsa p’asina triumfá. — Let us unite forces so we can all triumph.
Written in collaboration with Runy