#SABF2017 – Day 2

To begin the second day on a high note, the students went to the Student Lectures. Six students were selected in order to delve into their essays with the rest of the participants.

Augusto Ferraro (Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina), focused on evaluating Latin America’s levels of democratic participation and governability. In order to do that, he explained how the region brought different government models without previous adaptation to the reality of local societies. In a region where delegation of the power discourages citizen participation, he left evidence of the need for modernization and adaptation of these models.

Martín Gonzalo Zapico (Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Argentina), talked about where we come from and where we are going and how it connects with reality. He asked about what is truth opening up for debate its ties with power doing a brief recap on different perspectives throughout history. He concluded that seeking the truth is key in order to find our own identity.

Amal Atrakouti, from the AI Akhawayn University of Morocco, discussed in her lecture about the international laws that everybody accepts but only represent a few. She talked about knowledge on her continent, where war can be seen daily and it can reach agreements on how it should be in a time when there should no longer be any.

Rodrigo Varela from ITBA, Argentina, emphasized the importance of coming together on the way we think and our adaptation to the new world and its possibles changes. He proposed considering facts objectively and focussing on subjective information such as opinions, arguments and ideologies in order to debate.

Lene Mortensen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, exposed in her lecture that thanks to the internet we have at our reach more information than ever, yet there’s a great gap between information and ignorance in order to improve decision making processes. She stresses the importance of press being responsible with the truthfulness of the information that offers.

Lucas Hernán Minutella from the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (Buenos Aires, Argentina) focused on user empowerment regarding the information they generate in his talk. People are always generating information from opinions expressed to actions taken. He emphasized how ideal it would be to be neutral and not profit with others person’s information. In order to do that, users should know about the tools available and use them to take control over their own information.

During the second activity of the morning, Interactive Lessons offered different spaces where the participants could listen to and talk with experts on different fields.

Andrés Snitcofsky, graphic designer of Cargografías, showed us different charts in order to demonstrate the importance of understanding them. Visualizing them is different from making them visible and we have to understand and apprehend the information that surrounds us.

Silvana Bonnet, Canales’s Head of Communication, talked about how little knowledge there is about the needs, the language and ways of communication of hard of hearing people around the world. She focused on breaking some myths and delved into the idea of how is the inclusion of hard of hearing people in the world of hearing people. Nowadays inclusion is a theme with growing relevance.

Dan Phillips, Founder and designer of The Phoenix Commotion shared with us his work with building recycled housing from raw and free materials that served as a starting point towards discussion. “I might not win my battles but I know what my battles are”, Dan says.

Eduardo Otero Torres made us think about paradigms regarding sexuality and the social shift currently happening. He explained how sexuality has not to do with sexual practices but with our gender and how we take care of our body. Through gender’s theory he broke the idea of having one determined gender because of our sex.

Matías Attwell, Manager of Media Partnerships for Latam at Google, talked about current global tendencies regarding online consumption habits and the future that comes with virtual reality.

In a third set of activities the participants gathered for Dynamic Activities.

Debate Activity

After going through the best practices for debating with Argentine Debating Association, the participants discussed about several relevant topics while learning and practicing how to carry a debate.

Art as Activism

Amen Ra y Natasha Hopper invited the participants to reflect on different topics, exposing their ideas through poems.

Fact Checking 101

The activity by Chequeado, a local organization that works towards verifying speeches, was led by Nira Dinerstein, from the Education Team and Ana Paula Valacco, from the Communication Department. Throughout different activities the students learned about the method that the Editorial Staff uses in order to check the information, the definition of a checked statement and how to use data in everyday life to validate speeches.

Empathic Design in Action

The activity led by Escuela de Posgrado ITBA aimed for each participant to successfully take the place of someone else, achieving to empathize with their needs. Afterwards, everyone thought about different initiatives that could help to solve these needs.

During the fourth segment of the day, the participants chose between two activities: Project Generator and Mentoring Sessions. The first, focused on making a project out of an idea and the second, aimed to teach how to go on an introspective journey.

During the project generator segment, Demian Brener (Head of the OpenZeppelin project). He explained what’s blockchain and how they worked. Afterwards he shared his experience with this technology and business, where the opportunities are plenty. When blockchain first appeared, Demian had a lot of ideas that were ahead of the time, since they relied on a bigger market, like the one there’s today. However, this didn’t keep him from undertake new businesses.

Paula Coto, part of the Education team at CIPPEC, highlighted the need for educative projects that merge different players (parents, teachers, neighbours) in the bringing up of the students and the importance of working towards common objectives in order to build education. “Knowledge Communities”, the project she leads, aims for a school transformation not only as an educative institution but also as a social one, from a perspective that also includes the neighbourhood. She also seeks to know how to build a space where all those players can express themselves and give sense to a shared space.

Alexis Caporale (Director of Energy for the Baikal Institute) shared how he began his own enterprise and gave different recommendations to the participants so that they could improve in their field of passion. He highlighted the need for a workplace where the purpose and direction of the company are known. Usually, the main reason why a project does not succeed is the lack of clearness on the objectives on what’s been done. He states that this generation of participants has been made to break the rules and it’s up to them to find their passion, without taking up on obligations that are not aligned with themselves.

Melina López (Marketing Manager at Google Cloud Brasil) told us about her experience with an organization she founded with some of her university classmates, Nuevas Puertas. Even though the project finally ended, she still works with them on matters regarding education. Furthermore, she explained how was the process of getting hired at Google, where she is now Marketing Manager at Google Cloud Brasil. Among her recommendations two stand out: “Be vocal about your references”: expressing her interest of working in Google helped her find out about the internship program and “Prepare and be honest”: prepare and have an honest CV.

The mentoring sessions were in charge of Dan Phillips (Founder and designer, The Phoenix Commotion), Faustino Arias (General Manager CALSA), Félix Peña (Director of Instituto Comercial Internacional Fundación ICBC), Rick Dow (Director of The DOJO Group), Rob Britton (Strategic and Marketing Consultant at AirLearn), Susan Giuliano (Leadership Development Lee Hecht Harrison Argentina Director), Valeria Venegas (Partner of CocoLab).

Some quotes about these sessions:

“ He helped me understand how a professional career evolves, that works doesn’t necessarily comes right away but that it can also arrive as a surprise”. – Vincent Le Régent (Participant, France) on Feliz Peña’s sessions.

“Even though it’s difficult, you have to be truth to yourself.” – Dora María Racca (Ex Organizer) on Rob Britton’s session.

#SABF2017 – Day 1

SABF 2017; Day 1; In case you blinked, here’s everything that went down.

Challenging our Identity

To kick off this year’s opening segment, Eric Vilain invites us to consider the different aspects of sexuality with regards to anatomy and identity. Contemplating the consequences of clinical labeling, he questions the need for exceptions and surmises what criteria this path would entail. Finally, he argues in favor of an evidence-based approach to the subject and quotes that “good ethics require good data”.

Next up is Agustin Fuentes, who manages a 10 minute recap of over 2 million years of human history. Looking at our similarities and differences to our genetic ancestors, he singles out our creativity as the defining factor of our human identity; our ability for cooperation and developing communities earns a special mention. He further touches on our growing inequality and stresses the importance of context in solving conflicts. Closing on a positive note he holds that if millions of years are anything to go by, we know how to work together.

Accompanying her captivating oratory with a measure of humor, Anna Kazumi Stahl speaks of her personal experience with seemingly exclusive elements of our official identities. She proposes that identity is essentially sameness relative to oneself and advocates for more complex descriptors as opposed to labels. With regards to different cultures, she welcomes an honest respectful society where “differences become a dialogue”.

What is home? In the closing debate, the three speakers contemplate the roles of language and imagination in what we perceive as ours. They discard the idea of a single such emotional domicile, and highlight our human capacity as “niche creators”. Following questions, Eric examines the notion of sexuality as a combination of hardware and software as well as the implications of being free to choose one’s gender; Agustin delves into institutionalized discrimination, and Anna suggests that in our search for our voice or “brand”, one might lose sight of one’s empathy.

Reality Gap:

“Slowly and then all at once”, Rick Dow explains the circumstances that lead to the inexplicable. What moves essentially good people to make bad choices? We examine the roles of a declining middle class, decreased empathy, and the power of big money in setting the stage for “politics of fear and hate”. However, in a characteristic moment of optimism, Rick protests the idea of a zero-sum world and incites us to take action; to “defend the truth vigorously” and be “actively empathic”. Success, he reminds us, is the sum of small choices.

Laura Zommer’s mission, as she puts it, is to “increase the cost of lying”, in a world that flaunts a growing disregard of facts and increasing data manipulation. She takes us through the 7 types of “fake news” and warns us of the slippery slope that is confirmation bias. Journalism, she asserts, needs to change; it needs to evolve based on what the people need from it. The first steps? – Method transparency and audience involvement.

Lastly, Joan Lucariello explains the dual nature of our preconceptions and underlines the importance of understanding and dealing with misconceptions in particular. These, she tells us, are intrinsically linked to our knowledge base in such a way that “what we already know shapes our learning”. Next, we look at possible courses of action with respect to teaching, as well as different tools and strategies to challenge misconceptions in general. The daunting task of conceptual change becomes substantially more attainable.

Together on stage, Rick, Laura, and Joan’s answers are definitive. “Politicians do not care about facts because people do not care about facts”, but it is the public’s responsibility to seek and demand truth.

 

Empathic Design:

Alexander Laszlo invites us to reconsider empathy. He touches on empathic intelligence, the empathic imperative as well as he differentiates between cognitive and emotional empathy. Love, as the coexistence of legitimate others, is identified as a key element of our creativity. He declares that human systems should be designed with others and not for others.

To the audience’s delight, Alejandro Nieponice’s opening rundown of technological advances in his field includes impressive live footage. Once he has caught their attention, he discusses the future of robotized surgery and stresses the need for doctors to rediscover their role in a changing medical landscape. Asked about AI, he states that robots will never match human empathy.

Diego Fernández shares his experience with the task of breaking the 85-year-long isolation of the 46-hectare “Barrio 31”. We’re reminded of the importance of humility and patience in approaching a problem, and that valid solutions must be obtained as a joint effort. Finally, Diego stresses how critical it is to obtain feedback and praises prototypes as an essential tool to learn from and adapt a project.

In this segment’s debate, the speakers look at technology as a social gap closer. They advocate for problem-based learning and criticize generalizations and stereotypes, urging us to “give hope to find hope”. We’re offered a new definition of technology as “crystallized culture” and are invited to seek consonance, coherence, and lasting connections.

Natasha Hooper and Amen Ra’s powerful rendition of “Islamophobia” leaves us speechless. They ask us, in perfect unison, if we see it, and without stopping to catch their breath, they make sure that we do. They show us what it looks like when we let fear, hate, and ignorance win out over our shared humanity, and urge us to look further.

Lastly, Diego Luzuriaga helps us integrate the day’s themes with a skillful recap; a touching video conveys that “an open world begins with an open mind”, and Diego offers his closing thoughts.

“What is the purpose of our differences?”

“What is our greatest common denominator?”

“Could it be that our vulnerabilities bind us together?”

“What are you going to do?”

 

What are SABFers up to 13 years after the first edition?

*By Gisela de la Villa and Catalina Gálvez

After 3 days of having been sharing group activities, workshops, inspiring talks, dinners, and events alongside 99 other people, you may wonder if the connections you made and the time invested in so many learnings will be put to good use at home and in the future.

 

To show what the participants have been up to after having attended the SABF, we made a poll which we distributed just a few days before the 13th edition of the conference. In just two days, 61 participants from all editions replied, and we believe their responses are a clear reflection of what awaits the participants after having been through the event. So, dear 100 new chosen participants, prepare to read about what you’ll start living from tomorrow on!

 

SABF’s impact in a participant’s life

74% of the participants replied that the conference “was a great experience and influenced 100% my life after having participated”. The rest of them assure us that the SABF was a positive experience and they’re happy they’ve attended.

 

“SABF gave me my best friends, opened the doors to a whole new world of dynamic people, restless and intelligent, whom I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It opened the doors to infinite opportunities and many other conferences around the world!

 

 

Changes in behaviour and thinking

Over 75% affirms that the talks and having shared and discussed with young people from other cultures modified their way of thinking and seeing the world.

 

“We’ve questioned many concepts and we’ve been able to collectively discuss future perspectives from different points of view. Without a doubt, cultural and professional bias crumble when you share so much time and so many debates with other young people”.

 

“SABF left a permanent mark. Knowing that we live through different issues that share a common origin, and that that unites us even more in our wish to create a better world, was a turning point”.

“It motivated me to go beyond, to not settle for what I had accomplished so far”

“At a time at which I was still a university student, SABF introduced me to the world of entrepreneurship, social impact and collaborative work, which lead me to starting my own social enterprise”.

 

international opportunities

Most of those who answered the poll were inspired by SABF to seek similar opportunities. 77% claim it was the first of a series of conferences they attended, and nearly 20% are currently living outside their country of origin.

 

“Thanks to the SABF I’ve met incredible people who showed me a world of possibilities I didn’t know. Due to the event, I’ve travelled to Europe and the USA to attend (and even organize!) similar conferences in very prestigious universities, like IE (Spain) and Harvard (USA)”.

“I liked the format, the dynamics, the people, the content, and the general experience so much, that I’ve sought more conferences like SABF. I’ve been able to travel on a scholarship to Norway, Germany, Brazil, and it motivated me to build my own event for the youth, as well as leaving my country in search of new opportunities ”.

“After attending SABF, I’ve decided that my professional career didn’t have to remain local. It lead me to project my career internationally, on which I’m still working to this day”.

 

 

Lasting connections

After the question “what was the biggest impact the SABF had on your life”, all questions agree on the fact that they value the people you meet the most. These connections don’t stop at friendship, but also become business relationships. 26% affirm they’ve started up a project with another SABFer, and 18% tried.

 

SABFgave me my first job, a huge network, a political party of which I’ve been a part, and currently an enterprise I’ve co-founded. All this happened thanks to people I’ve met through SABF. I’ve also made friends scattered around the world”.

“Finding so many people with a genuine wish to make a positive impact on the world and finding like-minded people with whom to share ideas and nurture from them was a motivation and inspiration to not stay in my comfort zone ”.

“SABF gave me the chance to bond with people with a high impact on their communities, convincing myself that I’m one of them if I want to, incorporate a global and innovative view and, last but not least, meet my best friends, who are people I greatly admire”.

 

Plus, 92% says they’re still in touch with other participants of their same edition!

 

“Thanks to SABF, I met my girlfriend”.

 

We wish the greatest success to all 100 participants chosen for the 13th SABF edition! Use these days to learn, meet, talk and debate all you