SABF Author

Ana Paula Valacco

Blog Team 2017


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

Are fake news the problem?

Fake news, fake news everywhere. Fake news, or that type of content especially generated by sites that seek to take advantage of the capacity of viralization that social networks provide, are the ultimate trend. The plague of fake news was considered one of the factors that helped Trump win the election, a result that was totally unexpected. Although  a research recently stated that it had not been as important as it may have seemed, this type of viral content certainly sets an alarm about our ability to discern false information from real.

So, what is Fake news?

While some websites earn money with quizzes  (one I did a few days ago told me that I look like Ariana Grande, which nobody believes here, do you? Fake news!), the real business today is political “news”. You probably have read the economic reasons behind these sites. By simply getting a domain that looks serious, a basic news template and a creative and incredibly viral title, even a young person from a lost village in Macedonia could influence the most relevant election in the world with the main goal of paying their weekly expenses.

This type of fake news is easily set apart from others because although some of the information they present seems plausible, a brief search on the internet can destroy any of the statements they contain.


Another problem is the poor reading these texts get. The title and a small description are enough for my granny, your brother and my former classmate to share it right away. Personally, I prove it every time my friends share my articles without having read them (seriously, they get more shares than views).

But if we bring this analysis to our Latin American context, we may find that  there are no teens interested in generating income through traffic monetization. Perhaps (a theory I fear, makes sense), what the creators of this content pursue is to weaken the opposing political positions and delegitimize the adversary, sowing doubts in many people, and reinforcing the previous beliefs of several more. The bots that create and reinforce Twitter content, for example, or phone campaigns that impose agenda, are also part of this phenomenon.

In contexts with increasing polarization, with discredited media outlets and abundance of information (or content), whatever our contacts decide to share on Facebook or on their networks becomes a much more appreciated and “legitimized” source than traditional news sources. We validate what we think or what we do not yet have an opinion on based on what our peers decide to endorse in their profiles. Social networks incorporate this activity into their algorithmic calculations and voila! The bubble is filled with content that no serious publisher would even consider reading.

To make matters worse, the critical capacity of readers is poorer than ever. And what is even more disturbing in this context is that there are researches that postulate that, against information that contradicts the original beliefs, these are more likely to be reinforced. Then, in this “backfire effect”, readers not only did not incorporate that information which corrected that wrong idea, but reaffirmed the last. So the task of informing gets even more complicated and the whole journalism is questioned.

Now, how can we stop this?

Fact-checkers from around the world are working on different alternatives. Pedagogical perspectives, for example, seek to provide tools for the analysis of information at schools or in learning environments. When we are trained to detecting data in speech, the task of verifying it is much simpler.

Fact-checkers also join efforts with Facebook and Google to identify true information and veto the false, which are just beginning. It is undoubtedly a work that takes time and the results are still difficult to predict.

In the meantime, I would recommend you that as a reader and also resposnible for this phenomenon to take advantage of the contents of the International Fact Checking Day at and help us get more people to incorporate data verification into their daily news routine. Putting an end to fake news is a collective task. So please, triple check before sharing!


The 7 keys to teamworking

It is often said that if you want to arrive fast, you should walk alone and if the objective is to arrive far, you should do it in a team. Beyond any philosophical issue, the truth is that few people are self-sufficient, especially when the target is one of high impact and big objectives. We should work in teams! No way! Even, if the team is just of two people. There are certain clues to be taken into account.

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Entrepreneurs making some noise – Endeavor Experience 2015

“Ultimately, we are like a virus to create opportunities”, answered Guibert Englebienne in his conversation over a fake whisky, reflecting about high impact entrepreneurship. It was the first talk of the afternoon session in the Experiencia Endeavor 2015, which was held last June 2nd in the Usina del Arte, Buenos Aires, and the question “What makes an entrepreneur?” was again answered (or, at least, asked) by some of the speakers.

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Five pieces of news we all want to read

… and who knows how much longer till they make the headlines:

  • The last person with HIV was cured
  • Earthquake in Bangladesh: no fatal victims
  • Latin America: first in the rankings of Government Transparency
  • The peace was signed with the last terrorist groups in the Middle East
  • The literacy level is total globally

Each one of these news would have a great impact, doesn’t it? Currently they are highly aspirational and, in many aspects, almost uthopical. For example, just a week ago we mentioned how hard it is for long-standing conflicts and with multiple factors to reach a solution that satisfies everyone involved, so that the news reach the front page and we are sure it is not a bluff.

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Inclusion, there isn’t just one

I must confess the word inclusion has caused certain apprehension in me. There is a top-down component that assumes as a basis a better reality (its own) versus the other one, which they refuse. Anyway, it is a much more enabling concept in this sense than “insertion”, for example, in which the possibility of the other agent to form part of the process is less. Both concepts involve a character with the power to affect the other reality. This article could be called, “What is not to be poor”, since the concept of inclusion forces to think in antithesis terms.

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South America, that phenomenon – Part 2

When we talked the other day about South America, we mentioned a basic thesis that somehow allows us to understand the socio-political reality of the subcontinent. We mentioned some institutional factors that were repeated in South America that allowed oscillations between presidential instability – in which the main characteristic of presidentialism is threatened (the fixed length of office terms) – and the emergence of personalist leaderships – which make from the weaknesses of the institutions and the party system its source of power, allowing the subjugation of the rights and freedom of parts of the population.

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South America, that phenomenon

A common origin, several attempts to constitute, a reality that repeats itself, amidst dichotomies, along the Andes and the marine line. In Latin America, and even more in the South region, the historical and political root is one. The Hispanic colonization, with the subsequent plundering and resources extraction, and the configuration of a power scheme that was kept after the independence and the emancipation, at least political, that the continent went through in the19th century, is a common factor of undoubtable weight in the explanation of the current scenario. On the other hand, the dependence remained in the economical and productive aspect, while the social inequality was accentuated. Today, our continent wants to be a global main player and strives to raise as the actor that could be and wants to be. However, in the 19th century, the prospect was another.

The political genesis

The flame ignited by the French and the Americans lit the enlightened elites of the continent. Under the pretext of maintaining the autonomy while the Napoleonic Empire took over the European crowns, Latin America rose and fought for independence. Continue reading…

I don’t need anything more than this

Each year on December 5th we celebrate the International Volunteer Day, which “is a chance for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote their contributions to development at local, national and international levels”, according to the United Nations Organisation; and a day which especially remembers those activities and initiatives that promote a positive transformation of society.

Therefore, it is a day to celebrate and acknowledge the work of millions of people that decide to relinquish an economic reward for a job – that could be more or less demanding, or require a greater or lower level of commitment – that has an impact in several areas and levels. Examples are countless: from volunteer firefighters up to neighbourhood associations, passing through student organisations like the SABF. Why is volunteering so important?

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The power on the speech


On the movie “The Invention Of Lying”, the humorist Ricky Gervais suddenly finds himself on a privileged position. In a world where the truth is the natural and obvious condition of society, the character suffers a fantastic change: his ability to lie is activated. He no longer respects that natural law that prevents everybody of saying or doing something that is not endorsed in reality. Thus, he begins to have infinite benefits over the naive people who ignore the capacity of the human mind to distort other’s perceptions.

In an ideal world, we don’t lie. In an ideal world, politicians don’t lie. In an ideal world, those who govern us put the information in our hands and we can effectively penalize them when they do something against our interest. In an ideal world, citizens can exercise accountability, not only with their representatives at the time of vote, but by establishing control and taking advantage of  the possibility of examining the correspondence between what they promise or criticize and what they do or finally happens.

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