Current Affairs

Student-Run Workshops

On Saturday, activities started with the Student Workshops. This dynamic gives students the possibility to present the best essays of the eighth edition of the South American Business Forum.

In this edition, the students in charge of these workshops were:

Carla Giovanoni, from the Universidad de la República de Uruguay, shared her ideas about international integration in this new era of globalization. “If we want real long term solutions in order to solve these issues, we must create an international authority. This organism should be based on some basic principles like peace, justice and solidarity.

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Alternative education, new ways of teaching

In late April, under the theme “Inspire your ideas” took place in Buenos Aires the first universitary TEDx event in Argentina, TEDxUTN. Probably most of you already know what are these globally spread talks, but if not, you can find more information on the official website of TEDand TEDx. The event consisted of 15 talks which discussed several issues, from education and entrepreneurship, to travelling and astrology.

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What do the SABF 2012 participants think?

Like every year, during the application time we receive the essays written by potential participants seeking to be part of the event.

We congratulate each student who worked inspired by the main topic. We are aware of the big effort that represented working around the three themes outlined in this opportunity: the enterprise, the individual and regional level. It has been very interesting reading the essays, we  want to highlight the way in which the students organized their ideas, implementing their knowledge and transmitting their vision.

We appreciate the time invested by the students, in order to this we decided to share with you one of the most outstanding english speaking production from SABF 2012 participants.

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The founding team

This article is part of a series about going from “I’d like to start a business” to having a small start-up running, and beyond. If you haven’t read the previous articles, I recommend you do so by going to the first one, which includes a small table of contents.

If you ask members of five different startups which ones they believe are the keys to their business success, you will probably get various answers. But I can assure you, one of those keys will pop out in all cases: to manage to put together an exceptional team..

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Latin America after an Euro collapse

Euro’s partial or total death seems to be behind the corner. Even if Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, keeps injecting liquidity or the European Central Bank decides to “rescue” Spain or Greece (the last bailout consisted of 169 billions of dollars), the euro zone faces systemic economic problems that can’t be solved printing money: slow growth, skyrocketing debts, huge fiscal deficits, high unemployment and short competiveness.

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The social protests in Latin-America as a tool of power groups.


The massive communication and the citizen’s participation in politics

Currently, the social networks have turn into the tools of the construction of a world with an interconnection that can not be compared. This technological development of the massive communication, has produced lots of variations in the daily live of many people, in relation with their way of interacting with the rest of the society; and furthermore, the citizen’s massive participation in politics has become more common with the finality of expressing the sensation of diverse groups about certain socially relevant topics. In this sense, we do not need more than a couple of hours to gather a big group of people unknown between each other, but united by a common idea, with the finality of initiating an explicit opposition against a government.

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Let’s save Seba

TODOSxSebas  is an initiative from Sebastián Corbat’s family and friends to try to get him a marrow transplantation. Sebastian is  37 years old and he has a genetic affection called  XLP. It is a rare almost always fatal disease that affects only boys. To date only about 100 families and 400+ boys have been diagnosed worldwide. Because of it, 4 of his brothers had already died. Now hi has aplastic anemia, a complication that afects 3% of the people with XLP and if he doesn’t get this bone marrow transplantation, he can not sourvive. We need to get 974.000 USD to cover the expenses for his travel to Boston to get the treatment. The objective is to get it in the least amount of time as posible to make this 1 year procedure in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA. With the treatment he has 75% chance of survival. We thank you all for all the help you can give us by:

  • Donations: there are many ways to do  it, for more information go to the web site.
  • Diffusion: we made some math and with 450.000 people, donating U$D 3 we will get to the amount that we need. Help us with diffusion through the facebook group or ussing the hashtag #todosxseba on twitter.

The entily organizing team of the SABF, his friends and family, we thank you all for your help. For more information you can send an email to info@todosxseba.com.ar

What are the implications of socio-environmental business’s responsibility?

We are living unstable times under permanent change where everything seems to be disposable and instantaneous. We are living fast, avoiding the obligations of what’s permanent. This last, that we can observe in severe spheres of our lives, is very easily recognized in our daily consumes that conform our life styles and influence human behavior.

Products we buy tend to be for its immediate consumption, only a few of them are for long-term use and, what’s more, new and better versions constantly burst out.  Companies offer us a large amount of products to be used and wasted, resulting in severe damages for our environment. This last has generated critics from movements and institutions that defend the environment, mostly on what refers to the responsibility of those who provide us with products, its inputs, raw materials, processes, etc. This last explains why, in the core of companies, people have started to think what RSE implies. But now; what does it mean to be a responsible company?

In these last years, consumers have started to get used to having some signs and detailed descriptions in the cover of products where we are told that it’s biological, ecological, eco-friendly and/or made with recycled materials. This last is part of the new strategies from RSE. This implies that companies who offer those goods have started some kind of change (either profound or superficial) in their environmental policies.

According to the International Labour Organization, RSE is the reflex of the way companies think and consider the repercussions of their activities over society and where they affirm the principles and values that rule their own methods, internal processes and their relationship with other members. 

RSE is a volunteer initiative that only depends on the company and refers to the activities that are considered to go beyond the simple law performance. RSE is a specific responsibility way that some companies have chosen to deal with the challenge proposed by the ecology. These organizations tend to have a direct contact with their customers and clients, becoming more “permeable” towards the demand of society. This way, companies bring up changes in the way they produce and/or direct money injections to finance eco-friendly programs.

I can provide two reasons (that are sometimes separately, some others together) that propel the development of RSE programs:

  • Firstly, the good will of some entrepreneurs as conscious individuals regards environmental problems.
  • Secondly, the use of these programs as part of the organization’s marketing. Informed consumers are now requiring green products and the company has to satisfy this demand of the actual and future market. In many opportunities, companies use this strategy as a way of adding specific value to their products that diference them from their competence. That way,  companies have to spread their campaigns to have an increase in sales. A good example of  this are the supermarkets that promove the use of recyclable bags with biodegradable materials and sell them in their stores.

On the other hand, some companies decide not to care about the RSE. They deny the environmental impact of their activities and accuse politicians and environmentalists to be conspiring against te free market promoting restrictions and regulation that block the company’s activities. An example of this is the oil companies that t have acted a as an important lobby against the theory of climate change. They continue with their activities because they consider that if they stop doing what they do, there will be always another agent ready to take that economic opportunity.

Now I ask you: Which are the consequences of being a RSE in the business world? The human and environmental systems are synergic, so the accumulation of good and bad practices generate effects that exceeds the sum of the individual acts. How to find the balance between the real needs and the future generation’s rights?

THE SUPER “S”. Another way to protect your privacy online

When I was in 2nd grade, our teacher explained how to conjugate verbs in the present tense. For this, she created a character, The “Super S” Snake, who would add the letter “s” to the verbs of the 3rd person singular. We are used to conjugating verbs automatically, so I thought of two easy examples to illustrate the “Super S”: He likes SABF, or She goes to school everyday. Continue reading…

Enterprise: from utility to common wealth

The mobilizations throughout the world in 2011 have certainly set a precedent that will remain in the history of the beginning of the XXI Century. From the outraged from Spain, Occupy Wall Street, and even the Chilean student movement, we find a common factor, a discontent with a system that has now acquired a global character, marked by individualism and a material well-oriented vision, where power is not in the hands of people and with large inequalities. I don’t think there’s lack of resources nor of technology nor means to achieve a greater overall welfare. On the contrary, I feel there are injustices lying deep in the whole system: why do some people have access to certain privileges only because of their power positions while others watch them astonished?. We shouldn’t forget that the financial crisis was generated by investment firms who took extremely risky practices, speculating on the boom, caused by the relaxation on credit on the U.S. housing sector. It is fair that the rest of the planet is paying with higher unemployment, poverty and debt caused by this speculation? Did the companies involved loose? No, people lost. How should firms read this new scenario? What actions should they develop?

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