The Deputy Speaker made the announcement in an April 8, 2022, statement where he also noted that the initiative will further push local youth development and in turn, lead to more community development.
“It is my belief that through the introduction of a Think Tank in the Virgin Islands—a Think Tank that is primarily designed and driven by our youth—we can enable young people to develop the competencies, confidence, character, connection, and the contribution they need to affect the change they wish to see in the communities they are influenced and affected by,” Hon Smith said.
As such, he added that the initiative will allow youths will become active participants in shaping their own development and in creating community change.
Hon Smith underscored that the reason for most Think Tanks is to serve as important catalysts for ideas and action and with the VI facing social issues like Mental Illness, Poverty, Inflation, Crime, Inequality, Climate Change, the Spread of Infectious Disease, and more, good ideas that can be acted upon are essential to address those issues.
“Think Tank BVI, which will be owned, organised, managed, and operated by various youth members in the Virgin Islands and will be sponsored and facilitated by Forge BVI, will be hosting a series of community meetings in the coming weeks that will lead up to the official launch of a Think Tank Youth Forum,” Hon Smith added.
‘Think Tank BVI’ according to the Deputy Speaker, will furhter serve as a focal institute that ensures the concerns and solutions brought forward by local youth in the Virgin Islands.
He said these solutions can come via research, ideas, businesses, policies, and plans to be turned into action through the endorsement and support of the local government and various stakeholders.
“We can no longer just ‘talk’ for the sake of ‘talking’, we must provide our youth with the platforms, tools, and support they need to be prepared for the future they are destined to lead,” Hon Smith added.
Hon Smith said he endorses the youth that will be responsible for the development of Think Tank BVI and I look forward to seeing and hearing more from our youth through this project.
Persons seeking more information on Think Tank BVI, can visit their website at www.thinktankbvi.com and follow their social media accounts at @thinktankbvi.