Attending an international conference in Germany was definitely a unique experience. Although I thought I was not going to be surprised, since I had already attended SABF in 2013, I discovered very different things. Both, the World Business Dialogue and the SABF, are very special and incomparable experiences.
I participated in the SABF 2013 edition and have just participated in the WBD 2014 edition. To begin with, I am a student from Buenos Aires, so it was a great experience to live in the hostel with other participants, something that I could not live during the SABF. I shared the room with girls from Vietnam, Dominican Republic and Bosnia, certainly my experience started with a lot of diversity. Meeting participants from all over the world helped me a lot to get to know other cultures and considering other points of view.
The theme of the conference was Disruptive Innovations and various talks and workshops took place regarding this around all different types of industries. I was surprised to see the technological breakthroughs that are taking place all over the world, especially in the field of education and medicine. I learned about the progress of these new technologies in the more developed countries. I think this was a great experience, since I had access to technological advances that I may have missed if I hadn’t attended this conference.
However, I realised that, while in the “first world” countries millions of dollars are invested in the highest technologies that will drastically change society, most of these countries ignore the basic difficulties that developing countries suffer. Thus, while Europe and the U.S. are concerned about extending human life to immortality, in many other countries, children die of hunger every day. I was a bit upset when I realized that our social and economic problems occupy almost no place on the agenda of the most powerful technology developers.
Fortunately, I realised that we, the youth, are part of another generation, a global conscious generation. The strong participation of students from developing countries and the interest of students in developed countries about our problems certainly gave me a lot of hope. Also, I had the opportunity to meet many leaders who are, themselves, using the highest technologies to change the realities of the people who have less to share.
The most advanced technologies are dramatically transforming our society and revolutionising all industries. These are very powerful tools that should be treated with care, as they can bring unimaginable side effects. It is up to us, the youth, to make the most of these tools for a better development of our society, not just thinking about the evolution of just an elite group but of all the people.
Conferences like SABF and WBD that bring together the leaders of today and the leaders of tomorrow, play a fundamental role in encouraging the younger generation to take action to improve reality. These are experiences that raise and transform the way we see things and energise us to take an active role in society. I think these are experiences that all young people should live, regardless of religion or ethnicity or the professional career. The more of us that take part in these forums, the better the future that awaits us all. For example, application period for the South American Business Forum closes on May 4th… there is still time!