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Laspau to hold inaugural Higher Education Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia

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Laspau has announced that it will hold the inaugural Higher Education Summit of the Americas on November 16th and 17th, 2018 in Cartagena, Colombia.

The Summit will convene 100 leaders from government, business, and higher education to re-envision the role of the university in Latin America and the Caribbean to advance its relevance and impact in 21st-century society. These leaders include university presidents and vice presidents, government ministers and secretaries and business leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Through this milestone event, Laspau aims to harness the collective knowledge of leaders, bridge collaboration across government, business and higher education sectors, and articulate shared priorities for transforming higher education in the region. Over the course of two days, leaders will discuss societal challenges in relation to academic research, international trends, and system-wide practices for cultivating innovation ecosystems and knowledge-based societies.

The summit will include sessions on Reinventing the Role of the University in Latin America, The University as a Driver of Economic Growth, Innovating Education to Educate Innovators, Utilizing Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to Scale Innovation in Higher Education.

One of the Summit’s keynote speakers, Dr. Julio Frenk, the President of the University of Miami, sees the Summit as an opportunity for “sharing our strategy to become a hemispheric university by engaging with other institutions of higher learning form the region to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Over the past 50 years, Laspau has collaborated closely with governments, foundations, nonprofits and educational institutions across the Americas. The organization currently manages several longstanding scholarship programs for partners such as the Fulbright Program of the U.S. Department of State, the Organization of American States, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among others. Additionally, over the past ten years, Laspau has helped hundreds of universities across the region to improve their quality and effectiveness by connecting them with the latest knowledge and pioneering faculty in the field through programs to strengthen teaching and learning, enhance the quality and impact of education, and promote innovation and academic leadership. The Higher Education Summit of the Americas represents the nexus of these areas of work and seeks to further strengthen and promote meaningful collaboration across higher education, business, and governments throughout the Americas.

At the conclusion of the Summit a compilation of innovative ideas, practical actions, and proposals obtained from the various sessions will be published for the good of the entire region.

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Alberto Bustamante, Director of Education Industry for Latin America and the Caribbean, Microsoft
  • Edward Crawley, Ford Professor of Engineering, MIT
  • María Marta Ferreyra, Senior Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank
  • Julio Frenk, President, University of Miami (View Welcome Video)
  • Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University
  • Eric Mazur, Dean of Applied Physics, Harvard University
  • Richard K. Miller, President of Olin College
  • Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education (View Welcome Video)
  • Jamil Salmi, Tertiary Education Expert
  • Cecilia María Vélez, President of Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano

This event is by invitation only. Additional information can be found on the event website at

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