Buenos Aires 2015 Blog: Innovation and the Tech Revolution in Argentina


Business leaders discuss innovation opportunities in Argentina.


  • Diego Dzodan, Vice President Sales Latin America, Facebook
  • Gustavo Grobocopatel, Chairman, Grupo Los Grobo
  • Martin Migoya, CEO, Globant
  • Susan Segal, President and CEO, AS/COA

A panel on investment at AS/COA’s Buenos Aires Conference examined the role of technology in an Argentine context, the country’s global position when it comes to innovation, and how the tech sector spells changing dynamics for politics and communication. Toward the end of the discussion, moderator and AS/COA President Susan Segal summed up the debate as one veering toward a philosophical view on technological change.

Kicking off the panel, Facebook’s Diego Dzodan outlined the social media platform’s growth in Latin America and in Argentina in particular. Three of the top 20 countries in terms of Facebook users are in Latin America and 25 million Argentines regularly access the platform; 84 percent of them do so via mobile devices. Dzodan said Facebook’s grand mission is to help people express themselves and for the world to be more openly connected. Related to that mission, he described Facebook as a natural platform for political debate, saying that the company works with Argentina’s political candidates to help them transmit the message.

In terms of technology’s societal role, Grupo Los Grobo’s Gustavo Grobocopatel warned of inequality and a digital divide; in an era of the rich getting richer, the wealthy adopt technology faster than the poor, affecting the flow of information. He also argued that we need to transform ourselves from an online society that needs to prove we’re right to one interested in learning. “The better attitude: I prefer to learn rather than be right,” he said.

Globant’s Martín Migoya agreed, adding that there is a need for a culture of observation. Grobocopatel stressed the growing importance of arts education to generate curiosity and innovation.

Focusing in on the domestic landscape, Migoya commented on the fact that in interviews he often gets asked if there is a lack of talent in Argentina. He argued that there is no debt of talent but that businesses become impatient over a lack of skills—even though “talent” and “skills” are distinct. “We believe in the development of talent and in the Argentine capacity to develop great things,” said Migoya. But he also noted that a need exists for infrastructure to support an ecosystem of tech entrepreneurs, saying: “Innovation is a behavior. Companies have to learn it to create vehicles for it to happen.”

Grobocopatel gave his take on technology and innovation from an agribusiness perspective, forecasting a “green industrial revolution.” He said the revolution will take place where there is land, water, and the necessary technology, which can be found in Argentina and Mercosur countries overall. To that end, he contended that Mercosur could be the twenty-first century England for this revolution—but it could also be the China. Whether it will be China or England depends on understanding modernization and industrialization.

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