The Americas Initiative has remained a cornerstone of Concordia since 2016, bringing together leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to confront the challenges facing the Western Hemisphere, from manufacturing and supply chain dynamics to market-based environmental solutions. Much has changed since 2016, in relation to Concordia, the Americas Summit, and the world. Some of those changes—and how we intend to face them—were at the core of what we came together to discuss in an open, collaborative, and nonpartisan forum this March.
Miami—a city that serves as a conduit between North, Central, and South America—provided the ideal setting for our seventh Americas Summit. In Miami, we see a melding of cultures and languages, a strength often referred to as a “melting pot” or, as Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava more aptly describes, “a salad,” as “each unique aspect or contributing ingredient adds to the delicious flavor.” However, we also observe a confluence of concerns, and chief among those concerns is the eroding of trust in our institutions. According to a recent Gallup poll, trust in institutions is at or near its lowest point in over 40 years. From national governments to local police forces, people are increasingly wary of their institutions, preferring to place their trust in dubious sources of news. Accordingly, mis- and disinformation are on the rise, making now one of the most critical times for global democracy in history.
While the scale of the problem grows, exacerbated by eroding levels of trust in our institutions, so does the role of digital innovation and connectivity in facilitating education, growth, and opportunity. As such, a healthy private sector and engaged public sector is critical. Key proposals explored at the 2023 Americas Summit in relation to the theme of mis- and disinformation ranged from efforts to localize decision making regarding censorship by creating independent oversight boards, to the use of AI to develop ratings systems that help consumers make informed decisions.
These mark the first of many productive conversations to be had on the topic throughout our 2023 agenda. We look forward to continuing many of this week’s discussions at our 2023 Annual Summit, taking place on September 18-20 in New York City and maintaining its position as the leading nonpartisan forum alongside the UN General Assembly.
As always, thank you to the extensive Concordia community—our Partners, Sponsors, Members, Speakers, Leadership Council Members, Senior Advisors, and Advisors—for their insight, guidance, and support. A special thank you goes to our Principal Programming Partner, the University of Miami. We look forward to returning to the campus to host the 2024 and 2025 Americas Summits.
Matthew A. Swift
Nicholas M. Logothetis
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?
|Polycrisis: Latin America||Enabling Bipartisan Cooperation as a Vehicle for Collective Progress|
|Public Policy Perspectives: Sustainable Refugee Integration||Collaborating for Community Wellbeing: City-Level Policy Interventions for Public Safety|
|Ending the Misinformation Age: Building an Internet You Can Trust||Enhancing Partnerships & Strengthening Trade Competitiveness in the Western Hemisphere|
|Strengthening Security & Rule of Law Across the Western Hemisphere||Misinformation & Trust in Institutions with the Concordia Leadership Council|
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?
|Innovative Partnerships Towards Water & Food Security in Latin America||The Critical Role of ESG in the Region’s Future|
|Flashpoint: H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, Former President, Republic of Colombia||The Amazon & the Concordia Amazonas Initiative: Preserving a Critical Link to the Planet’s Health|
|Thought-Action-Change: A New Approach for a Cross-Cultural Impact on Climate Change||Environmentalism & Sustainable Industry Practices Across Latin America|
|Climate Resilience’s ‘Ground Zero’: Miami Seas (with University of Miami)|
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?
|Digital Innovation in Latin America: A Driver of Financial Inclusion||The Pivotal Impact of Women in Informal Roles Across Society|
|Strong Women, Strong World||A Seat at the Table & a Spot in the Procurement Pipeline: Inclusive Economic Transformation in Guyana|
|Opportunities to Improve the Economic Growth of Latin America|
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?
|Keynote Address from H.E. Alejandro Giammattei, President of the Republic of Guatemala (via video)||Remarks: U.S. Senator Rick Scott|
|Keynote Address from H.E. Chan Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname (via video)||A Conversation with Luis Gilberto Murillo, Ambassador of Colombia to the United States|
|Remarks: Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative|