Moving forward with SABF’s 6th Edition, during Saturday morning, a set of student workshops took place. This activity consisted of the best essays presented by the participants who wrote them in order to be discussed among participants. Nicolas Benielli and Karla Alfaro, from Argentina, exposed their essays about Sustainable Businesses. Meanwhile, Citizen Participation was presented by Pablo Illuzzi (Argentina) and Kehinde Olayinca Fawumi (Nigeria). Finally, when it comes to Synergy, the participants in charge were Ana Maria Misas Tabares (Colombia) and Delfina Maria Vildósola (Argentina).
Nicolas Benielli presented his essay “Sustainable Businesses: Let’s start!”. During his speech, he defined the concepts of development and sustainability. According to Benielli, the three axis of development are social, economic and ecological, and every person or organisation, whether it is private or public, can be an agent of change. In the case of Latin America, even if it is the fourth economy of the world and it is rich in resources. Nonetheless, reality in Latin American differs from the ideal situation. For Benielli, this is the results of some determinants: tolerance of inefficiency and corruption, lack of confidence and pesimism. Moreover, he insists in the need of education and a strong alliance between universities and companies. As a conclusion after participants’ debate, education, law and ethics are fundamental.
The other exposition about Sustainable Businesses, writen and presented by Karla Alfaro, started with the possible benefits of being a sustainable responsible business, among which there were being a valuable tool, building trust and loyalty, and long-term security and stability. Concluding the debate, participants agree that education is a key factor and that consumers have the power to choose what and how to consume.
Citizen participation was discussed by Pablo Illuzzi, in a presentation that included the definition of State, Government and Politics. As a consequence, the objective of Illuzi’s presentation is to inquire why citizen participation is so low nowadays. He defines three kinds of people: the ones that just say what should be done, the ones who are capable of help in the process of doing, and the ones that just do. He pointed out that a leader is the one who wonders about processes and guides those who do and those who help. Finally, he stated that there is no need to think of participation as a sum-zero game, and that leadership is something you are born with.
Kehinde Olayinca Fawumi, on the other hand, based his presentation in the idea that solution for social and political problems currently taking place in Africa and other developing countries has to start with local actions, intercontinental effects and global results. He affirmed that imported policies from Western societies are not sustainable for Africa without taking into account the context. Nevertheless, the general conclusion of the workshop is that western policies may be helpful, only if addressed and evaluated properly, in the long-run.
The last axis, Synergy, was presented by Ana Maria Misas Tabares. In her essay, she exposed the idea of development based on clusters. According to Misas Tabares, governments should be helpful when it comes to development among clusters in a society. For her, the advantages presented by Latin America when it comes to a cluster organisation, are the integrated markets of Peru, Chile and Colombia, and Mercosur, the commercial alliance in South American. As a conclusion, participants agreed that governments and private sector have both responsibilities, but the government’s most important obligation is to ensure stability and trust.
Finally, Delfina María Vildósola presented a specific case of synergy: Internet. According to her, we should think about habits and changes on our thoughts caused by technology. Some problems are presented, as the confiability of information published. Nevertheless, the use of social networks and collaborative websites is increasing faster. Finally, participants debated about the use of information, regarding its public access. They arrived to the conclusion that no matter what information we share, it is all about the values and ethics they are based on.