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Innovation and Technology in Latin America’s Post-Pandemic Recovery
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Innovation and Technology in Latin America’s Post-Pandemic Recovery

On May 13, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted the online webinar “Innovation and Technology in Latin America’s Post-Pandemic Recovery” with the participation of Carmen Pagés-Serra, Chief of the Labor Markets and Social Security Unit at the Inter-American Development Bank, Andrés Cadena, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co., Ángel Melguizo, Vice President, External & Regulatory Affairs at AT&T DirecTV Latin America, and Victor Muñoz, National Innovation and Digital Transformation Advisor at the Colombian Presidency. The session was moderated by Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue.

Muñoz began by emphasizing the necessity and importance of telework, telemedicine, and tele-education. While the present situation has forced many companies to quickly adjust in order to survive, the resulting shift to digital platforms also provides access to new forms of learning for people all over the world. As an advisor to the Colombian president, Muñoz and his team have been working on a digital transformation strategy for the last two years, including the creation of a center in Medellín focused on artificial intelligence. With the pandemic, new instruments have emerged from his department such as the “Coronapp” which allows citizens to receive daily information from the government without consuming data. Muñoz identified Colombia’s main challenge to be connectivity, and he intends to work to increase access in vulnerable areas in the next two years. He ended his remarks on a hopeful tone: while the job market will be very different after the pandemic, it will also present an opportunity to reinvent a new world supported by technology and innovation.

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