Miami, November 6, 2017—Prominent hemispheric business and policy leaders gathered in Miami on November 3 for the Council of the Americas Symposium and 23rd BRAVO Business Awards ceremony. The one-day event held at the Four Seasons Hotel brought together CEOs of Latin American and international corporations, top public officials, and leaders of multilateral organizations for a conversation on topics ranging from sustainable growth to artificial intelligence. After the Symposium, the gala ceremony honored six exceptional individuals who are committed to helping Latin America realize its full growth potential.
“The Symposium and BRAVO Business Awards have become one of the top gatherings for private- and public-sector exchanges in the Americas, and have expanded the Council’s footprint in Miami and beyond,” said Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) President and CEO Susan Segal. “These successful events perfectly encapsulate our mission of fostering cooperation and integration in one of the world’s most dynamic and promising regions.”
The topics covered at the Symposium’s morning session included Sustainable Growth, Corporate Leadership in the Digital Era, and Cross-Border Trade and Investment Facilitation.
In the opening panel Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurría emphasized the role of education to achieve sustainable growth in the Americas. “It is the combination of education with vocational training, with lifelong learning, with a regulatory framework, with the necessary investments, which will boost productivity, provided that workers have the necessary skills,” said Gurría.
Additional highlights included a keynote address by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno, who announced the rebranding of the private arm of the organization as IDB Invest. “If you have a bold idea, talk to us. If you want to push into underserved markets, give us a call. And if you are the kind of company that takes big risks in areas like energy, transportation, or agribusiness, then we are the partner you want at your side,” said Moreno.
In the afternoon, the Symposium held concurrent sessions focused on the current strengths and future challenges for the Tourism industry in Latin America, the benefits of implementing Sustainable Initiatives in companies, and the impact of Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies in their business models. In the Artificial Intelligence session, IBM Latin America General Manager Ana Paula Assis referred to this phenomenon’s transformational movement across all industries in the region. “This could be a turning point in Latin America´s productivity and competitiveness. Artificial intelligence opens the doors to a new era of exponential knowledge. The big challenge is preparing ourselves accordingly to take advantage of all its benefits from a public and private perspective.”
Speakers at the Symposium also included: Daniel Alarcón, Logiety Technology; Jorge Apaez, IGH; Rogerio Basso, IDB Invest; Jorge Becerra, The Boston Consulting Group; Ana Mercedes Botero, CAF; Katia Bouazza, HSBC; Tyler Bryson, Microsoft; Flavio Carrillo, Florida International University; César Cernuda, Microsoft; Luisa García, LLORENTE & CUENCA; Andrés Gluski, The AES Corporation; Guillermo Guémez Sarre, Grupo Financiero Banorte; Bernardo Guillamon, IDB; Fernando Iraola, Bank of America; Luciano Macagno, Delta Air Lines; Thilo Mannhardt, Ultrapar; Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade in Costa Rica; Claudio Muruázabal, SAP; Vernon Murray, Emerson; Gema Sacristán, IDB Invest; Ricardo Sánchez Baker, Aeroméxico; Damián Scokin, Despegar.com; James P. Scriven, IDB Invest; Xavier Serbiá, CNN; and Stephen Stefani, Hospital do Câncer Mãe de Deus.
At the gala ceremony, Council of The Americas honored the 23rd BRAVO Business Awards recipients:
- Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General: Legacy Award
- Horst Paulmann, Founder and Chairman of Cencosud: Lifetime Achievement
- Fernando González, CEO of CEMEX: CEO of the Year
- Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, and Andrés Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico: Visionary CEO Leadership
- María Fernanda Mejía, Senior Vice President of Kellogg Company and President of Kellogg Latin America: Dynamic CEO of the Year
Sponsors of the Council of the Americas Symposium and 23rd BRAVO Business Awards include HSBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, LLORENTE & CUENCA, The AES Corporation, CAF – Development Bank of Latin America, IBM, The Boston Consulting Group, Bombardier, Chubb, Emerson, Florida International University, Microsoft, and SAP. Media partners: CNN and Financial Times. Supporting Organizations: Enterprise Florida.
The Symposium was organized in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank.
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Council of the Americas (COA) is the premier international business organization whose members share a common commitment to economic and social development, open markets, the rule of law, and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere. The Council's membership consists of leading international companies representing a broad spectrum of sectors, including banking and finance, consulting services, consumer products, energy and mining, manufacturing, media, technology, and transportation.policy leaders gathered in Miami to analyze the most important issues facing the Americas.