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Merging Private Sector, Global Development,& Entrepreneurship With Jharonne Martis

Aruban national and polyglot Jharonne Martis talks in this episode of VOC about fashion, mentorship and how her life as a global citizen has brought her from Aruba to Florida to New York City.

She serves as the Director of Consumer Research at Thomson Reuters in New York City where her key responsibilities include providing insight into company outlooks, revealing trend expectations, and yielding clues to anticipated consumer behavior and how emerging entrepreneurs can be mentored. She is one of the most widely quoted authorities at Thomson Reuters, and covers a broad base of retail and consumer topics and market trends. She has a deep understanding of the consumer market with the main goal to keep entrepreneurs and those in the making encouraged. This small island powerhouse, contributed to key projects at the NASA J.F. Kennedy Space Center and her research has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN Money, and Barron’s, and she has appeared on CNBC’s Power Lunch and The Nightly Business Report, as well as other financial news outlets.

From an international development perspective, it is fascinating and encouraging to see that private sector organizations like Thomson Reuters invest in youth empowerment and help millennial problem solvers and doers to cause a shift in consumer behavior to find innovative ways of economic growth. To utilize young people’s potential as agents of change in developing nations; it requires involving and empowering them in development issues, policies and supporting their participation at all levels. In her work Jharonne does exactly that. She helps youth to find their voice, niche and outlet and helps them to build a business out of their idea. This is what we call in international development “Elicit and Tacit Knowledge Sharing Mechanism.” Knowledge Sharing in international development is known to be an effective and distinctive development tool, engaging both development assistance providers from the Global North and the South. As a result, youth in those emerging markets is provided significant opportunities to promote both learning on development experiences and to maximize resources, capacities and knowledge.

How does Thomson Reuters with Jharonne as their Ambassador share this knowledge? As an expert in her domain, she speaks at global events including the Legacy Conference, the largest student ‎entrepreneurship event in Canada. She also teaches workshops, and judges startups at conferences like the ATECH conference in Aruba, for example. Jharonne joined forces/joined hands with Varelie Croes ,co-founder of ATECH conference and first ever Chief Innovation Officer of the government of Aruba and mentored start-ups during the conference on how they can find effective measures to scale up their businesses.

From the entrepreneurial angle, it is inspiring to see a country's government host hackathons to create innovative solutions to the challenges they face. If Aruba can do it, why can't other countries? Their focus on remaining connected as a community and coming back to the island with diverse skills and experiences to share with their home culture is something we Americans should consider.

As a self-made woman from a small town who always aspired to live in a big city, I really identified with Jharonne's childhood dream to work for NASA. I love that she had the tenacity to chase that dream, and advocate for a position that didn't exist... and succeeded in landed her dream job. Change agents tend to be individuals who not only dream big, but do big!

At VOC, we are going deep and want our guests to tell us their “naked truth”. After each interview we ask our guests an array of questions and just like the Vehicles of Change card game, we want our guests to answer those questions in the most honest way. See what Jharonne shared and learn from her experience on how she became a Vehicle of Change. If she can, so can you.

What is your best advice for someone who wants to become a vehicle of change?

Keep Moving Forward! If you are going to become a Vehicle of Change it’s going to take patience, strong will, and effort. Find a topic and outlet you feel passionate about so you can have fun with it. Go deeper, and expand into a community, find a mentor and peers that share and support your goals and vision. In the process, you will experience changes, and might not have any control over your circumstances. But, you can choose your attitude. Decide to shake of the disappointments, never let it steal your joy, and celebrate your successes. But above all, never stay there – always strain forward to what lies ahead! You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner?

The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. - Unknown

Want to stay in touch with Jharonne?

Twitter: @JharonneMartis Instagram: retailfash