Left picture: Susan Alzner – Right picture Megan Smith

Former United States President Barack Obama’s Chief of Technology Officer Megan Smith and lead Public Engagement at the Office of the President of the General Assembly and the Executive Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations Susan Alzner, will be keynote speakers at the fourth edition of the St. Maarten Innovations, Initiatives & Industries Link-up Event (SMILE), to be held on October 27 – 28, 2023.

This was announced today by the main organizers the St Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, 360º of Innovation of Aruba and Antonio Media from The Netherlands. After the second and final term of president Obama, Smith and Alzner co-founded Shift7. Shift7 believes in the collective genius of a community to transform people, places and systems. Finding solution in their eyes happens through inclusion and technology plays a vital role in this process. How this works, will be explained in Smith’s keynote speech at SMILE. SMILE and Shift7 already cooperated for the second edition of the event in 2019 are elated to have the organization back on St. Maarten for SMILE.

The SMILE event was established in 2018 with the aim to highlight innovative and sustainable companies and projects and to facilitate business to business networking in the Caribbean region and beyond. This year’s edition ‘SMILE III’ was visited by 129 companies, NGOs and governmental organizations, an increase of 45% compared to the second Edition in 2019.

As with its previous two editions, the event will center around best practices in innovation, sustainability. In the process it will facilitate local, regional and international business, NGO and government networking. Main organizer SHTA would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the sponsors, the Chamber of Commerce & Industries, University of St. Martin, Grant Thornton, Atlas Risk Solutions, the Department of Culture and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations for their involvement in the 2022 event and for continuously making this event a success.

The 2022 Edition had registered delegates from Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominica, Estonia, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Saba and the United States.

In total, the event was a platform for 25 speakers leading 20 keynote, masterclass and workshop sessions during the event. Organizers call on local, regional and international best practices pertaining to innovation, sustainability and professional development to make use of the SMILE platform and send in workshop and/or masterclass suggestions before October 29th, 2022. Those organizations wanting to take part in either pre-events or the main event or as a supporter can be subscribed without cost to the SMILE mailing list via events@shta.com or by calling +1721- 5420108. Information will be continuously updated at www.smilesintmaarten.com.

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