How do you tap into the entrepreneurial spirit of a nation to recover from a hurricane? How do you connect talented professionals with ideas to build back better? And how do you use the collective expertise to come up with solutions for a more resilient future? Those were the key questions the Aruba Centre of Excellence (COE) for Small Island Developing States (a UNDP initiative) based on Aruba asked after visiting St. Maarten after the hurricanes. The COE soon joined forces with like-minded organizations; namely EY Dutch Caribbean, the Dutch Caribbean Chambers of Commerce, 360° Innovation, and Present Your Startup, to organize a unique event: The Build Back Better Week SXM.
The goal was to organize an interactive, inclusive event that was focused on putting ideas for rebuilding into action. A format was developed consisting of a hackathon (Do-Tank), together with trade missions from other countries (Do-Trade), a youth engagement (NextGen Session) and deep-dive sessions (Expert sessions).The Do-Tank brought local and international entrepreneurs alike together, to contribute to an inspiring and fun weekend in which new ideas and concepts were created and presented to build back better for a resilient island future. The attendance and support of the Prime Minister was the icing on the cake.