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Digital Life in Latin American Cities – Miami, June 2016

At the end of last month, the 2016 Strategic Innovation Symposium took place in Miami, with this year’s focus on the “Digital Life in Latin American Cities”. The event was the next in Telefonica’s series that saw discussion and debate over issues raised by the Index on Digital Life.

With an audience of influencers and leading global thinkers packed into the InterContinental in Miami, the two days of discussion spanned policy improvements and innovations in technology that will help stimulate further growth in Latin America.

The first day saw a number of leading speakers, including Christian Van Der Henst, Co-founder of Platzi – a Live-Stream Education, and a presentation from Luis Malvido, Telefonica’s General Manager for HISPAM (covering Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay).

Christian – a Guatemala entrepreneur based in San Francisco – highlighted the importance of openness and how, for his business to prosper, he needs better interoperability between platforms which in-turn provide better services to his customers.

Luis Malvido used his speech to discuss how the Telefonica Index on Digital Life is a best practice method to understand the varying global digital ecosystems. He also highlighted how it can be used as a tool to engage with policy makers, understanding the barriers and bottlenecks that appear in different countries.

In terms of Latin American prosperity, Luis explained how technology will clearly play a crucial role, but pointed out that infrastructure alone does not automatically lead to successful and flourishing digital lives.

Luis then used findings in the Index to reveal how Latin American countries – particularly Colombia, Chile and Mexico – are performing better than would be expected in relation to their overall wealth, driven by entrepreneurial spirit and platform freedoms.

The second day of the Symposium went on to focus on the areas of security, privacy and funding policies for innovation and new technology. From the security angle, Nikoloas Tsouroulas, Global Head of Cybersecurity Product Management, ElevenPaths (a subsidiary of Telefónica) discussed how telecommunications companies needed to go above and beyond on cybersecurity to help customers achieve a safer digital experience, as they start to embrace the internet of things.

On a similar topic, Dr. Yuri Quintana, Director at Global Health Informatics and Assistant Professor at Harvard, explored the emerging online healthcare networks, alongside the resulting privacy and policy challenges.

The second day, and Symposium as a whole, ended with a panel discussion on ‘A Better Digital Life’. The discussion stretched across a number of areas addressed throughout the symposium and examined which policies, cultural norms and regulations need to be in place to support openness, confidence and entrepreneurship.

Summing up the discussion, Jose Juan – Vice President of Strategy and Regulation at Telefónica – re-stated the importance of considering digital development beyond connectivity and the importance of putting in place the right policies to foster and promote a broader digital life – one which fuels and stimulates innovation, investment and growth. You can see Jose Juan’s contribution to the Symposium here: https://twitter.com/ThinkBig_open/status/748242222651412480

Over the coming weeks, you will be able to see some of the talks from the event, which we’ll publish here and share on our social media channels. You can also keep up with ongoing discussion and future events involving the Index by keeping an eye on the hashtag #MyDigitalLife on Twitter.

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