Watch & Listen
June 03, 2020
As Latin America becomes the new global coronavirus epicenter, public health experts and private healthcare leaders discussed how technology advances and regional coordination might improve healthcare in the region....
- Rolf Hoenger, Area Head, Roche Latin America
- Fernando Pedro, Chief Medical Officer, Amil
- Hugo Villegas, President, Latin America, Medtronic
- James Fitzgerald, Director, Health Systems and Services, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization
- Felicia Knaul, Director, University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and Professor, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
- Ferdinando Regalia, Chief, Social Protection and Health Division, Inter-American Development Bank
- Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Council of the Americas (moderator)
- Zoe Dauth, Senior Manager and Coordinator, Healthcare Series, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
As Latin America becomes the new global coronavirus epicenter, public health experts and private healthcare leaders participated in a AS/COA Healthcare Series discussion addressing how advances in technology and regional coordination might improve healthcare in the region. In the first panel, which featured the private sector’s perspective, Roche’s Rolf Hoenger talked about how the pandemic has highlighted the need to adapt regulations and keep communication with the public sector open. Fernando Pedro talked about Amil implementing telehealth in Brazil and said the company is in the process of gathering data to learn more about increasing access to underserved areas in the country. Medtronic’s Hugo Villegas said only one third of population in Latin America has access to top healthcare technology and said the pandemic will require new business models in the healthcare sector. “There’ll be more need for healthcare with limited budget,” he said, stressing stakeholders’ need to better align their objectives.
On the second panel with public health experts, PAHO’s James Fitzgerald highlighted how the pandemic goes beyond a health crisis to a social and economic ones, and that there is false choice between emergency response and investing in health systems. Fairness and equal access will be keys to implementing solutions such as vaccine development across the region, he said. University of Miami's Felicia Knaul talked about the underlying conditions Latin America struggled with before becoming the epicenter, as countries deal with fast-aging populations, repressive regimes that have at times denied evidence-based policies, conflict-related migration, and weak health systems. Knaul said she hopes that state leaders will continue to enforce social distancing rules while countries reopen their economies amid case increases. The IDB’s Ferdinando Regalia talked about how to most effectively invest in technology and the healthcare sector as many countries prepare for an economic depression and to, for now, not cut their healthcare budget.Learn more about this topic...
June 02, 2020
“Financial inclusion results in deeper democracy,” said Argentine entrepreneur Pierpaolo Barbieri in our regional expert panel....
- Victoria Albanesi, Founder and Partner, Albanesi Tech & Legal Consulting
- Pierpaolo Barbieri, Founder and CEO, Ualá
- Hanna Schiuma, Founder, bankHer, and Partner at PRACK Asset Management
- Jorgelina do Rosario, Editor, Bloomberg (moderator)
Young Professionals of the Americas hosted a panel of fintech experts to discuss the way the industry is growing and changing in Latin America, given a world with adjusting financial needs amid a pandemic. Panelists spoke about the importance of universal financial inclusion in Latin America, with Hanna Schiuma talking about her work in finding systemic solutions to help women in the region find financial independence. Pierpaolo Barbieri spoke about the need for Latin America to access its own capital markets and the need for universal banking. Panelists spoke about how COVID-19 is also changing the financial landscape, and as Victoria Albanesi noted, it is “showing financial authorities that fintech is an industry that can bring essential services to people in crisis mode.” The panelists concurred that collaboration, as it contributes to healthy competition, is key to the future of fintech.
June 02, 2020
Watch experts discuss strategies for companies to provide better conditions for professionals to advance their careers while juggling family life....
- Alexandra Aguirre, Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP
- Giannina Marin, Deputy General Counsel for HispAm, American Tower
- Juliana Sguerra, Managing Director and Partner, Bogotá, BCG
- Ragnhild Melzi, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
AS/COA's Women Hemispheric Network hosted a panel discussion with experts about supporting working parents to advance their careers while balancing the demands of family, home, and work. Juliana Sguerra presented the results of Boston Consulting Group's study Making the Workplace Work for Dual-Career Couples, an ongoing report that provides recommendations for companies to support working parents. Panelists also talked about strategies for companies and families during the current critical time.
- Learn more about AS/COA Women Hemispheric Network.
- Watch more videos about making the workplace more equal for women.
May 28, 2020
Panelists discussed China’s ambitions and aid largesse in Latin America, as well as the future of Taiwan’s profile in the region....
- Bill Cassidy, U.S. Senator (R-LA)
- Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Council of the Americas, former White House Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for the Americas
- James Mulvenon, Director of Intelligence Integration, SOS International LLC
- David R. Shedd, Visiting Fellow, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, The Heritage Foundation, and former Acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
- Ana Rosa Quintana, Senior Policy Analyst, Latin America and the Western Hemisphere, The Heritage Foundation (moderator)
“The degree to which we are not engaged [with Latin America] is the degree to which China takes root,” said Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana in remarks to open a virtual discussion hosted in collaboration with The Heritage Foundation. Following the senator’s remarks, panelists discussed China’s ambitions and aid largesse in Latin America, the region in which the majority of the United States’ free-trade partners are. Eric Farnsworth talked about reinforcing the benefits of free trade in an era when many companies and countries are rethinking their dependence on China. James Mulvenon explained how China’s global activities and objectives have shifted during the pandemic, and David Shedd discussed the future of Taiwan’s profile in Latin America.
May 28, 2020
Festival directors and curators from Guanajuato, Istanbul, Porto Alegre, and Toronto shared how they’re adapting 2020 programming and their visions for the near future....
- Mariana Aymerich, General Director, Festival Cervantino, Guanajuato
- Naomi Campbell, Artistic Director, Luminato Festival, Toronto
- Andrea Giunta, Chief Curator of Mercosul Biennial 12, Porto Alegre
- Mariana Pestana, Curator, Fifth Istanbul Design Biennial
- Aimé Iglesias Lukin, Chief Curator and Director of Visual Arts, Americas Society (moderator)
- Sebastián Zubieta, Music Director, Americas Society (moderator)
As the coronavirus crisis affected festivals and biennials all over the world, how are curators for these major art events rethinking this year’s presentations and what will the pandemic mean for the community in the near future? Panelists from Guanajuato, Istanbul, Porto Alegre, and Toronto spoke with Americas Society’s Aimé Iglesias Lukin and Sebastián Zubieta about how they’ve adapted programming by going digital, resurfacing past performances, and delaying presentations.
From waiting on authorities’ decisions in Mexico to going local with performances and design projects in Canada, to rethinking printed materials and their share of responsibility with the environment when printing paper materials in Brazil, panelists talked about how to rethink festivals’ and biennials’ presentations without losing the close contact experience between the public and art that these community events inspire.More from this expert: Sebastián Zubieta, Aimé Iglesias Lukin
May 27, 2020
"The real anxiety that people are feeling is about the economy," said the AS/COA Online editor-in-chief....
Carin Zissis, editor-in-chief of AS/COA Online, spoke to Carolina Sarassa of Univision News about rising COVID-19 cases in Mexico. "The truth is that here in Mexico, people have been concerned and there's anxiety about the health risks, but people have also been supportive of the government. The real anxiety that people are feeling is about the economy," said Zissis. She added that a growing number of people are seeing their economic conditions worsen, so there is a push to reopen the economy.
Zissis said that Mexico has one of the lowest coronavirus testing rates in Latin America, noting there are about 40 tests per 1,000 people in the United States compared with 1.5 tests per 1,000 people in Mexico. She said the government is trying to reopen areas of Mexico that have no confirmed cases or deaths, that has many asking: "How do you know there are no confirmed cases or deaths if you haven't actually been testing?" Zissis cited a study released by the publication Nexos that reported 8,000 more deaths than normal in the capital since the beginning of the year, though only 1,800 COVID-19 deaths had been counted.
Zissis said that there is concern from the United States and Canada, both part of NAFTA, about disrupted supply chains. "The question is: Can factories protect their workers?" said Zissis.More from this expert: Carin Zissis
#Mexico reported its largest single-day rise in both new cases and fatalities since the start of the #outbreak. To discuss this #UNews spoke to @CarinZissis, she's a Mexican political analyst and the editor in chief of the @ASCOA. pic.twitter.com/OvpTV36Cnl
— Univision News (@UnivisionNews) May 27, 2020
May 26, 2020
"Bolsonaro has been playing this down," said the AS/COA vice president....
Brian Winter, vice president of AS/COA, spoke to Lorraine Cáceres of Univision News about Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban for Brazilian citizens, Winter said it is ironic because, "The Bolsonaro government is the one in the world that has arguably most closely copied the approach of the Trump administration by downplaying the gravity of the pandemic."
"While it’s true that Bolsonaro has been playing this down, a lot of power in Brazil does reside with these governors and mayors in places like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where they have instituted quarantines and mandated social distancing measures and shut down public transportation," Winter said. "I think it’s safe to assume that without those measures, the tragedy would’ve been much bigger."
He noted that Brazil's death toll is much higher than in countries like Argentina, Colombia, and Peru, where messaging from their respective presidents has been stricter. Winter explained that the United States is testing for the coronavirus at a "relatively low level by global standards," and that there are indications that Brazil's testing rate may be even lower. Winter emphasized that many uncertainties remain about why the virus hits harder in some places than it does in others and what it will take to ultimately eradicate it.
"The only thing we really seem to know for sure is that social distancing works," Winter said. "At least in the U.S., we’ve seen some modest progress. It may not be enough, but at least the curve of deaths is pointing down. But that’s not even true in Brazil."
More from this expert: Brian Winter
May 21, 2020
Economists from Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia discussed the possibilities for and primary questions about the novel public policy as part of the response to the COVID-19 crisis....
- Laura Carvalho, Associate Professor of Economics, Universidade de São Paulo&
- Marcela Eslava, Economics Professor, Dean of the School of Economics, Universidad de los Andes
- Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Dean of the School of Government, Universidad Torcuato di Tella
- Cecilia Tornaghi, Managing Editor, Americas Quarterly (moderator)
As the COVID-19 crisis sparks a discussion among economists and policymakers in Latin America about the use of a universal basic income (UBI), experts from Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia spoke on an AS/COA panel that gave the scope of the situation UBI would address in the region. They also discussed if UBI programs could be viable solutions as governments work to address the economic crises brought on by the pandemic.
Laura Carvalho explained that in Brazil—where an emergency basic income plan was temporarily implemented because of COVID-19—more than 40 percent of the population already held informal jobs. The current emergency program is equivalent to 2 percent of the country’s GDP, which is projected to shrink by 5.0 percent in 2020 according to the World Bank. Latin America already uses several conditional cash-transfer programs and transitioning these social polices toward UBI would require a whole restructuring of countries’ social systems to address the fiscal situation, including heavily taxing the rich, Marcela Eslava explained. Eduardo Levy Yeyati said political and moral discussions about a truly universal UBI program, which would send checks to the already wealthy or investing in targeted vulnerable populations, have yet to take place, while noting that in the past UBI has come up in discussions about job automation as a way to complement expected reduced work hours and lower salaries.
May 20, 2020
AS/COA's Susan Segal spoke with Buenos Aires' secretary general on the capital's strategies in handling the pandemic....
- Fernando Straface, Secretary General, City of Buenos Aires
- Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
AS/COA's president and CEO spoke with the Argentine capital's secretary general about the COVID-19 impact on cities and urban futures, in a conversation on Buenos Aires' response and recovery. The city official and former executive director of the Argentine think tank CIPPEC distinguished between three focus areas, including crisis management, government administration, and "the day after" factor of post-coronavirus plans for city activity. Straface presented a timeline comparison between Argentina and other select countries' social isolation responses, highlighting the South American country's rapid action in establishing total quarantine. Straface also spoke of the economic impacts to the city including commercial activity, knowledge-based services, and tourism, and noted also the city government's reorganization of public finances to strengthen critical areas. He continued to speak of the city's plans for education, as well as efforts to market itself internationally once quarantine is lifted and travel and economic activity can reopen in a "new normal."