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planet_ hack_ _ | WSA Global Congress in Chile

Turning network capital into friendship capital

The WSA Global Congress in Chile was a triumph of impact entrepreneurship, celebrating innovation in line with the UN global goals. The congress was held in the beautiful region of Los Lagos in Southern Chile - the end of the world for most, the beginning of the world for many; including the diverse array of green start ups that have been springing up in the region in recent decades. The Global Congress' theme was planet_ hack_ _, to draw attention to the growing issue of climate change, and the growing opportunities for innovation that come with it. The event brought together innovators, specialists, thought leaders, investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Partnerships were forged, connections were made, numbers were exchanged, and network capital was turned into friendship capital at this extraordinary event.

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WSA Global Congress 2024: Key Topics

Hacking Climate Crisis

The first theme of the Global Congress was "Hacking climate crisis" focused on addressing the urgent issue of climate change. Many of the workshops and keynote speeches were focused around this theme, including the keynote by Marcus East on "The decade of the impact entrepreneur", where he discussed the growing relevance and importance of impact entrepreneurship for solving societies emerging issues.
Many of the winners showcased solutions for the problems of air pollution, water pollution, waste disposal and global warming.

 

Hacking Social Cohesion

The second theme of the Global Congress was "Hacking Social Cohesion," focusing on fostering unity and addressing historical and social injustices. Many workshops and keynote speeches centered around this theme, notably the keynote by Tara Roberts on "Healing Historic Harms." Roberts discussed the importance of addressing the trans-Atlantic slave trade's legacy and promoting social cohesion through digital innovation.

Many of the sessions and panels explored ways to integrate social justice into technology solutions, emphasizing the need for inclusive development. These discussions aimed to bridge societal divides and promote harmony within communities. Additionally, many of the winners showcased solutions tailored to reduce inequality and social alienation.

 

Hacking Impact Entrepreneurship

The third theme of the Global Congress was "Hacking Impact Entrepreneurship," dedicated to leveraging entrepreneurial spirit for social and environmental change. This theme underscored the importance of innovation in addressing global challenges and creating sustainable solutions.

Many keynote speeches centered on this theme, with a notable keynote by Philippine Leclerc on "Empowering Impact Entrepreneurs." Philippine discussed ways in which we can facilitate small business practices and move away from corporate consolidation. There were also many workshops on how to empower early stage businesses such as the workshop on "How to raise capital" by Yemi Keri.

Many of the year's winners also showcased solutions that facilitated small business and corporate decentralisation.

Core Values of the WSA Global Congress Patagonia

  • Decentralization: The Internet has facilitated the sharing of information across even the remotest of locations, but the rise of digital divides poses a risk to society's integrity. How can we progress from an information society to a knowledge-based one? And how do we provide essources and access also for rural areas. What are successful models that allow people transfer control and decision making from a centralized entity to a distributed network.
  • Collaboration: Incorporate diverse perspectives to enrich measures or solutions. Listen and learn from each other and best practices. Bold discussions, accepting different perspectives and meeting on an eye level.

Global Champions:

During the Global Congress, the winners were able to pitch to a series of jurors, national experts and other entrepreneurs who gave them feedback and ratings based on their pitch. Through this process, the final Global Champion of each category was selected.

Meet our Global Champions

Winners:

Key Participants

Sachi Wickramage

Serial Entrepreneur

i4T Global

Australia

Mathias Haas

Founder and CEO

SuperSocial

Austria

Eva Hiesmair

Co-Founder & COO

Content Creation School

Austria

Nina Popanton

Team Lead, Scientific Communications, PR

DIO - Data Intelligence Offensive

Austria

Tanja Wehsely

CEO

Volkshilfe Wien

Austria

Rodrigo Assumpção

Social Protection Management Information Systems Expert

International Labour Organization

Brazil

Babak Fakhamzadeh

IT consultant, designer, developer

B's projects

Brazil

Renata Koch Alvarenga

Founder and Executive Director

EmpoderaClima

Brazil

George Sharkov

Director

ESI Center Eastern Europe

Bulgaria

Eileen Knowles

Sustainability Consultant

Columbia University in the City of New York

Canada

Catherine Warren

President

FanTrust

Canada

Pablo Acevedo

Partner

Flores & Acevedo

Chile

Muriel Alarcón

Journalist

Freelance

Chile

José Manuel Moller

Founder

Al Gramo

Chile

Bernardita Pantoja

Head of Alternative Assets

LarrainVial Estrategia

Chile

Alexandra Petermann

Huilo Huilo

Chile

Jayesh Ranjan

Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT)

Chile

NIcola Schiess

Fundacion Theatro del Lago

Chile

Witman Hung

Principal Liaison Officer for Hong Kong

Shenzhen Qianhai Authority

China

Anushka Purohit

CEO and Co-Founder

CoronAI

China

Ana Brigovic

Business Development Manager

ACT Group

Croatia

Irene Polycarpou

Professor of Technology and Innovation in Education, Head of the School of Sciences

University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus

Cyprus

Arturo Lopez Valerio

Director

Cámara Dominicana de Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación

Dominican Republic

Liisi Org

CEO

Latitude59

Estonia

Philippine Leclerc

Project Manager

EMERGING Valley

France

Alexander Felsenberg

Head of Innovation, Development and CSR

Circet Deutschland GmbH

Germany

Solomon Appier-Sign

Founder

NextNerds

Ghana

Dorothy Gordon

Consultant

ICT4Development

Ghana

Jóhann Malmquist

Professor and serial entrepreneur

University of Iceland

Iceland

Osama Manzar

Founder & Director

Digital Empowerment Foundation

India

Anushka Shahdadpuri

Founder

Aamchi

India

Patrick Habib

Co-Founder

DrosBox

Lebanon

IEVA ŽILIONIENĖ

Consulting Lead

NRD Companies

Lithuania

Renuka Sena

Impact and Sustainability Advocate, Impact Investor, Scaleup Venture Capital, Ecosystem Builder, Accelerator Design, Angel Funds, Startup Coach, Speaker

PROFICEO

Malaysia

Rudy Laddaga Lopez

Chief Content Officer

Citizens Company

Mexico

Connor Sattely

Independent Consultant

Connor Sattely Consulting

Netherlands

Mahsa McCauley

Director

Auckland University of Technology & She Sharp

New Zealand

Yemi Keri

Founder

Heckerbella

Nigeria

Arletty Pinel

Silver economy evangelist, social entrepreneur & angel investor. WBAF International Partner, Aging2.0 Ambassador.

Panama

Alfonso Accinelli

Deputy Director of Innovation and Technology Transfer

CONCYTEC

Peru

Tatiana Gonzalez Bendezu

Training Analyst

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Peru

Maria Moreno S

Consultant of Financial Inclusion

Peru

Sandra Fazenda Almeida

Executive Director

APDC – Digital Business Community

Portugal

Diogo Paciência

Online Marketeer

European Travel Commission / Visit Europe

Portugal

Goran Pastrovic

Senior Program Manager

Equilibrium Int

Serbia

Richard Feteke

Senior specialist for the non-profit sector and social enterprises

Slovenská sporiteľňa (Erste Bank Group)

Slovakia

GEORGIE MIDGLEY

CEO

M4Jam

South Africa

Angela McCann

Founder

Black Square White

South Africa

Jason Muloongo

Co-Founder

LittPro

South Africa

Batoul Husseini

Regional Executive Director of Government Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility

SAP

Syria/Turkiye

Gloria Mangi

Founder and President

African Queens Project

Tanzania

Gia Gaspard Taylor

President

Network of Rural Women Producers Trinidad and Tobago (NRWPTT)

Trinidad and Tobago

Madelynn Martiniere

Managing Partner

Armillaria

USA

Donald Waruhanga

Chief Executive Officer

Doppler Technologies

Uganda

Marcus East

Founder & President

VentureForge

United Kingdom

Carlos Abler

Consultant

United States of America

Tara Roberts

Explorer-in-Residence

National Geographic

United States of America

Manuel Albaladejo

Head of UNIDO in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay

UNIDO

Uruguay

Amir Richani

Consultant

Freelancer

Venezuela

Location

The Global Congress was held in Teatro del Lago, a beautiful venue with a rich history overlooking the Llanquihue lake. The surrounding area is known as the Los Lagos Region, and is famous for it's breathtaking landscapes, hot springs, and nature tourism.

Why Chile? Why Patagonia?

Patagonia absorbs up to 3 times more carbon per hectare than the Amazon. Chile is a leader in Green Hydrogen - capacity to produce H2V cheapest than any other nation, thanks to solar photovoltaic and wind energy in the sites with the greatest potential, Atacama and Patagonia. Meanwhile, it has the potential to be a top lithium supplier, it has the biggest float of energy buses outside China and over 71% of its energy comes from green sources.
Learn more

Media resonance:

 

Patron Statements:

50% of the world’s population is under 30, compared to just 2.8% of parliamentarians globally. If this proportion were reflected in a year, the views of those under the age of 30 would stop being represented just 10 days into the year. This is a stark reflection of the fact that millions of young voices are excluded from decision-making spaces at a time when the world is facing extreme systemic challenges.

Young people must be included in the decision-making spaces and their recommendations and innovative solutions must be meaningfully supported. Initiatives to support young people's leadership and efforts to shape our world's future to be better, safer, and more sustainable are critical avenues to engage with young people as equal partners to achieve Agenda 2030. I therefore would like to congratulate the work of WSA and, more importantly, the work of the WSA Youth Community in contributing to these efforts.

Congratulations once again to all WSA Young Innovators and the Global Youth Ambassadors of WSA

Felipe Paullier
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs

This year, the Global Congress is specifically celebrating the innovative spirit that drives progress around the world, echoing UNIDO's motto of 'Progress by Innovation'. The pioneering solutions presented at this congress show the transformative potential of digital technologies. Our shared task is to bridge digital divides that threaten to leave many behind, especially in developing countries. The importance of sustainable development powered by digital innovation cannot be overstated. From enhancing food security to optimizing clean energy, digital technologies enable and scale solutions to our most pressing global challenges.

Digital transformation and the leveraging of technologies, especially Artificial Intelligence, are revolutionizing diverse fields like healthcare, agriculture, education and energy. However, we must work together so these innovations do not widen inequalities, but reduce them and ensure that the fruits of digital transformation are accessible to all.
Entrepreneurship and startups are at the heart of this transformation. UNIDO prioritizes nurturing these innovative forces, recognizing their capacity to introduce groundbreaking solutions to our most pressing challenges. Our focus extends to bolstering innovation ecosystems within developing countries, where enhancing manufacturing productivity through digital integration can propel economic growth and development, marking significant strides towards achieving the SDGs.

The WSA Global Congress 2024 is more than a celebration of technological advancement; it is a commitment to an inclusive, sustainable future powered by collaboration, creativity and innovation. As we move forward, let us continue to foster this spirit, ensuring that the advancements we champion today lay the foundation for a brighter, more equitable and sustainable tomorrow.

Mr. Gerd Müller
UNIDO Director General

The vision of sustainable and inclusive development that we have been working on in the Los Lagos Region is further strengthened by this type of initiative. We were the first to support the proposal to host the event, due to the impact it will have on the innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurship, with the visit of entrepreneurs who have had a worldwide experience. In this line, it is important that national authorities have joined the project in response to our call, as it demonstrates that the focus that underpinned our public-private Pact for a sustainable and inclusive region is calling on other influential actors to contribute to what we do from this territory.

Patricio Vallespín
Governor of the Los Lagos Region, Chile

 

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