A year ago I could not imagine being here. A year ago I was a totally different person. A year ago a friend told me that there was a forum organized by students of ITBA, which lasted 3 days, with many important speakers, workshops to discuss and people around the world to meet.

At that time, it sounded interesting to me (I like this kind of events), but not much more than that. And if there is something I learned over time is that it is really hard to transmit what these events generate. You have to have the courage to try and live it to understand.

My friend then told me that in order to be selected I had to write an essay, and then I became more interested. Writing an essay was a challenge in every sense: although I like to write, the truth is I had never written an essay, I didn’t know how to start (big problem that affects many people), and I was afraid of not being good enough and be rejected. But I decided to try, getting to finish the test would be quite an achievement for me.

[![](https://i2.wp.com/blog.sabf.org.ar/english/files/2012/08/SABF-2012.jpg?resize=300%2C200 "SABF 2012")](http://blog.sabf.org.ar/english/2012/08/16/life-changing-experiences/sabf-2012-2/)SABF 2012
While I was waiting for jury’s decision, I began to go deeper into this world and to read and hear that this would be a **life-changing experience.** These words in particular were extremely attractive for me, and I was increasingly eager to be selected. However, I still had that feeling of not really knowing what all this meant.

Finally, the confirmation came, and I was selected to participate in the seventh edition of the South American Business Forum (SABF) in August 2011. I still remember that meeting before the forum, in a pub in Recoleta, to which I almost didn’t go because I knew nobody. The first person I spoke to, was Daniela, from the organizing team, and five minutes after starting the conversation a new world was being opened in front of me: we talked about other conferences around the world, the opportunity to travel, to learn about other cultures, to grow professionally.

[![](https://i2.wp.com/blog.sabf.org.ar/english/files/2012/08/SABF-2011.jpg?resize=300%2C199 "SABF 2011")](http://blog.sabf.org.ar/english/2012/08/16/life-changing-experiences/sabf-2011/)SABF 2011
**SABF 2011 definitely changed my life.** Anyone who knows me can affirm what I say. After SABF, a number of things started to happen, that while not directly related to the forum, I am convinced that emerged from the synergy that was generated in those days of August. I fulfilled my dream of going to Europe participating in the [World Business Dialogue](http://www.world-business-dialogue.com/) (along with many other SABFers), I went for the first time to Uruguay in a five-day tour with uruguayan SABFers, I attended a [TED](http://talentsearch.ted.com/pages/ted-sao-paulo) event in San Pablo and even spent a month in Asia studying about [alternative education.](http://blog.sabf.org.ar/english/2012/07/30/alternative-education-new-ways-of-teaching/)

And this year I was honored to be a participant again (I was not the only repeating, which also speaks well of the event), and found that everything was done with the same professionalism and the same desire as the previous year. And I have no doubt that, although the teams will continue changing, the spirit will continue. It’s nice to see how many ex-organizers help to make it all possible.

[![](https://i0.wp.com/blog.sabf.org.ar/english/files/2012/08/SABFers-en-WBD.jpg?resize=300%2C168 "SABFers en WBD")](http://blog.sabf.org.ar/english/2012/08/16/life-changing-experiences/sabfers-en-wbd/)SABFers in the WBD
And this is because **SABF is not just a 3-day business forum.** It is much more than that. I really like the word used to describe everything that happens during the rest of the year: **community.** And it is a community for real, because it is something that goes beyond the conference, **it is meetings, friends, projects, the blog, travels.** It is a place where **people not only speak, but also make.**

Personally, as I told before, this last year between the two editions of SABF undoubtedly was the best year of my life, and certainly this community has much to do with it. Kind of this is what I wanted to say in SABF closing.

Thank you very much for everything, to everybody.