SABF Community

Juan Trouilh, founder and part of SABF’s Board of Members, told us about the need to form a stronger network of contacts among members of the SABF Community to encourage more encounters between them and to see what it generates. Juan invites all community members to join this project. Below you can find the story of one of these encounters.

On Sunday 6th I was at Barcamp 2011 at the University of San Andrés, when I met Dana Greco, SABF 2010 participant. She told me she had traveled to Las Vegas in May and she had the chance to meet an Argentinian person who happened to be a SABF jury. A great coincidence, right? I then asked her some questions to see if I knew him and she told me that this person was doing an MBA at Stanford. As much as I tried, I couldn’t figure out who he was.

The story may not seem that relevant now, but what at first may seem as a mere coincidence might not be so when I realize we are close to the eighth edition of SABF.
In these eight editions, 650 students from 40 different countries were involved with the forum as well as 150 speakers, 100 judges and more than 50 students of the organizing team.
I could go on stating the amount of companies, academics, journalists and others who have been involved in one way or another in the SABF. In total we are talking about around 1000 people that have helped build this forum in one way or another. That is lot of people given SABF’s short lifetime.

Dana was probably a “causal meeting” rather than a random one, and the not so transcendent story I was talking about, is a perfect example of what we have been thinking a long time ago in the Board of Members: SABF Community is reaching an “unknown dimension”, or at least one we could have never imagined, and we should start working more on it so we can strengthen and create more of these causal encounters, which give rise to interesting ideas and projects.

So far the SABF was primarily a student conference in Buenos Aires, and while we want to remain like that, a SABF Community could assist with this objective and also have a feed back. This conference is a great opportunity to learn, know, and start changing the world, and along with its community it could mean a space to doing this at levels that perhaps we can not imagine right now.

We don’t know exactly what can come out of these casual encounters, but they have a big potential for the exchange of ideas and initiatives. This is why we would like to start weaving the network of SABF Community with you, and we would also like to invite you to contact us through our mail: community@sabf.org.ar. Please send us your ideas, comments, questions or other things you want to share like other stories of “causal encounters” and friendships created in the SABF.
Any story between participants, judges and speakers is welcome.

Student-run workshop

Saturday activities at SABF 7th Edition began with the students run-workshops. This activity consisted in the presentation of the best essays of this edition, made by the participants who wrote it. Today, student run-workshops of the subtopic Technology and Information, Foundations of a 2.0 Society were done by Clara Antonio and Juan Pablo Nieto Stabile. Mauricio Barreda y Temitope Isedowo talked about the subtopic Economic Development in a Dynamic World, and Leandro Pisaroni and Militza Jonson based their presentation in Building Tomorrow’s Education, Transforming the Educational Model.

Juan Pablo Nieto Stabile talked about technologies like a way of democratization and a tool to be free. However, the web is social and, according to Nieto Stabile, collective intelligence generates ‘teams that are better than their components’. Clara Antonio shared similar ideas with Nieto stabile. She concluded that the challenge here is to embrace these new technologies in order to take advantage of the new possibilities they bring.

Concerning to dynamic economies, Mauricio Barreda talked about creative economies, based on processes where the application of new ideas can lead to the development of the community. In particular, he argued that creativity comes from ideas generation and the challenge is to let them grow in order to apply them. Temitope Isedowo pointed out the great difference between urban and rural areas that are underdeveloped in a huge scale according to the growth of the population and their needs. This is the reason why, rural areas are pushed into the background of development. Isewodo listed different factors for the development of these areas, like a rising in education demand, health and even provide economic incentives for the setting of industries in the region.

Finally, in education, Leandro Pisaroni holds that the principal cause of the qualified human resources shortage is the current education system, which is based on the supposition that only exists one type of intelligence and that it inhibit students natural talent. To improve this educational system, he proposes to reformulate the concept of intelligence to a wider one, stimulate creativity, motivate the students and increase the importance of the teaching function. Militza Johnson, based on Ken Robinson ideas, exposed the needed of revolutionize nowadays educations structures. However, he invited to think about the way we can begin this revolution. The challenge of our generations is there, in finding the way to speed up the methods of teaching according to the actual demand.

Round tables.

Another new feature of SABF’s 6th Edition was the Round Table. During this plenary, current leaders from different issues and areas, gathered around and exposed their views and main ideas with regards the topics dealt in the event. The following article presents the speakers involved, which were Federico Imposti Huerta (Country Manager and Sales Director of Amadeus Argentina); Bernardo Kosacoff (Academic director of CECyD, ITBA-UdeSA); Javier Braun (General Director of Avaya for South Cone); Felix Peña (Specialist on International Economic Relations and Economic Integration); Ernesto Taboada (Executive Director at the Commercial Chamber of Argentina and China); Faustino Arias (CEO, CALSA); Krishna Sundaresan (Manager of CRISIL Irevna); Marcos Golfari (Regional director of Ogilvy & Mather Latinoamérica); Tulio Calderón (Vice-president of Proyectos Aeroespaciales INVAP) and Guillermo Laborato (CEO for Latinoamérica & Director of Strategic Planning at DOW).

The SABF activities of the second day ended after the Round Table was over. After that, all participants enjoyed a casual dinner with pizza party. Keep following the blog coverage of the South American Business Forum and stay tuned!

Discover the Domain World & Win an iPod!

SABF’s Benefactor, InterNetX, has decided to challenge this year’s participants with a contest very near to both this edition’s subtopics and its own area of expertise: internet and the 2.0 society.

InterNetX GmbH, located in Regensburg, Germany, was founded in 1998. The company offers the essentials for any webhosting provider such as domains, network connections and webspace. InterNetX is a technical and strategic partner, operating for numerous global players in the background. With more than 3 million managed domains and about 1,600 physical servers, InterNetX is one of the largest service providers for professional users and resellers on the international marketplace.

We share the proposed challenge below.

After university, you decide to found a startup business. The business model is clear to you and you want to register the appropriate domain for it. Apart from your own ccTLD, you decide to register a domain name under .CO, .NET or .ORG. Explain your business model and why you would choose this TLD. Also, explain what you expect from your online presence and what you would do to maximize the outcome / profit of your domain name.

Please share your idea with us. To enter for the prize draw, submit your proposal as a PDF on max. 2 pages by July 24 to the provided email. Please don’t forget to mention which of the 3 TLDs you would choose and for what reason. Competition is open to SABF participants only and only one proposal is permitted per person. If you come up with a great idea, we might want to interview you. Please indicate if you are not willing to do so. This will have no effect on your winning chances.

Every day, more than 10,000 companies around the world make .net their domain of choice. Show the world your potential with a .net domain name.


.ORG is the domain for organizations, individuals, and companies to mobilize their communities, achieve a common goal, or pursue a shared cause.


.CO is the global and recognizable web address for launching great ideas. Bring your ideas to life on .CO today. www.Opportunity.CO


If you are a 2011 SABF participant, do not let this opportunity pass you by! Submissions are accepted until July 24

Business Today International Conference

Because we know SABFers are always looking for opportunities to debate and act, we would like to recommend you to participate in the 2011 edition of the Business Today International Conference. This event is going to be held in November, in New York City, United States. This year’s main topic is Pieces of the Puzzle: Putting Together the Global Economy.

As the global economy recovers from the financial crisis, businesses now face a great challenge: identifying how the last years’ events will permanently shift the way the business world operates. Some of the topics the conference will deal with are: Do the aftershocks of last recession merit a new strategic direction, or were they just a speed bump? In the wake of the recession, how are businesses picking up the pieces and finding their fit?

Who are the major actors that influence corporate decision making in 2011 and beyond? What trends do America’s business leaders feel will influence their companies in the next decade? How do corporations anticipate market fluctuations and use these predictions to identify an opportunity? How will changes in world’s natural resources affect businesses moving forward?

Conference Director Andrea Wolberg asked us to re-transmit this message, shared with you below.


I’m the Director of Business Today’s 2011 International Conference, and applications are live and due on July 24th!

Business Today is an organization I’m involved with at Princeton, founded by Steve Forbes when he was an undergrad. The International Conference will be held Nov 20-22 and is an all-expenses paid (airfare/hotel/meals), 3-day event held at the Grand Hyatt in NYC. It’s is the perfect opportunity to wine and dine with Fortune 500 CEOs: Past executive speakers have included Steve Forbes, Bill Ford, Alan Blinder, and the leaders of Avon Cosmetics, Godiva, Southwest Airlines and many more companies. We just confirmed Wendy Kopp (the Founder of Teach for America) and Ron Meyer (President & COO of Universal Studios) as two of the keynote addresses for this year’s conference.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at awolberg@princeton.edu

The only candidate requirement is to be an undergraduate student at university. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Professional Internships Abroad: the AIESEC proposal that will rock your foundations

Last year, Natalia Kuyumllian, a 20 year old Commercialization student, went on a professional exchange to Brazil through the NGO AIESEC Bs As, organization in which she currently takes part as a volunteer. Today she tells us about her experience.

AIESEC is the international platform for university students and recent graduates who look to become agents of change and generate a positive impact on society. Based on the concept of global learning and seeking personal as well as professional development, the NGO gives 10000 members each year the challenging opportunity of living and working in another country. Natalia found AIESEC almost by mistake, looking for a job on an employment website. However, she decided to apply, got in and shortly after was granted her desired internship at a non-profit organization in Brazil: ACAO MORADIA.

Why did you decide to go on an exchange? What motivated you?

I have wanted to go on an exchange ever since high school. I liked the idea of finding myself alone in a different country, getting to know other cultures, speaking another language and find out about other lifestyles.

What type of job and tasks did you do?

I worked in marketing consulting. The ONG of which I was part was dedicated to teaching a trade to low-income people and helping them create their own micro-enterprises and we did the consulting for the latter. I worked with a Colombian girl with whom I also lived and together we developed an improvement project on both production and promotion for these micro-enterprises.

What was the biggest cultural shock?

I don’t know if I had such a big cultural shock; we have a lot in common with Brazil. The fact that the family with whom I was staying was Buddhist was something I learnt a lot from. I spent Christmas with them and it was definitely strange, but yet amazing. I think spending the holidays there was the most “shocking” thing.

What insight did this trip leave you?

A lot! I had the good fortune of not only getting to know Brazilians, but people from all over Latin-America. I learnt that it doesn’t matter if we live thousands of miles away, have different ways and celebrate in a different matter. There is a common pattern, and that is that we are all human. We feel, we are passionate and surprised about the same things. We may all express it in a different way, but there was no way you could not feel identified with any of the people you met and you could always learn something from one another. I finished my trip feeling Brazilian, but also feeling a lot of respect and admiration for countries like Colombia, Costa Rica and Venezuela because I learnt a lot from them and now have great affection for their Ambassadors (my friends over there).

What would you recommend youths who are about to start their internship?

If you already know what country you are going to, start researching things about it, make contact with the committee that is going to receive you there and start getting to know them. Plan your trip with extra days so that you can travel and get to know other regions, not just the one you are going to be living in. And to those who still don’t know where they’re going, research the countries that are available to you, think of what each one can give you and which attract you the most. Make contact with other youths who are currently away or who have already returned so that they can give you some useful tips. They are people who have already been through this and are full of recommendation that can come in handy.

What would you tell youths to convince them to dare to leave and live a great experience?

I’d tell them what I always say in the informative talks: it is the best way to change your lives, to grow as people and professionals. Your vision becomes a lot more global and you contribute to make others’ the same too. It is an experience that rocks your very foundations and changes your life forever, with new friends, new families and new homes.

This was Natalia’s experience. If you want to challenge yourself, get to know other cultures, put the knowledge you learnt at school into practice and overcome your limits, do not hesitate to contact AIESEC. A unique experience awaits you.

Por more information, visit their website or get in touch through email.

We debated and learned together with Mariano Sigman

Some days ago, we had the chance to listen and interact with Mariano Sigman about neuroscience, cognitive science and technological developments.

The talk was started with one of the frontiers that science broke. According to Sigman, our thoughts are our private territory since no one can know what we are thinking. However, this principle is about to change.

He gave us examples with optical illusions, where what we saw was not really being projected on the screen and even changed forms. This is because our sensory system transmits to our brain how it changes reality, but not reality in itself. Although the external world does not change, the subjective thinking of each of us does. Also, only a small part of what we see of the world goes into the conscience and if a slight modification is made, we would hardly notice it. The stimulus that enters to our brain leaves unconsciously in our mind signs that can be seen in brain experiments.

If a person is shown a stimulus, we cannot know whether he saw it or not, because of what was mentioned before that the brain is our private world. Nevertheless, today’s technological advances related to neuroscience, are allowing us to analyze the brain and know if the stimulus reaches it in a conscious or unconscious way. Mariano informed that the challenge is knowing whether we could ever decode a person’s thinking, deducing what he thinks from how his brain reacts. The possible development of a code to separate dozens of thousands of mental states, know what verbs or nouns are crossing the human mind in a certain moment, is being considered.

We continued the talk surprising us with “revolutions” that the technological and scientific advances he exposed. As an example: communicating with people who don’t do so since they can’t activate their muscles, know what a person dreams about and if anaesthesia is working correctly in operations.

He also introduced the concept of hypnosis: an altered state of consciousness that is used in many experiments to know how the mind works and if there exists some way to manipulate it. We learned about the human computation: we are inferential beings, that is to say that with only seeing something for a few seconds, we already have an almost complete formed idea of the object. We wonder: how could we programme a machine to do that? The amazement of our thoughts is that we can do a lot of things without even knowing how to do them.

We are grateful for both the visit of Mariano Sigman and all the attendees and we really hope you all enjoyed the conference as much as we did.

Opinion article: The response of the developing world

Global poverty and environmental degradation is what will stand between our success and failures in the world. According to Anup Shah, 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day, and sub-Saharan Africa takes the fair share of this poverty and underdevelopment. Second in the race, is South East Asia accounting for high infant mortality rates and 22 000 children that die of poverty every day. 72 million children, who should be in primary school in the developing world, are not in primary school.

This data speaks an unfortunate message. The message that, even as the world enters times and moments of incredible economic growth, the developing world continues to lag behind, and so a significant part of what we ought to do to cope with exponential growth, is to challenge the realities of illiteracy, poverty, health and disease in the developing world, better to increase participation in the development of the world and of humanity.

As humans we are bound by the values of Ubuntu (African Philosophy). These are values of empathy, kindness, collectiveness, and love of humanity will and must play an integral role in coping with the exponential times in development. Because of development, the process of globalisation will dominate. These processes of globalisation, more often than not, contribute to the brain drain of developing countries and the removal of skilled labour from developing their respective communities and countries of origin. These become a pool of intellect for European and developed countries, and leave African, South Asian and Latin American countries barren of the intellectual capacity that will be necessary to successfully manage the resources (health, farming, mines, land) to improve the lives of the citizens and of humanity.

And so, a part of what must be done to cope with development, is to successfully ensure that the fruits of development and change are evenly distributed among the people of the world, and that whatever we do contributes to making the world a better place for everyone. Part of what must be done is to emphasise that the 20 000 African graduates that leave Africa every year due to soft power persuasion, globalisation and the search for a ‘better’ life must be encouraged to stay at home and use their skills to build a better society, and so the challenge is how do we encourage skilled labour to use their new found knowledge to improve humanity rather than search for individualistic interests which is the natural response?

Wandile Mamba

José Luis Cordeiro debated with us

Today we would like to share with you some of the most relevant aspects of the conference that José Luis Cordeiro gave during his visit to ITBA. There, he offered his view on the future role of technology and its impact over human beings’ physical, intellectual and psychological capacities, in correspondence with the SABF 2011 topics.

To begin with, he introduced to us the Latinamerican challenge: see towards the world and towards the future since everything is accelerating. He exemplified this idea with the case of China, a country with record growth, and stated that Asian countires are the ones exhibiting the highest growth rates. The latter invites us to see the world with a new face: the economic activity and its pillar countries are not what they used to be.

According to the Singularity University, of which he is a professor, nowhere in the world are people prepared to face the changes that are coming at a human level. He also defined technological singularity as the moment in which artificial intelligence reaches the level of human intelligence.

As concrete proof of change ocurring faster and faster, he commented on the evolution of perforated cards into pendrives, genome decodification, the finding of ancesters dating from over 5000 years back and the discovery of over 500 planets since 1995. However, we must not only look into the past but also into the future; for example, calculating the hypothetical descendents of two people.

Moreover, he presented Japan as a paradigmatic example: 130 million inhabitants in a region barely the size of Uruguay. “It is a poor country with rich people that has focused on education and technology”.

Regarding the future, Cordeiro said that the basic technologies would be four: nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognotechnology and infotechnology. As the homo sapiens sapiens concept indicates, we are the first species who knows they know. Sr. Cordeiro suggests we see the good side in bad things, like for example, the chinese character for crisis contains both danger and opportunity but we have to work in this last one and, instead of cursing the darkness, enlighten our future taking a proactive attitude.

Finally, he presented Sir Arthur Clarke’s rules of the future. 1) When a scientist says that something is possible, he is right, but when he says it’s impossible, he is wrong. 2) The only way to reach the limits of what’s possible is to venture into the limits of the impossible. 3) Any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. He concluded his talk inviting us to reflect on the following: “Fascinating times are coming, and I don’t know what is going to happen”

We thank Dr. Cordeiro for his visit as well as those who were present. Our next conference will take place on Monday May 23rd at 18.30 hs featuring Mariano Sigman. We invite you to keep reading our blog since we will be publishing more details on the event shortly.

SABF 2011: Main Topic

The seventh edition of South American Business Forum opened its application period on February 1st. One of the main requirements to be part of this unique experience is the power of the ideas each of the applicants will present. How can you do it? Through your essay.

In this opportunity, we will tell you more about the main topics of SABF 2011, and those which will be discussed directly, or indirectly, with the essays that each one of you will present in order to be selected.

SABF 2011 is based on the topic “Facing exponential times”. In the last decades, we have witnessed enormous changes. However, their speed has been increasing. This implies that the processes and dynamics involved in our daily life seem affected in different ways, forcing us to adapt ourselves to the scenario.

Nowadays, we must stop observing and start acting about it. How can we do it? This is our question. To answer it, we will discuss about three topics: “Technology and Information: foundations of a 2.0 society”, “Economic development in a dynamic world” and “Building Tomorrow’s education, transforming the educational model”.

In the next articles, we will present more information about each of the three topics of SABF 2011, to start a debate that will take place, more deeply and diverse, in the next edition on 5th, 6th and 7th August in Buenos Aires. Apply on apply.sabf.org.ar. You have time until 6th May to be part of this amazing opportunity.