Each year, SLASummit holds a conference and case competition that catalyzes sustainable development projects in Latin America. Over four days in March, participants from around the world discuss fundamental social, political, and economic issues affecting a Latin American community with other students and mentors from the field. Participants address these issues in innovative ways through comprehensive, community-based development projects — the winning team receives the $5,000 and the air miles to fly to the community and implement their project.
SLASummit establishes a unique connection with a Latin American community and NGO so that the winning team can make their project a reality. With our detailed community profile and ongoing consultation, we foster projects that the community can take ownership of and sustain over time. Crucially, our past initiatives demonstrate that, when used wisely, limited resources can make an immense difference. In its fourth year, SLASummit is no longer just an incubator for sustainable development projects, but a critical organization that works constantly to update and refine our model of implementation.
General Registration is now open for only $95!
We seek to demonstrate that limited resources - in this case $5,000 - can create a substantial impact when used wisely.
Raise awareness about current political, social, and economic issues in Latin America.
Foster interdisciplinary problem-solving skills necessary to address societal challenges
Act as an incubator of grassroots, sustainable, and self-critical development.
Showcase Latin America and Montreal as hubs of entrepreneurship and innovation
SLASummit emerged as a TED-style conference focused on raising awareness about current Latin American issues and establishing networks between McGill and Montreal’s Latin American community. Transitioning from a descriptive dialogue to a prescriptive one, SLASummit began looking for ways of increasing our impact.
In 2014, the Spanish and Latin American Students' Association of McGill University (SLASA) embarked on a social project in Oaxaca, Mexico. The goal was to help a community of primary school children get to school faster and reduce student absenteeism. With a budget of $5,000, SLASA not only provided bicycles for 30 children, reducing their transportation time by more than half, but also implemented a bike rental system with its own repair garage to ensure sustainability. With this example of bottom-up, community-based success, members of SLASA decided to make the conference a platform for sustainable development projects.
Agenda Social’s L’Evento 4 is both a networking event and a cultural experience. It is an immersion into Latin American culture and its professional and student representatives in Montreal. For more details check the Facebook event!
Want to know what SLASummit is? How the conference works? Have questions but don't know who to reach? This info session will answer all of those concerns! The executive team will explain what we do, who we are, and how the summit works. We'll start with a 15 minute introduction of SLASummit 2017, and after you have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have on a drop-in basis! For more details check the Facebook event!
SLASummit’s main event is a yearly social entrepreneurship conference and case competition designed to discuss fundamental social, political, and economic problems affecting Latin American communities, and implement socially and economically sustainable solutions. For more details check the Facebook event!
Introducing the 2017 SLASummit Executive Team! Each and every team member is here out of a desire to realize SLASummit’s vision. For us, it’s more than just a conference: we are changing how we see the world’s problems and who we see as capable of solving them. We hope you join us as we work to make this change
Armando Ordorica de la Torre
Founder and Co-Chair
Juan Diego Ubaque
Anna Chesnier Piña
SLASummit is so much more than a four-day conference. Read as we discuss participatory development, Latin American communities, and sustainability.
Excerpt: "The spirit of the times and shifting discourse around international development means that geographical distance is no longer an excuse for a development project that enacts neocolonialism – that is to say, a project that doesn’t consider the needs and desires of the community in question, opting instead to impose the will of the Global North on the Global South without the agency and informed consent of the people involved. It’s astonishing, and frankly embarrassing, that it has taken the Western international development community so long to figure out that the people directly affected by socioeconomic issues probably have the best ideas for how to fix them. The push for participatory development projects has only come to the forefront of conversations about international development within the last decade. However, only in the last few years has the technology and infrastructure been created to make direct consultation with communities exceedingly simple..."
Excerpt: "One of the settings that Italo Calvino conceived in his imaginary dialogue between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan results from two opposing cities coexisting in time and space. One of them is an affluent urban trading post and the other exists in misery and poverty. Yet the cities can only see vague silhouettes of one another. Inhabitants trying to walk from one to the other, after the protracted trip, find themselves in their own city, with their own people. But every now and then the actions in one city echo in the other. Only violence and greed can permeate the invisible barrier that keeps one city in chaos and the other in fear, both remaining unknown and apathetic to the other..."
Excerpt: "Columbus’ arrival to the New World immediately revealed the tension between a land that could supply for the livelihood of all its inhabitants, and a human desire to make the colonies a profitable enterprise. The search of El Dorado, the silver fountains of Potosí, the landscapes wasted in sugar and Banana Republics, show how Latin America has been a profitable investment despite uncreative exploitation of the environment. Latin America’s current blessing—and curse—is oil. Dependence on the black gold, while generating needed income for Latin American economies, fails to transform into social capital in the forms of health and education. Moving away from this paradigm is not an easy task, as Ecuador’s failed Yasuní experiment showed on 2013..."
As an NPO that prioritizes maximizing benefits from limited funds, SLASummit highly values and respects the contributions of our partners. We are committed to finding sponsors whose share our passion for changing lives in Latin America. These institutions are on the cutting edge of innovation and community relations. As a sponsor, your organization will be a key contributor to an innovative, student-driven project, ultimately contributing to social development and promoting corporate social responsibility. As part of the McGill community, with leading students from across the Americas participating, our conference is one of the best ways to speak with tomorrow’s leaders. With our increasing Latin American recognition and partnerships, SLASummit also provides a unique platform for transnational collaboration and outreach. In an innovative and diverse city like Montreal, we are excited to connect with more organizations embodying the values, like empathy and ingenuity, at the very foundation of SLASummit.
We want to have you on board. Send all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as soon as we can.