Dr. Kent Wessinger’s education:
Ph.D., Prescott College
Sustainability Education with a multidisciplinary emphasis in socio-economic sustainability within developing cultures, corporations, and organizations suffering from workforce migration due to suppressed entrepreneurial environments of innovation development
Sustainability Education Fellowship––2012-2016
M.A., Regent University
Recipient of the World Leadership Scholarship
B.S., Kennesaw State University
Small Business Management
Kent’s path of life:
Kent Wessinger’s unique path of life has provided him with amazing experiences, significant relationships around the world, and a broad perspective of life. Having lived in the rural mountains of Jamaica, next to the sea on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, and on the south shore of St John, U.S. Virgin Islands; his life has been shaped through deep relationships in cultures beyond his upbringing in Atlanta, Georgia. Recognizing the value that perspectives from other cultures add to his life, he has had the privilege of spending significant time in South Africa, Fiji, Costa Rica and an Arawak Indian village in the Amazon Basin of southern Guyana. Each piece of Kent’s unique journey has collectively grown him as an author, educator, keynote speaker and entrepreneur.
Kent places a high priority on understanding and creating paths of sustainable growth for corporate, organizational, and social cultures. Recognizing that our truest identity is established through the development, ownership and implementation of innovative ideas of value; he believes that every culture has the opportunity to secure sustainable growth when allowed to freely access environments of innovative practice. However, his research emphatically reveals that when environments of entrepreneurship and innovative practice are strategically suppressed or omitted, inequality and instability abound. As a result, Kent seeks to “Give Life” to cultures, corporations and organizations through the tools of growth developed in his create2elevate research lab.
After experiencing the reality of life in the Caribbean for nearly two decades, I remain grieved by the level of suffering throughout the region, yet hopeful that a future of sustainable growth is within the realm of possibility. I am a first hand participant in and observer of the longstanding socioeconomic crisis that has forced the African culture in the Caribbean to repetitively ask the same question: “Why is all this hardship happening to us?” In order to participate in the solution, this project comprehensively explores the relationship between creative practice and the socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean––does limited access to environments that facilitate original and conceptual ideas correlate with the socioeconomic crisis in the region? Understanding the relationship and its outcomes could expose the source of long-term hardship and identify a path of sustainable growth for the African culture in the Caribbean. Accomplishing this objective required an analysis of four distinct perspectives: my observations as a participant in the culture, the historical progression of the region, recognized research that speaks directly to socioeconomic crisis and creative practice, and the voice of the culture. Reaching for clarity and rationale in answering the primary research question of this project––What is the relationship between creative practice and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean?––the highest priority of understanding and respect has been given to the voice of the Africans in the Caribbean. Therefore, the Afro-Caribs on St. John, United States Virgin Islands serve as the narrative to reflect the reality of life in a contemporary context for the culture. The outcomes and methods of analysis developed in this project should be a useful tool for other cultures seeking to alleviate socioeconomic crisis and implement a sustainable pathway of growth.
Keywords: Caribbean, creative practice, creativity, socioeconomic crisis, development, decolonization, dependency, living systems, oppression, cultural conditioning, chaos, Africans, West Indians.