For Nicholas Fernandez, political scientist, executive director of Fundación Encuentros del Futuro (co-organizer of Future Congress)
At the close of this version of Future Congress, which brought together 80 exhibitors from the most varied fields of knowledge, I think it is important to share a brief reflection. These 11 years of Future Congress have been a period of many changes in which the “distance” between the present and what we call the future has been shortening. In its beginnings we could see talks that described the frontier of thought, but it was not until three or four years later that these advances or conversations became part of everyday life. Today, that time has been reduced to the point that, for example, we are expounding on Neurorights, protection against cyberspace, while technology is already completely intertwined with our lives and reality. It is in this context that it becomes essential to find a way to accelerate the transfer of content and learning emanating from initiatives such as this one to society, in an open and cross-cutting manner so that it contributes to the development of better citizenship.
As we have seen this year in the presentations by Antony Fauci, chief adviser to the White House for the Covid-19 crisis, or the Uruguayan virologist Gonzalo Moratorio, the pandemic itself has been a great laboratory experiment that proves the relevance of participation. of scientific knowledge in State decisions. Without a doubt, the countries that best understood the virus were better able to counteract the threat to the health and economy of the population.
Likewise, the participation of women economists was key during this year. Esther Duflo, Nobel Prize in Economics 2019, stated that it is a fallacy that the increase in aid policies towards the population encourages “laziness”, because “people want to have a sense that they belong to a community, that they have a meaningful job , that their contribution provides them not only with money, but also with dignity”. On the other hand, the renowned economist Mariana Mazzucato was the one who expressed the importance of development based on an intersectoral strategy and the importance of promoting public policies in favor of reducing the carbon footprint and plastic in the oceans.
Timnit Gebru, the controversial former Google official once again opened the curtain for us to see more clearly the shadow behind the algorithms, the enormous gap that we have as a species to make this digital universe one free of bias and that protects Human Rights . In addition, in the “Childhood at the center” panel, the urgent challenge of moving from an adult-centric world to one that integrates children and adolescents as subjects of rights was revived, taking advantage of the contribution they make to make visible dimensions in which adults we have been much slower, such as the appreciation of diversity or awareness of the climate crisis.
Future Congress is literally a gift from these brilliant minds so that the National Congress, the Government and the Constitutional Convention can discuss formulas for the new Chile with a scientific basis and the highest level of thought. I make this point because the innumerable allusions made by the speakers to the Chilean process were surprising, both regarding the existence of this space and the various milestones that have marked our country: a social explosion that triggers the postponed discussion of a new Constitution and a pandemic that caused a vaccination strategy and the development of a control device that has been an example for many countries in the world.
Because we truly believe that knowledge empowers societies and today more than ever citizens must be protagonists in decision-making, both Fundación Encuentros del Futuro and the Future Congress itself will continue to invest in efforts, alliances and innovations to add value of knowledge at the service of building an ecologically and socially sustainable society, to finally achieve our long-awaited motto: Learn to Live Together.
We would like to say thanks to the author of this short article for this remarkable material
Column by Nicolás Fernández: Future Congress, laboratory of ideas – La Tercera