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2020 Concordia Americas Summit

POSTPONED  |  Bogotá, Colombia

The Americas Summit, Concordia’s flagship regional convening, will build on previous gatherings in Miami and Bogotá to explore the most pressing issues facing the Western Hemisphere at large. From the latest global trade and infrastructure developments to the future of agriculture and food security, our fifth Americas Summit will see Colombia’s capital city become an international hub of dialogue and debate.

More information about the rescheduled Americas Summit will be available in the coming weeks.  

Programming Themes

Cross-sector Sustainability 

Sustainability is not just a catchy buzzword but is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. The pursuit of profitability without negatively impacting the environment is slowly becoming the standard by which companies are measured. While the private sector may lead on many sustainability efforts, it is the collaboration with the public and nonprofit sectors that will allow for revenue-generating models to scale. Further, it is the combined effect of multiple sectors – energy, transportation, agriculture, technology – that will hold the key to true sustainable impact.

Role of Technology in society 

The technological revolution, known as the fourth industrial revolution, is changing the lives of everyone across the globe. Technology now plays an important role in improving the quality of life of the world’s population by providing them with tools to improve processes in all aspects of society. But technology can also further entrench socio-economic disparities, biases, or even put people and data at risk of manipulation and security risks. Smart policy, workforce development, and economies that promote innovation are all factors that are at play in whether Latin America will lead the technological revolution, or follow in others’ footsteps.

Policies & Access to Education and Healthcare 

Education and Healthcare both require collaboration across sectors to deliver on two key promises: access and quality. Although different strategies have been implemented across Latin America, guaranteeing access of these rights for everyone requires a much greater effort, one that harnesses the scale and innovation of the private sector with the policy and power of the public sector. Cross- sector partnerships are essential to ensure that all people and communities have access to all health and education services that are adequate and of quality, without discrimination.

Agriculture and Food Security 

Agriculture and food security are fundamental to the future of the global community and economy. Given the growing population across Latin America and the excessive spending of resources, finding innovative ways to achieve a more efficient and sustainable agricultural production is essential to improving progress and food systems. Food security programs seek to develop new technologies that guarantee the sustainability of food production and nutrition associated with them. The goal is to increase the quantity and diversity of food, make production processes more sustainable and fight poverty by providing new job opportunities. Alliances between various sectors to achieve new advances in these issues are a priority to address this need aiming for the future.

Global Trade and Infrastructure Developments 

Infrastructure developments across Latin America have in some cases boosted economies and expanded connectivity, and in other cases have become vehicles for corruption and increasing existing disparities. The infrastructure required to tap into the global trade markets is essential to creating economic opportunities across the socio-economic spectrum. But how can the public and private sector navigate large-scale infrastructure investments in a world on the brink of global trade wars? We will seek to identify key risk factors and strategies as well as responsible and effective policies that can support investment, mitigate risk, and allow for economic growth in a globalized marketplace.

Social Uprisings 

In the past year, the world has seen a new wave of social uprisings across the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and Asia as a manifestation of people’s dissatisfaction with the broken promises of populist leaders and movements. From Barcelona to Hong Kong, from Santiago to Beirut, civil unrest is on the rise, with an entire generation fighting to protect their democratic rights and social freedoms and end the government corruption and economic slowdown threatening modern society. Propelling these demonstrations forward are digital technology and social media, allowing protestors to spread their messages, attract and mobilize others, and borrow rhetoric and inspiration from separate movements.

Women Empowerment 

Concordia seeks to build on these conversation sets in a significant and meaningful way at the 2020 Americas Summit, by bringing together diverse voices to address the myriad ways in which collaboration between the public and private sectors can drive progress. Latin American feminism is on the rise. From Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo to Santiago de Chile, women from all over the continent are demanding policy changes in favor of gender equality and women’s human rights. Despite women gaining greater traction in the labor market, in access to health care, and in participation in politics, there is still a long way to go. The 2020 Americas Summit will further explore how women’s empowerment is experiencing a breakthrough in Latin America and how countries in the region are reducing inequality and eliminating the gender wage gap, as well as tackling ongoing barriers to women’s empowerment.

Transportation

Concordia seeks to build on these conversation sets in a significant and meaningful way at the 2020 Americas Summit. With infrastructure and transportation likely to be the next big changers of society—connecting cities, countries, and societies at large—there is a constant need for governments to attract foreign investment and persuade citizens to adapt to a more sustainable transportation system. At the same time,  the role of corporations in impacting economic growth, through the implementation of new infrastructure and solutions to mobility and transportation issues, will play a critical role in shaping the future of this industry. How will this industry merge economic, social, and environmental factors into its policies? Is the transportation industry prepared to face the challenges that are spread across the region? These are just some of the questions Concordia seeks to address during the 2020 Americas Summit.

Cultural Diplomacy 

Concordia seeks to build on these conversation sets in a significant and meaningful way at the 2020 Americas Summit, by bringing together diverse voices to address the myriad ways in which collaboration between the public and private sectors can drive progress. In an increasingly interdependent world, cultural diplomacy is essential to bringing people together and nurturing relations across different cultures. By highlighting and showcasing talent, cultural heritage, and intellectual property, the possibilities of creating attractive revenue-generating scenarios are infinite. For the 2020 Americas Summit, Concordia proposes a set of programming focused on how the arts, fashion, music, food, and other formats of culture and entertainment can bring people together. Over the past few years, the Latin American fashion scene has emerged as a global fashion hub. The Summit intends to elevate the discussion around the critical role of fashion in the economy of the Latin American region and in raising awareness around pressing social, political, and economic issues. Additional programming will showcase artists and musicians using their platform to ignite change, as well as professionals from the food industry who are using food to unite people and communities.

Mining

Concordia seeks to build on these conversation sets in a significant and meaningful way at the 2020 Americas Summit, by bringing together diverse voices to address the myriad ways in which collaboration between the public and private sectors can drive progress. Specifically, Concordia wishes to shift the conversation on mining towards an approach focused on the benefits of responsible mining to development. Concordia wishes to work alongside some of the leading experts in the region to highlight projects that have brought—and will bring—about new opportunities and economic growth to regions and populations that have previously been subject to not only illegal mining practices, but to the overwhelming social and cultural dynamics that permeate these. We look forward to exploring how transitioning to new models can bring about investment into regions that have never received investment, as well as education, jobs, and much more, while making a call to action to all sectors—public, private, and non-profit—to unite in leveraging these opportunities.

Financial Inclusion and Innovative Finance

Financial inclusion facilitates day-to-day living, and helps families and businesses plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies. It is not an end in itself, but the means to several ends. It provides people the freedom to make decisions around health, education, and employment, and it impacts several SDGs. As a result, Concordia seeks to continue these vital topics in particular Latin American lenses. The 2020 Americas Summit intends to elevate this discussion to the various facets of financial inclusion. What barriers to financial inclusion can be dismantled? What kinds of financial services can consumers take advantage of? How can the public and private sectors work together? Specifically to Innovative Finance, Concordia will host a Partnership Accelerator related to themes relevant to Latin America. Partnership Accelerators are dynamic, invitation-only working sessions intended to share insight regarding tangible, action-ready interventions underway and engage towards sustainable solutions as a group.

Energy

Concordia seeks to build on these conversation sets in a significant and meaningful way at the 2020 Americas Summit, by bringing together diverse voices to address the myriad ways in which collaboration between the public and private sectors can drive progress. Concordia looks to hold a clear, honest conversation around the importance of unconventional energy production in creating an industry that has a high economic impact in the region as a whole, as well as one that has a positive impact on the regions in which it operates. Concordia will also explore new, innovative ways of collaboration that result in a sustainable energy infrastructure that can be leveraged across various regions that need to adapt their operations based on conservation, climate change, and biodiversity protection. The 2020 Americas Summit aims to build a set of programming around the specific needs and interests of different countries, private companies, and consumers, while exploring how public-private partnerships are critical to bringing about a sustainable energy industry throughout the region.

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