GCL Alumni Reunion in Monterrey (2023)
The 2023 Annual Reunion of Alumni of the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (GCL), an emblematic event in the calendar of the Alumni Network of Georgetown University´s Latin America Leadership Program (LALP), was held in the vibrant city of Monterrey, Mexico, from November 16 to 18, 2023. This meeting, marked by its diversity and richness of content, brought together more than 30 emerging leaders representing a network of 600 leaders from 23 countries, a testament to this program's growing impact and expansion in the region.
By the GCL Alumni Network
This year's GCL Alumni Annual Reunion was a forum for interaction and exchange of ideas between leaders who share a common vision for the development and progress of the Latin American region and as a platform to strengthen ties, create new connections, and foster future collaborations. Through a carefully designed agenda, the event offered a balance of inspiring lectures, practical workshops, and networking sessions, ensuring that each participant could grow personally and professionally.
The 2023 GCL Alumni Annual Reunion stood out for its focus on topics relevant to contemporary leadership, such as project management, effective communication, and collaboration strategies. At the same time, it focused on addressing current and emerging challenges in the region, reaffirming the GCL alumni network's commitment to sustainable development and social inclusion. The diversity of the participants, who spanned different sectors such as government, business, academia, and civil society, enriched the discussions and provided a variety of perspectives on the topics discussed.
In short, the GCL 23 Annual Meeting in Monterrey was not just an alumni reunion but a celebration of the passion, dedication, and commitment each leader brings to their work to advance Latin America. This event reaffirmed the role of the GCL program and its alumni network as catalysts for change and development in the region.
This year's GCL Alumni Reunion featured great and inspiring regional speakers, providing a unique and valuable perspective on promoting leadership and positive change in the region. As such, GCL alumni had the opportunity to listen to Ricardo Ernst, an emblematic figure in the field of Latin American leadership, who offered a motivational talk that not only captured the essence of the GCL alumni network's spirit but also outlined the plans for LALP, leaving attendees with a sense of renewed purpose and a clear vision for the months and years ahead. Ximena Peredo, Secretary of Citizen Participation of the government of the State of Nuevo León, shared her unique journey from her beginnings as an activist to her current role in linking the government with citizens. Her personal story was an inspiring example of how passion and commitment can translate into a significant impact at the government level. Martha Herrera stood out with her story about the change of direction in her career, leaving a prominent position at CEMEX to dedicate herself to the Secretariat of Inclusion and Gender Equality. Her decision to shift from a corporate focus to a role in social equity highlighted the importance of conscious, community-oriented leadership. Paulina Martínez Castañon, from Linkedin, enriched the program with a practical workshop on the efficient use of this professional platform. Her experience and knowledge in professional social media provided attendees with valuable tools to maximize their online presence, improve their networking, and enhance their careers. Paulina's ability to integrate practical cases and applicable advice made her presentation one of the most relevant and immediately applicable to the leaders present. Each of these presentations, with their unique focus and inspiring message, contributed significantly to the success of the meeting, offering participants a variety of perspectives and tools to apply in their respective areas of influence. These talks motivated leaders to continue developing their skills and expanding their horizons and reaffirmed the value and importance of leadership in the transformation of Latin America.
Likewise, this year's included workshops and teamwork activities. Of note was the workshop led by Patricio Bichara (GCL 2009) and Carlos Garza, which focused on how leaders can identify and maximize areas of collaboration between them. Bichara and Garza, with their extensive experience in project and venture development, guided participants through interactive exercises and group discussions, emphasizing the importance of synergy and cooperation in achieving common objectives. Participants came away with a deeper understanding of how their individual skills and resources could be combined for greater collective impact. Also, a project management workshop was led by Carina Silva (GCL 2020), president of the GCL Alumni network. Focusing on strategic planning for 2024, Silva shared essential project management techniques and tools, providing attendees with practical tools they could apply in their initiatives. This workshop not only improved the management skills of the participants but also provided them with a framework to approach future projects more effectively and efficiently. Pavel Lau (GCL 2012) offered a workshop focused on alumni integration, culminating in a spectacular way. The integration focused on strengthening the alumni network and fostering community and collaboration. Lau used interactive dynamics that promoted the exchange of experiences and the construction of lasting relationships. This workshop was a space for learning and a catalyst to strengthen the GCL alumni network.
Lastly, feedback sessions and effective communication played a crucial role, offering participants an invaluable personal and professional growth opportunity. One of the most impactful sessions was led by Diane Garza, who facilitated a space for constructive feedback between alumni members. In this session, participants shared experiences and challenges, providing and receiving feedback in an environment of support and mutual respect. Garza's ability to guide these conversations ensured that everyone in attendance felt heard and valued and that the lessons learned were applicable and relevant to their continued development as leaders. This exercise strengthened attendees' communication skills and fostered greater cohesion and understanding within the network. In addition, the talk on how to make communications more effective on social networks was given by Isabella Arevalo (GCL 2023). Arévalo, with her experience and knowledge in the digital field, with over half a million followers on social networks, provided leaders with Practical strategies and tips to improve their online presence. In an era where digital communication is key, this session equipped attendees with skills to create impactful messages, build their personal and professional brands, and use social media as a powerful tool for leadership and social change. Participants came away with a greater understanding of leveraging these platforms to amplify their voice and impact. These sessions were essential to the enrichment of the event, as they provided leaders the opportunity to reflect on their practices, learn from their peers, and improve their communication skills. The combination of personal feedback and digital communication skills offered a well-rounded experience, ensuring leaders were equipped to meet the challenges of modern leadership in an increasingly connected world.
The organization of the GCL 23 Annual Meeting in Monterrey was a monumental task executed with exemplary efficiency and professionalism, thanks to the effort and dedication of a team of outstanding GCL alumni.
Samuel González (GCL 2017), who served as the organization team leader, played a vital role in the overall coordination of the event. His leadership and vision were essential to ensure that the meeting met the highest standards of quality and relevance. Sam demonstrated exceptional ability to manage teams, coordinate logistics, and ensure all aspects of the event were aligned with the GCL's goals and values.
Alma Ramirez (GCL 2014), the agenda manager, played a crucial role in curating the event's content. Her attention to detail and focus on thematic relevance ensured that each session, workshop, and presentation offered maximum value to participants. Ramirez's balanced and well-structured agenda allowed for a transition fluid between the different activities, maximizing the learning and networking experience for all attendees.
Catalina de la Garza (GCL 2023), who was responsible for the organization, made sure that every logistical detail, from the location to the services at the event, was handled with the greatest precision. Her ability to anticipate needs and solve problems quickly and efficiently was a key component to the success of the meeting.
Isaac Lopez (GCL 2020) and Patricio Bichara (GCL 2009) played a vital role in connecting participants, speakers, and sponsors. Their work in creating networking opportunities and facilitating future collaborations significantly expanded the impact and reach of the event. Lopez and Bichara's ability to build and maintain strategic relationships was fundamental to creating an environment of exchange and cooperation.
The organization of this year's GCL Alumni Reunion in Monterrey was an outstanding example of teamwork, collaborative leadership, and meticulous planning. Each organizing team member brought unique skills and knowledge, resulting in a high-quality, memorable, and high-impact event. Thanks to them and to all the GCL Alumni who joined them in Monterrey to celebrate and energize their commitment to the GCL program and its alumni network.