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Bidding Farewell to GCL 2021 Special Edition

March 26, 2021

Bidding Farewell to GCL 2021 Special Edition

By Miguel Mendoza (C'23)

 On Friday, March 26, LALP bade farewell to its GCL 2021 Special Edition cohort. 2021 marked the 15th year of the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program. Despite this being the first year that GCL was held virtually, 37 participants from 16 different countries joined, accompanied by GCL alumni who organized virtual welcomes and undertook roles as mentors for projects. Participants strengthened their connections and fostered a strong sense of community through GCL's diverse program sessions and activities.  

GCL 2021 Special Edition was a significant edition for several reasons. This year, half of the 37 participants were female. Participants not only joined from capital cities throughout the region but from surrounding cities as well.  Many of the projects presented are being implemented and have begun to enact influence throughout the region. GCL 2021 presented a diversity of projects from a wide variety of different sectors, such as technology (STEM), education, health, government, tourism, and business and entrepreneurship. In this first virtual edition of GCL, participants were joined by GCL's network of alumni, who provided welcoming remarks and roles as mentors to carry out GCL 2021. Among those who spoke to GCL 2021 were GCL 2021 Impact Award winner Kenneth Gent (GCL 2014, Chile) and Laura Paonessa, President of the GCL Alumni Network. 

 Among the many incredible projects presented at GCL 2021, five, in particular, distinguished themselves as especially remarkable: 

  • ​Florencia Alamos, Potencia, Chile: Potencia is a program that aims to promote gender equality for women by breaking gender gaps in the STEM sector.  
  • Daniel Tricarico, Impact Latam, Argentina: Impact Latam is a technology-based acceleration platform that aids startups and entrepreneurs in the region.   
  • Vivian De Souza, Pikenas, Brazil: Pikenas is a project that aims to help young women combat abuse and sexual violence.  
  • Juan Diego Prudot,, Honduras: aims to utilize artificial intelligence in order to promote financial inclusion. 
  • Monica Villanueva, Lulu The Academy, Peru: Lulu The Academy is a project aimed at helping families and people with disabilities. 

Following the presentation of these projects, a video was shown from President DeGioia in which he gave a very encouraging farewell speech for GCL 2021 as they embark on their alumni journey. 

After DeGoia's farewell video, speeches were given by Camila Jordan (GCL 2021, Brazil) and Dani Tricarico (GCL 2021, Argentina), two GCL 2021 alumni who were chosen to speak by their cohort. Their words encapsulate GCL's values of commitment, preparation, and a willingness to contribute towards creating an impact in the Latin American region. 

Camila spoke of the resilience that comes with practicing leadership in the face of challenges such as inequality, economic uncertainty, and institutional weakness: 

These challenges are the foremost opportunities we can all tap into and look for potential solutions. Challenges that instigate action, actions that not only bring us together, but that also results in a domino effect that can bring about the changes we need. (...) This transformation begins with ourselves and unfolds from our cities to our countries." 

Camila spoke on how GCL prepared her and her fellow GCL 2021 alumni with the tools to go on and enact change and influence throughout the Latin American region, as well as how this program formed a strong sense of community among its participants: 

One important lesson we learned was that our diversity strengthens us as a group. This program was able to bring out the best of us and show us different possibilities for us to become a tool at the service of our people. We will always strive to transform our region into one that seeks to collaborate and compete, leaving no one behind."

 Dani spoke about how GCL 2021 will continue to strive to promote positive change in the region in the aftermath of COVID-19:

Sustainability, competitiveness, and equity will be the great challenges of the post-COVID 19 world, and as a GCL cohort, we are committed to working for development, cohesion, and institutional strengthening to generate opportunities in the region." 

Dani then provided warm closing remarks to the GCL program and Georgetown University:

It is a great honor to be able to give back what we have received. Finally, we wish to reinforce our commitment to continue working, hand in hand with the GCL Program and Georgetown University, for a more competitive, integrated, and equitable Latin America." 

We want to wish the incredible group of GCL 2021 the very best as they continue their journey in realizing positive impact and change throughout the region. 

Congratulations, GCL 2021!