Latin American graduate students in engineering and management at MIT are organizing a one-day conference to address impacts of technology in the social, economic and political development of the Latin American continent on Saturday, April 26 in the Sloan School's Tang Center.
The conference, organized by Club Latino at MIT and Club Latino at the Sloan School, will bring together educational, political and business leaders from the region to discuss the various effects that technology can and should have in the social, economic and political development of the continent. Participants will explore not only current uses of technology in business applications, but also the impact technology has in education, the virtuous cycle of knowledge and wealth creation in the new Information Society, and the importance of intelligent technological policy.
Latin America has experienced tremendous progress in the past decade on the political and economic fronts, the organizers note. "Yet significant challenges lie ahead, in a world where sound technological progress remains the main engine of sustainable development. In the era of the Information Society, regional leaders cannot afford to overlook the issue of technology without facing the possibility of continued underdevelopment.
"MIT has a great tradition in bringing together technology, business and policy for the improvement of human standards of living. Furthermore, in the past few years, the number of Latin American students and faculty at the Institute has grown dramatically, and many cooperation programs have been signed with diverse organizations across the continent."
The roster of invited speakers is drawn from government and industry in Latin America. Four MIT faculty members are also participating: Professors Arnoldo Hax and Donald Lessard of the Sloan School; Professor Fred Moavenzadeh of civil and environmental engineering, director of the Technology and Development Program and of the Henry L. Pierce Laboratory; and Nobel prize-winning Professor Mario Molina of chemistry and earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences. Two speakers apiece will address business and technology, education/research and technology, and policy and technology. Three smaller round-table sessions on the same topics will follow.
The audience will include business leaders who have investments in the development of the continent, Sloan alumni/ae working on or in Latin America, and Boston-area students and faculty interested in Latin America. The event will also have a large "virtual audience" at universities in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia, where viewers can relay their own questions to the speakers.
The conference is being sponsored by the Graduate Student Council and several corporate sponsors including Merrill Lynch, NetBrasil, and Booz Allen & Hamilton. Further information and pre-registration forms are available on the Web at
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 16, 1997.