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November, 2018
ITAM’s Social Commitment Seminar 2018: Disruptive Social Leadership
Social Leaders of Different Nationalities Shared Their Career Experiences, Ideas and Perspectives at ITAM
Mexico City, November 15, 2018 – ITAM’s 5th Social Commitment Seminar brought together social leaders dedicated to serving a variety of causes throughout the world. In this context, ITAM was the venue for the presentation of the Eliasson Global Leadership Prizes 2018, awarded by the Tällberg Foundation to people worldwide who show courageous, optimistic leadership, with universal values and global repercussions.

ITAM President Dr. Arturo Fernández, who inaugurated the event, stated that the seminar first began because of the Institute’s interest in providing a meeting space for reflection for members of civil society organizations who are devoted to human and social development. He emphasized that this university works to train the people that Mexico needs for the future, as it instills in them a strong, grounded willpower based on love and commitment to civic values in the pursuit of personal development and social progress.

Alan Stoga, founder and Chairman of the board of the Tällberg Foundation, said that his love for Mexico and ITAM’s institutional excellence to train leaders were the reasons why they chose this Institute as the venue for the awards ceremony. He remarked that the winners of this prize possess features that define them as social leaders: They ask intelligent questions about issues that are pertinent to their contexts; they seek to generate a positive change in the world, and they do not think of their differences as an obstacle but as an opportunity. The awards were presented by Gabriel Cuevas, Federal Representative, and Muni Figueres, former Costa Rican ambassador to the United States, who were members of the jury for this prize.

After the awards ceremony, both the prizewinners and other social activists whose work has a national and international impact participated in the conferences.

The first conference dealt with disruptive projects led by Mexican women. Participants included Natalia Villalpando, CEO of CREA; Dina Buchbinder, Chairwoman of Education for Sharing, and Rosa Isela Gluyas, CEO of the BAL Foundation. They spoke of the importance of training leaders, each from their respective area of expertise. All three expressed similar feelings, arguing that today there is a need for cooperative leadership and early empowerment for boys, girls, women and marginal communities. The panel was moderated by Dr. Alfredo Villafranca, a researcher at ITAM who specializes in issues, such as social justice as well as inclusion and gender equity in vulnerable groups.

Two of the winners of the Eliasson Prize participated in the second panel that addressed the social impact of art and science. The panel was moderated by José Carrillo Ruiz and Gabriel Ripstein, experts in the areas of neuroscience and film, respectively. The guests each talked about their area of work and the social impact of their career. Both shared a common concern for issues, such as ethical values, promotion of culture, creativity and access to opportunities.

In the panel that discussed measuring, creating bridges and facilitating change, Katnyna Argueta, responsible for the overall operation and perfomance of UNDP in Mexico, said that in 2015 the objectives proposed in the year 2000 were almost fulfilled; however, she added that there is still much work to be done. As a result, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda, which aims to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity. Diane Osgood, senior advisor on sustainability, innovation and purpose at The Tembo Group, stressed that philanthropic work is responsible for closing the economic gap due to decreasing government support, especially in developed countries. The new challenges for philanthropic organizations, she said, are to regain credibility and include citizens in order to create more awareness. Finally, they stressed that philanthropic institutions can use emerging technologies to attract more funding, be more competitive and efficient, and to facilitate access to information.

The subject of leadership for peace was presented by the founders of the Plateforme des Confessions Religieuses de Centrafrique (PCRC), who won a shared award within the Eliasson Global Leadership Prizes: Imam Omar Kobine Layama, president of the Central African Islamic Community; Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, archbishop of Bangui, and Nicolas Guérékoyame-Gbangou, president of the Evangelical Alliance of the Central African Republic. In their presentation, they shared with the audience the recent history of the political, social and religious situation of the central region of Africa. Their cooperative efforts began in 2012, when the religious tensions in that region became politicized, giving rise to a cycle of violence and insecurity. Together they have focused on promoting forgiveness, justice and love within their respective communities based on respect for different ideologies. Working together, they have progressed in their search for safeguarding their beliefs and their followers from political manipulation and orchestration. Roberto Zocco, researcher at ITAM’s Department of General Studies and specialist in subjects such as theology, religions and philosophy, moderated this discussion.

“Leadership to Create Public Awareness” was the panel in which Max Kaiser and Burghard Petersen participated. Max Kaiser, United Nations advisor on corruption, gave his perspective on the state of democracy, corruption and civil society in Mexico, stating that civil society must be very involved in influencing political decisions in a way that is beneficial for the rest of society. On the other hand, Burghard Petersen, Strategy Manager of EarthX, called on those who were present to give priority to environmental issues because they are affecting us in very direct ways. The moderator of the panel was Dr. Antonio Lloret, ITAM specialist on subjects such as sustainability, competitiveness, natural resources and institutions. Although the guests participate in different areas, they concluded that the work of one person alone cannot generate a lasting change: Innovative ideas and proposals that we build among all of us will generate true change.

In closing, Alejandra Peralta Borja, VP for Advancement and Institutional Communication at ITAM, who came up with the idea of creating this seminar and serves as its coordinator, was enthusiastic about the growth of the community’s participation in social issues. After five editions of this event, the favorable evolution that has occurred in this area has been remarkable. In the same way, she acknowledged the growth of the philanthropic community within ITAM that has helped the growth of scholarship programs for students who come from low-income families. On the other hand, Alfredo Orellana, who heads the ITAM’s Alumni Association, recognized the work and enthusiasm of Alejandra Peralta in the organization of this seminar. He also commented that, after nearly a year of work, he has witnessed the passion and influence of the ITAM community in a wide diversity of areas, and that he is concluding his term with positive expectations about the future of social leadership in our country.
Alan Stoga, president of the Tällberg Foundation
Federal Representative Gabriela Cuevas, Sharmeen Obaid-Chimoy and Muni Figueres, presenting the Eliasson Global Leadership Prizes 2018
Imam Omar Kobine Layama, president of the Central African Islamic Community; Dieudonné Nzapalainga, archbishop of Bangui; Nicolas Guérékoyame-Gbangou, Evangelical Alliance of the Central African Republic
Rafael Yuste
Panel of Disruptive Leadership Projects Led by Mexican Women
Panel of Art and science with social impact
Burghard Petersen, EarthX, Strategy Manager
Max Kaiser, United Nations advisor on corruption and government procurement issues
Leadership Panel for Public Awareness
Alfredo Villafranca, professor of the Department of General Studies at ITAM, Dina Buchbinder, Education for Sharing, founder and Chairwoman
José Carrillo Ruíz, coordinator of Pyschophysiology and Neurosciences, Red Anáhuac; Gabriel Ripstein, film producer and ITAM’s alumnus
Roberto Zocco, professor of the Department of General Studies at ITAM
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