The launch of a Social Innovation Lab at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business will assist young people to find economic opportunities, Catalina Herrera Roca, managing director and country officer at Citibank said yesterday.
"Within the Citi Foundation, this project is aligned to providing opportunities for our youths to effectively compete for economic opportunities and succeed in the 21st century economy. These young people will require a mix of education, employability, entrepreneurship and leadership skills.
"The Citi Foundation is focused on programmes that help young people to link education goals with leadership skills, training, professional networks and the entry way to employment.
Therefore we are highly interested in the Social Innovation Lab Project," she said.
Herrera spoke at a ceremony for the handing over of a cheque of US$70,000 to the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School for the launch of the project at the Arthur Lok Jack School, Mt Hope.
Commenting on the project she said: "A social innovation lab takes an experimental and collaborative approach to generating solutions for social and environmental challenges. This is part of an emerging global field of labs for social benefit.
"Labs have emerged in response to our growing need to find new processes to support people in government, civil society, and the private sector as they search for breakthrough solutions to serious economic, social and environmental problems. They come in different forms , but most strive to offer a place for creative, cross sector and cross disciplinary decision making and innovation.'
Herrera said the project is one of the first of its kind for T&T and she is interested to see over time the increase in the number of low income young people who complete post secondary education, gain skills to enhance employability, become employed, or start their income generation business.
She added that this is the second time Citi Foundation has partnered with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School. The first was a year ago when the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Business Incubator was launched.