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March 31, 2020

A New Decade of Opportunities for Latin America

Perspectives on the Future of the Region

Promotional image for A New Decade of Opportunities for Latin America



Georgetown University’s Latin America Leadership Program (LALP) and Concordia are pleased to present a series of panels featuring renowned experts, business practitioners, Georgetown University faculty, and young leaders to bring a diversity of perspectives and reflect on the future of the region in the coming decade.

Social unrest and turmoil dominated the political landscape in Latin America over the last months of 2019, and economic stagnation has been a common denominator in the continent overall. Hence, it comes as no surprise that some experts predict that these tensions will not only remain but also intensify in the New Year and beyond leading to another “lost decade” for the region. However, there are many others who believe that the current challenges must be seen as opportunities for the private sector, civil society organizations, governments, and other important actors to work together and make of this era “A New Decade of Opportunities for Latin America."


  • 8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. | Welcome Reception and Registration
  • 9:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m. | Welcome/Introductory Remarks
  • 9:10 a.m.-9:30 a.m. | Georgetown Youth Perspectives on the Future
  • 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. | Session I
  • 10:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m. | Session I Q&A
  • 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. | Session II
  • 11:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | Session II Q&A
  • 11:30 a.m. | Final Remarks


Georgetown Youth Perspectives on the Future
9:10 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Moderated by Matthew Swift, Concordia Co-founder and CEO and Dr. Ricardo Ernst, LALP Executive Director, this panel will host Georgetown University students representing a diverse geographical background to answer the following question: “Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your future, the future of Latin America and the world overall?” These student leaders will share perspectives on civil engagement, democracy, economic potential and their outlook on the future as the rising group of next-generation leaders. 

Featured speakers: Paulina Ornelas (MPP’20, Mexico), Laura Newton (CLAS'21, Colombia), Valeria Sanchez (C'21, Venezuela), Santiago Mayoral (MBA FT'21, Mexico), Ana Ortega (GCL2020, Dominican Republic), and Jose Manuel Acevedo (GCL2020, Colombia).

Session I: Globalization, Competitiveness & Governability in Latin America
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. 

Moderated by Dr. Ricardo Ernst, LALP Executive Director, this panel will discuss the current political, economic and social panorama of the region through the lens of competitiveness, governability, and globalization. 

Featured Speakers:
Lorenzo Mendoza, CEO, Empresas Polar, and Luis Alberto Moreno, President, IDB

Lorenzo A. Mendoza: Chief executive officer of Empresas Polar, Venezuela’s largest food company. Prior to taking over at Empresas Polar, Lorenzo was an executive in the merger and acquisitions department of J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd in London, and worked as an executive in the corporate banking department of Citicorp/Citibank in New York.

Luis Alberto Moreno: President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) since 2005. As President of the IDB, Moreno also chairs the Board of Executive Directors of IDB Invest, the Group’s private sector arm, as well as the Donors Committee at IDB Lab, an innovation laboratory for development. Under Moreno’s leadership, the IDB Group has consolidated its role as the principal source of long-term financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, while providing cutting-edge knowledge and technical advice for social, economic and institutional development. Before joining the Bank, Moreno served as Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States and as Minister of Economic Development in Colombia.

Session II: Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation in Latin America
10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Moderated by Matthew Swift, CEO of Concordia. Latin America’s potential to shape the global economic agenda has become increasingly evident over the past few years. This panel will elevate conversations between companies with a presence in Latin America and their public sector counterparts, focusing on how they can work together to drive local economies, foster innovation, and boost investment in the region for the decade ahead.

Organized by the Latin America Leadership Program and Concordia, with the support of the McDonough School of Business Global Business Initiative (GBI) and Georgetown University's Latin American Student Associations: LASA, LABA, and LAPA.