The University of Miami, Concordia’s Principal Programming Partner, will be the official host of the 2023, 2024, and 2025 Concordia Americas Summits. As Concordia’s longest-standing regional initiative, the seventh iteration of the Americas Summit gathered leaders from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to confront the challenges and opportunities facing the Western Hemisphere, with a particular focus on Latin America. Furthering many of the outcomes and themes from the 2022 Americas Summit, the 2023 Concordia Americas Summit sparked concrete steps rooted in a common bond: the desire to see the hemisphere reach its full potential.
“A city like Miami has experienced tremendous prosperity because we have followed some simple rules. It highlights to me as Mayor that we have a job to do—not just in terms of leadership in this country, but in terms of leadership throughout the world.”
“Sometimes we create this false dichotomy between action at the global level and at the national level. The truth is that everything is both global and local at the same time. You can’t be effective as a national leader if you’re not engaged locally.”
In a world fraught with conflict, the value of stable and resilient communities has never been higher. They are built through the active participation of citizens who have a voice in their future. Ensuring that the most disempowered of society, youth, and—in particular—young women are engaged is essential in upholding trusted institutions that respond to the needs of its community. The exchange of a nation’s ideas, language, and art can also be used as tools to articulate its ideas, values and political goals, allowing societies to speak to one another. Can cultural resources be mobilized to unite a divided world? How can cross-sector collaboration place youth advocacy at the center of policy-making decisions?
The state of democracy in the Western Hemisphere has been an increasing concern for decades, but never has it been more pertinent than now. Although the region is vastly represented by democracies, threats persist of dictatorships taking over democratic institutions, where socioeconomic inequalities and corruption can exacerbate, resulting in highly-polarized societies. A focus on upholding democratic institutions and maintaining national security will be central to policymakers in achieving a sense of domestic peace around the world. How can cross-sector collaboration bring together divided countries? What role will emerging technology play in the future of national security, and how can it be governed?
As instances of devastating natural disasters around the world become more and more common, it has become clear we are in the midst of the consequences of decades of exponential industrial growth and unrestricted consumption. In order to preserve our planetary health and create a healthy future for generations to come, urgent action is required. For governments, this requires rebuilding strength in the trust of institutions. For businesses, the warming climate poses operation risks, and whilst it is widely acknowledged that employing sustainable practices will be more profitable to organizations, there remains a disconnect in their implementation. What opportunities exist for businesses in the shift toward environmental and social responsibility? How can we ensure those suffering the most from the impacts of climate change are not left out when investing in its solutions?
Within nations and along the Global North/South divide, the existing disparities between ethnicities, socioeconomic status, and gender, when examining access to financial services, have been exacerbated by the global pandemic. This hinders the ability of individuals to generate income, invest, and manage cash flow, and hence is essential to the post-pandemic economic recovery. It is also vital in strengthening democratic institutions, which have been dismantled by a declining trust due to a rise in unemployment and poverty, as well as the rampant spread of mis- and disinformation. At a smaller scale, financial inclusion is also necessary to empower communities, such as by enabling access to education and food. As we strive to build more resilient financial infrastructures, how do we ensure equitable access that retains quality and safety? What doubts remain about the role of technology in closing this gap? What commitments should be made by the private, public, and third sectors in their collaboration?
The events of recent years have redirected unprecedented attention on the need to achieve more resilient healthcare systems. This awareness has also brought a new recognition of long-existing disparities in healthcare around the world along lines of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and the Global North/South divide. Today, we also know the pandemic had a detrimental impact on global mental health, with long-term consequences requiring immediate action. How do we facilitate innovation to prevent the next pandemic being one of mental health? How can we improve global partnerships for pandemic preparedness? How can we use these lessons to redesign stronger healthcare systems that can reach further? And, how can we rebuild institutional trust to ensure optimal healthcare reaches all members of society, and a sense of confidence in our health future?
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, technological innovations have proven to be critical in the response to global challenges and the capacity of societies to act. Organizations and individuals have had no choice but to digitize in order to survive, making a tech-savvy economy and a hybrid workforce the new norm. This digital transformation has brought solutions to civic society, such as increased social connectivity, revolutionary therapeutics, and sustainable technologies. However, it has also produced a new mode of unchecked dialogue leading to a mis- and disinformation crisis. What is the role of technology in society? How can we better fortify against workplace disruptions and close the gendered and socioeconomic digital skills gap? Can the answer to increasing privacy concerns be found collectively?