Yesterday, Friday July 26th, the second day of the fifteenth edition of the South American Business Forum started full of energy. During this day the participants can attend various workshops and activities based on their choices, each format is unique and within each session there are options in both English and Spanish and exploring different angles of each sub-theme, so the possibilities are endless.

Student Lectures

The first activity of the day was the student lectures, where six selected participants were able to present their essays and generate conversations around their ideas.

Agostina Rodriguez Blanco from Argentina, based in her essay Zoom in, Zoom out, talked about the different levels of awareness and choices. How can the tribe be so important in our identity that it is difficult to recognize it as an election? Finally, she highlighted the potential of technology as a tool to decentralize power.

Born in South Africa, Ashleigh Purdon explored how to abandon our toxic tribalisms and achieve socio-political prosperity. Moderated by Jaime Feeney, the participants in the room discussed the answer to these questions. When dealing with this issues, one of the main dilemmas was that, as Ashleigh recalled with tribal loyalties, it is all or nothing.

A psychology student from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Juan Lucas Zothner Meyer told his experience living in India and volunteering in Calcutta. The debate, moderated by Ana Frischknecht, led participants to reflect on how priorities change radically according to the opportunities available.

Mateo Quinceno Muñoz, from Colombia, presented his essay on the crisis of Latin American governance. The participants, mostly Latin Americans, were able to discuss the problems they observe in their countries, and were surprised to find out the great similarities between their respective governments. Moderated by Ol Jonatan Beun, the debate highlighted the importance of education in all its forms and, fundamentally, the motivation to educate oneself as means for self-improvement.

Coming from India, Rishi Badola, motivated participants to question how their perspectives condition their way of thinking and acting. His essay Rethinking how we think: broadening our perspectives, embodied in the initial presentation of Rishi led participants to discuss the power of kindness as a motive in life and the tools to overcome differences.

¿Es la atención un recurso o una habilidad humana? Con esa pregunta se dispara la conversación en la ponencia de Bhavya Gola, de India. Es evidente que Facebook, YouTube y productos similares cuentan con muchos datos nuestros, hoy en día aceptamos intercambiarlos a cambio de sus servicios, pero ¿llegará el día en el que ese intercambio no sea suficiente? Moderada por Daniel Leslie, la gran diversidad de participantes permitió que discutieran los usos y modos del consumo de Internet, desde Hong Kong y las regulaciones de China a Estados Unidos.

Attention is a resource or a human trait? That question triggers the conversation in the presentation of Bhavya Gola, from India. Clearly Facebook, YouTube and similar products have a lot of our data, today we accept to exchange it for their services, but will the day come when the benefits are not enough? Moderated by Daniel Leslie, the great diversity of participants allowed them to discuss the uses and models of Internet consumption all over the world, from Hong Kong and China's regulations to the United States.

Interactives Lessons

After a quick recharge with a lot of coffee and medialunas, participants were ready to participate in the next activity session.

Driven by Yasmín Quiroga and Pablo Hilaire Chaneton, #JusticiaAbierta y el Juzgado Nº10 de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires allowed the participants to analyze their perceptions of their respective justice systems. In completely anonymous dynamic, students described their current systems as "corrupt", "politicized", and "bureaucratic". When it was time to describe how they should be, things turned: "impartial", "accessible" and "autonomous." In the following hour, Yasmín and Pablo showed how they are making that transformation a reality in the Juzgado Nº 10 of the City of Buenos Aires.

In the Journalism and Misinformation - Los Cuadernos de Coimas activity, the journalist Candela Ini presented her experience working as a journalist in a world full of disinformation, particularly in Argentina where there is a growing polarization due to future elections. The debate immediately showed the lack of legitimacy of traditional media for young people. On the positive side, the participants concluded that this distrust may actually increase the desire to read diverse media and to inform themselves, thus combating the growing phenomenon of misinformation and post-truth. The climax of the session was definitely when Candela recounted how she met the famous cuadernos Gloria, the source that unleashed one of Argentina's biggest corruption scandals in recent history.

Diego Dagnino, Community Manager of Google, led the interactive lesson Crowdsource by Google. In this activity, participants discovered Crowdsource, an initiative where millions of people participate with the objective of contributing to the development of a community that aims to make the internet a more inclusive space for different communities. As Diego said, they are not looking to get millions of users as other applications, but users who are committed in training Google Artificial Intelligence and the Internet through simple tasks.

With Paula Almada and Bárbara Zeifer, the participants worked with Non-Violent Communication. To begin the lesson, they introduced the participants with tools to generate empathy and analyze which are the components of different communicational situations. Next, it was time for participants to get down to work and apply their newly acquired skills, dialoguing in small groups, sharing their own experiences of conflicts, identifying needs, emotions and formulating a request in a non-violent way.

Continuing the conversation started with his keynote the day before, Daniel Leslie presented the activity Social networks and the Global Conversation. Through his experience in the working side of social networks, participants discussed how far the limits of social networks go, how they should be regulated without censoring discourse and how to handle information. Like any tool, the way of use is what will define its impact.

Por último, en Modelos de Comportamiento, Ol Jonatan Beun cuestionó que la gente toma decisiones racionales y les gusta maximizar su utilidad- lo que implica que tenemos autoconocimiento absoluto. La neurociencia ha demostrado que la mayoría de las decisiones que mostramos a diario, y también las importantes, no parten de la razón, sino de la emoción o la intuición. Sin embargo, las redes de servicios, productos, leyes, políticas públicas e incluso muchas organizaciones son construidas bajo este falso supuesto. En esta actividad, los participantes descubrieron cómo los modelos de comportamiento tratan de confeccionar el mundo basado en cómo la gente realmente toma sus decisiones.

Finally, in Behavioural Design, Ol Jonatan Beun questioned the assumption that people make rational decisions and like to maximize their usefulness, which implies that we have absolute self-knowledge. Neuroscience has shown that most of the decisions we make daily, including the important ones, are not based on reason, but on emotion or intuition. However, service facilities, products, laws, public policy and even many organizations are built under this false assumption. In this activity, participants discovered how behavioural design crafts the world based on how people really make decisions.

Dynamic Activities

On this edition, the students had the possibility to choose between two dynamics, Middle Ground and Spectrum, to explore their perspectives on different causes.

Middle Ground

This space allowed the participants to find common ground between very different positions. For this the participants had to separate themselves according to whether they felt in favor of cancel culture or against it, their belief or not in God, capitalism or gender as binary. Some of the assumptions explored by the groups were:

I would not buy something from an artist who has committed a violent crime.
There is life after death.
Today, everyone has a chance to succeed.
Boys and girls should be educated differently.

The participants ended up really surprised that they had "mixed" much more than they thought possible, stating with certainty arguments considered contrary to their initial positions.


How different can positions be within the same tribe? Exploring the different positions within the themes of immigration, democracy, feminism and global warming, the participants sought the answer to that question in this activity.

La dinámica era muy sencilla, ante una afirmación debían pararse en la posición de: Muy de acuerdo, De acuerdo, Algo de acuerdo, Algo en desacuerdo, En desacuerdo o Muy en desacuerdo.

The logistics were very simple, when a statement was read they had to stand in the position of: Strongly agree, Agree, Somewhat agree, Somewhat disagree, Disagree or Strongly disagree.

Some of the statements that were discussed were:

Governments should promote cultural assimilation.
Voting should be mandatory.
Men should be part of the conversation and be actively involved.
Things are being done to stop global warming.

We invite you to tell us your own arguments with #SABF2019Spectrum!

Mentoring sessions

In the last block of activities of the day, participants could choose as mentors between Rick Dow (Principal in The DOJO Group), Rob Britton (Marketing & Strategy Consultant in Air Learn), Jaime Feeney (Founding Shareholder in Alimentos Naturales SA), Julio Donato Bárbaro (Politician, political analyst, writer and thinker), Ana Frischknecht (Group Chair in Vistage), Axel Kaiser (lawyer, Doctor of Philosophy and author), Félix Peña (Director of the International Trade Institute of the ICBC Foundation), María Cristóbal (Director of BA Planning), Faustino Arias (General Manager of CALSA), Daniel Leslie (Founder and partner of Reflexions), Xavier Alexandro Díaz Cataño (architect), Cecilia Smoglie (Director of ITBA-KIT, Master in Energy and Environment) , Valeria Venegas (Partner in CocoLab), Nicolás Loreti (CFO in Tienda Nube) and Susan Giuliano (Director of Leadership Development at Lee Hecht Harrison Argentina).

The sessions were definite for the participants working on assessing their professional future and their next steps as leaders. Mentors were a great influence in clearing doubts and uncertainty about the prospect of career changes, first jobs and upcoming projects.

With a great celebration for the 15 years, the second day of SABF 2019 is already gone!