Leaders Convene About the Economic, Political and Social Future of Argentina

April 23, 2007
Ximena Fernandez Ordonez

Fifty key Argentinian political figures, business leaders and academics gathered as part of a three-day Argentine Colloquium at the Kennedy School featuring a series of discussions on issues of urbanization, economic growth, crime reduction and the rise of populism in Latin American politics.

Colloquium participants included high-ranking policy makers from the region, including Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico
and director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, as well as Harvard faculty from the Kennedy School, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Business School and the Graduate School of Education.

A broad array of topics were discussed, including urban planning and social programs, growth strategies, political reform, crime and administrative reform, as well as art, education and literature.

One of the more interesting sessions featured Prof. Diana Sorensen, who discussed the impact of Borges on the literature of the second half of the 20th Century. Several program participants said her presentation made day-to-day political clashes meaningless, and several left wondering why we fight the way we do when we share so much beauty.

Federico Sturzenegger, visiting professor at the Kennedy School and organizer of the colloquium said, "I believe the colloquium led to increased mutual understanding and exposed the group to a large body of new thinking, a first step towards higher quality of public policies in the future."

The Argentine Colloquium was co-sponsored by Harvard's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and Harvard's Center for International Development.

Photo: Melissa Wojciechowski

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Hausso and Calvo image

(L-R) Ricardo Haussman, director of Harvard's Center for International Development and Guillermo Calvo, professor of economics and international affairs at Columbia University.