Right now I’m in Panamá City, representing myself, the projects I’m involved with, women and Mexico in the Young Women LATAM and the Caribbean Regional Leadership, Governance and Sustainability Forum organized by the UN. My issue area is tech and entrepreneurship… and it has been quite a challenge. I’ll make sure to make an in-depth evaluation/ critique of what I’ve seen here for TechCrunch, but let’s just say women are missing in tech, but tech is also nowhere to be found in any of the women-led projects I’ve learned about in this event.
I want to use this space to talk about my experience, since it has been very fulfilling intellectually, personally and professionally.
For starters, this is definitely not what I expected from a UN forum, it’s been much more fluid and less protocol-oriented than I thought it would be. I love how much femininity is a part of it, things like sensibility, passion, creativity, sisterhood and friendship are brought up over and over again; and an integral part of how activities flow. Art is also a big part of this; ideation processes are something we do all day, we even have a team of illustrators that make infographics of EVERYTHING we do and a rapper that randomly breaks into song whenever she’s picked up enough material.
We did a dynamic today called the World Café in which we defined agendas looking at Cairo+20 (the UN/ UNDP conference in which they’ll look at the goals established in Cairo 20 years ago regarding gender, sexual and reproductive rights and population). During this dynamic I got to speak to a Peruvian indigenous about technology and education… My mind was blown. It all started with me saying “I think the UN got it wrong…”, which made some in my table shift uncomfortably, but she looked up brightly and said “I agree”, we were talking about the definition of education, I told them how I think universities are well on their way to disappearing and how education will horizontalize even more, how our children will study many many years, but not necessarily get a degree. As I finished my speech, a girl from Dominican Republic looked at me eagerly and screamed “I had never thought of it that way!”. My table came up with a small diagram in which we suggested rethinking terms and plans, looking at the future from the minorities, government and civil society standpoint, but also considering private industries and entrepreneurs as central actors.
Afterwards we had a guided meditation where we visualized a reunion of this same conference 10 years from today. I saw an older woman, dressed just like the peruvian in my table in my mind, very clearly. I saw her accomplished, as an indigenous entrepreneur and smiled huge. When we opened our eyes we just smirked at each other with quiet complicity. I like to think she imagined the same thing I did.
We had lunch, took pictures, did workshops, activities and listened to conferences. It’s all a bit of a blurr of hard work, excitement, smiles, adventures and exahustion. Afterwards there was a coctail at a museum.
I finished my day with an amazing fish diner, mojitos and karaoke.
I’ll make sure to keep writing even if it’s simple posts like this one on the next two forum days and maybe even on the two after that as well, when my sole mission will be to get lost in beautiful Panama. On that note, I’ve been very active on twitter, in case you wanna stay in the loop, we also have a hashtag going.
I’ll go pass out now. Night!