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Birth of a new wave of enthusiasm

The June 2016 workshop in The Netherlands was the “birth” of a new wave of enthusiasm. The workshop was organized by the Unified Sint Maarten Connection (USC) foundation on the island, which stimulates a greater sense of unity among Sint Maarten students and young professionals living in The Netherlands, and supported by KPMGs Dutch Caribbean & Suriname office on the St. Maarten island.

Purpose of the workshop was to train young professionals and post graduates from the island of St. Maarten on applicable topics. This workshop was conducted by turnaround specialist Raimond Nicodem on project- and program management: Methods, planning, pitfalls, practical learning elements, and so on.

It was an interactive workshop, together with the organizers and the group, on project- and program management. Excitement from everybody that was there.


One of the ideas launched during the workshop was to take up a real case on the island of St. Maarten and work together on creating an executable plan. Benefits: Maximum learning by doing and tangible results for the island. The outcome of this workshop presented extremely clear needs and goals.

Worked-out flipchart - Workshop Project Management - June 2016At the end of the workshop there was an overall interest to follow up on the idea based on the motivational factors, and further work this out in a subsequent activity in Q4 – 2016.

The idea is being followed up individually for further development.

Idea formed into initiative

In July 2016, expert Raimond Nicodem has been approached by Carlvin Brooks, one of the workshop participants, to talk about the ideas he developed from the workshop and to share the constraints in taking it steps forward.

From that meeting it became clear that we first need a strong fundament, and secondly to create something consistent as opposed to one-off events. A structure where things build onto each other to generate momentum.

We discussed the shared feeling to build this initiative to something more consistent and longer lasting in the form of a strategic plan from which we can jointly proceed onward in a strategically strong and consistent way.

Something else important came up during the meetings we had in the mean time, which is recognizing and understanding the feeling of uncertainty and even inferiority the people of Sint Maarten may feel about themselves. They undervalue themselves, wrongly so. We have to help to overcome that first to fertilize the ground before we can plant seeds to grow.