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St. Maarten graduates want to help to develop their island


A new initiative has been launched in the Netherlands: the Unleashed Potential Group (UPG) which aims to assist in solving St. Maarten’s economic, environmental and social issues.

UPG has developed a knowledge and resource hub for projects, which organisations and groups can readily access for positive impact. According to the initiative, St. Maarten could benefit from highskilled graduates from St. Maarten who have studied in the Netherlands. These (pre)graduates want to help make a difference for their island.

UPG founder Raimond Nicodem and a number of pre and postgraduates from St. Maarten and Saba, all currently residing in the Netherlands, have developed a knowledge and resource hub for projects to which organisations in St. Maarten could have access to and benefit from.

In a press release, UPG spoke of co-partnerships between students abroad with UPG and organisations, firms and institutions on the island to encourage a repatriation of skills and knowledge for solving complex issues.

Currently, there is a growing recognition that “traditional” approaches have failed to solve complex disparities, shared among many large firms, institutions and individuals in St. Maarten.

“This loss of understanding is due to many converging factors, including the failure to incorporate multi-level explanations,” stated Nicodem of UPG. “To effectively curb those issues, feedback from this community of knowledgebased individuals needs to be addressed.”

College and university educated and highly skilled graduates contribute their expertise to the economy of other countries, causing a drawback for St. Maarten because they are not returning to their island after finalising their studies abroad. This potentially threatens the speed of progression of economic, environmental and social developments.

UPG wants to contribute with evidence to the efforts of improving the island’s well-being and showing that investing in people unlocks indispensable resources for progress with an approach that utilises the acquired knowledge of highly-skilled graduates living in the Netherlands.

Together with the cooperation of St. Maarten organisations, UPG works to provide value in carrying out projects that will have a positive impact on the local economic, environmental and social developments.

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