Washington D.C., May 01, 2023 – The McNichols Building in Denver, United States, hosted the panels on digital transformation and urban entrepreneurship, organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), as part of the Innovation Track of the Cities Summit of the Americas for Youth, which was organized by the Biennial of the Americas and the United States Department of State.
Youth, city leaders, entrepreneurs, policy experts, and social activists met in talks that addressed taking action through policy proposals and recommendations on issues that impact the development agenda of our hemisphere.
The first panel, held on April 27 under the title “The Rise of Young Entrepreneurs in Digital Business in the Americas”, moderated by Raphaella Costa of YABT, generated a rich conversation about the issues of digital transformation, e-commerce and access to technologies, bringing to the table the role of the various actors. Meet panelists and partners by accessing here.
During the opening remarks, Sara Aviel, President and Executive Director of the Inter-American Foundation, emphasized “what is true for technology is true for development in general: to unleash its tremendous potential, we need to develop and use it in a way that focuses on the communities and the people who make it up”.
For his part, Josh Blumenfeld, Manager of Government Affairs and Public Policy at YouTube, invited entrepreneurs to share their stories and experiences through the platform highlighting its benefits and that “the good thing about this platform is that you don’t have to fit into a mold, the mold is you, there is no mold, it’s the story you want to share”.
After the interventions of Aviel and Blumenfeld, there was a conversation with Álvaro Carrasco, CEO, Brave Up; Claudia Magdaleno, CEO, ceofactory and María del Mar Jaramillo, CEO, Fundación Soy Oportunidad, young entrepreneurs who told their stories about the path they have taken in the digital economy, inspiring more young people and sharing practical tips and key resources for developing digital businesses within a global ecosystem, emphasizing the importance of involving young people as drivers of digital transformation in cities.
The second panel was held on April 28, entitled “Urbanpreneurs: Supporting Youth Innovation Driving Transformation in Urban Settings – A Smart Thing To Do”, moderated by Cecilia Vilchis of YABT, connecting themes and new collaborative approaches that are giving room to new business models that expand economic and social opportunities to different groups of the population, given the rapid growth of cities. Meet panelists and partners by accessing here.
In her introductory remarks, María Moreno, CEO of USA for IOM, stated that “youth innovation in entrepreneurial initiatives is fundamental for socio-economic growth and resilience of urban environments, especially as climate change worsens and inequality increases”.
Afterwards, Youth Secretary of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Genaro Sánchez, held a conversation and interacted directly with the audience, where he expressed the importance of encouraging young people and indicated: “We believe that the way to make a change is through education, by investing to innovate, by saying ‘yes’ you can and going into those aspects…”
These first interventions allowed us to continue to deepen the role of youth in the transformation of cities, through the panel “Young Urbanpreneurs”, bringing together Elizabeth Nava, Co-Founder and Marketing Director, Entelequia; Caleb Padilla, CEO, Un Pulmón Más; Ysabel Calderón, CEO, Sumak Kawsay, who lead various initiatives focused on solutions for urban progress in their communities.
Finally, Luis Niño, Chair of the Board of Directors of YABT, presided over the closing words, and introduced Jesús D’ Alessandro, Technical Secretary of the Mayor’s Office of the National District of the Dominican Republic, whose speech included relevant aspects on the way to the Tenth Summit of the Americas, to be held in 2025 in the Dominican Republic, inviting us to continue “working in an inclusive way, implementing the commitments made and generating new ideas for the youth of the Americas. ”