The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, established in August 2012, is nation brand think tank committed to advancing global knowledge and understanding of Jamaica by advocating for the promotion of Jamaica’s credentials in business, the arts, science and technology, culture, education and sport. We aim to unearth new perspectives and produce new narratives in order to tell a more complete and complex story about Jamaica.
Specifically, we aim to tell the story of Jamaica through the accomplishments of its citizens at home, and in the Diaspora; in so doing, we hope to position the Jamaican people as a core expression of Jamaican identity in the global arena.
To carry out our work, we adopt a five-pronged approach:
- To undertake systematic evaluation of the Jamaican national brand through research and analysis.
- To raise awareness about Jamaican credentials internationally, and deepen understanding among global publics about what Jamaica has to offer to garner greater investment interest.
- To promote pride and patriotism at home through various campaigns at home.
- To contribute to the mobilisation of Jamaican professionals in the Diaspora to become more fully invested in Jamaica, and return Jamaican people at the centre of the global discourse on Jamaica.
- To contribute to revised policy perspectives and action with regard to ‘Brand Jamaica’.
Jamaica is a tiny island situated in the Caribbean Sea – a mere speck on the world map inhabited by a mere 2.8 million people. Jamaica can make bold claims of having an extraordinary presence, posture and esteem in the world, thanks to its massively successful tourism destination, brand, its popular export commodities, and its legendary and famed personalities in music, culture and sport.
Yet, regrettably, existing positive global coverage of Jamaica’s outstanding brand achievements is often negated by its rival brands – economic instability (debt, poverty unemployment), crime, corruption and perceptions of declining human rights. The consequence is a contradictory, perplexing and problematic public image of Jamaica, with severe consequences for investment, tourism promotion as well as economic and social progress.
The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project points at the imperative for Jamaican authorities to evaluate the nation’s public image, establish a consolidated brand image that transcend the sand-sun-sea tourism model to cater to Jamaican credentials in business, the arts, sports, science and technology, education etc. It is also important that Jamaica manages the impact of prolonged crises on its brand, and attempt to re-imagine Jamaica, in order to attract strategic advantage in terms of trade and tourism in light of the increasingly competitive global marketplace.
Jamaica Perception Research – 2014
The Jamaica Perception Research is an extensive qualitative research project we conducted in Jamaica, United Stated and England in June and July 2014. Our team met with and conducted one on one interviews and focus groups with a cross section of Jamaicans residing in the three contexts named above to their explore the perceptions of Jamaica, including positive and negative characteristics. The overall goal is to find out whether Jamaica’s positive accomplishments in sports, music and as a tourism destination is being weakened by its experience of crime, corruption, economic instability (debt, unemployment) and poor human rights. This research was supported by a grant of $7000 USD from the Foundation to Promote Teaching and Scholarship at Roger Williams University.
Civic Education Initiative
In our effort to return the Jamaican people to the centre of the global discourse on Jamaica, we are working on a series of projects which recognise the accomplishments of the Jamaican people to the the nation’s public international image, and increase the knowledge of Jamaicans about their own country. These are currently in progress, and we will provide more information shortly.
Jamaica Diaspora UK 4th Biennial Conference, Birmingham June 2014
Chairman of the Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, Dr. Hume Johnson delivered the keynote address at the 4th Biennial Conference of the Jamaica Diaspora Uk Organisation in Edgebaston, Birmingham June 13-15, 2014. In her address entitled ‘Brand Jamaica and the Jamaican Diaspora’, Dr. Johnson focused on how the Diaspora may broaden the scope of its involvement in the development process, solidify positive perceptions of Jamaica abroad, and enlist their supporting in promoting Brand Jamaica.
Public Lecture, Jamaica High Commission, London, June 2014
Chairman of the Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, Dr. Hume Johnson delivered a public lecture entitled ‘Harnessing Jamaica’s National Brand for Economic Growth’ at the Jamaica High Commission on June 17, 2014. In her lecture, Dr. Johnson argued that Jamaica holds a strong position globally in terms of symbolic and cultural narratives yet remains poor. She asks how can this fame be exploited for economic growth and affluence.
The Re:Imagine Jamaica Symposium, 2015 – Jamaica
The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, in association with the Center For Leadership and Governance, University of the West Indies (UWI), Jamaica, invites paper proposals for the inaugural Brand Jamaica symposium entitled “Re-Imagine Jamaica: Unlimited Possibilities” to be held on July 16-17, 2015 at the University of The West indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica. Interested parties should sent a 300-500 word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15, 2014. Abstracts should clearly address one or more of the conference themes, and also include affiliation and contact details.
Jamaica: A Famous, Strong but Damaged Brand (Journal of Nation Brand and Public Diplomacy, Palgrave, 2015).
ABOUT THE CHAIR – Dr. Hume Johnson
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