The fourth annual edition of the Brazil Conference at Harvard & MIT, a joint event from two of the U.S.’s most prestigious universities, Harvard and MIT, will take place on April 6 and 7 this year. In recent years, the event has boasted a star-studded line-up, and while its 2018 speakers have yet to be revealed, it’s sure to meet expectations.
The conference was created in 2015 by Brazilian undergraduates at Harvard, and the following year it joined up with MIT as well. Carlos Costa, a second-year MBA student at Harvard and co-chair of this year’s conference, said the event was first created “as a way to bring students closer to a reflection on the situations and direction of the country,” as well as to bring Brazil into international dialogues.
The Conference certainly did just that last year, following the theme of ‘Dialogues that Connect’. It was successful in bringing on board both former President Dilma Rousseff and Federal Judge Sergio Moro, the overseer of Operation Car Wash, among its lead speakers. It also saw panels featuring actor Wagner Moura, and the former head of Rio de Janeiro’s state security José Mariano Beltrame, who first implemented the city’s ground-breaking favela pacification program.
This year’s list of speakers is likely to be just as lengthy and just as impressive, if the event’s track record is anything to go by. The Conference’s theme for 2018 is ‘Actions that Transform’, and it will focus on “transformational initiatives” for the country’s current social, political and economic climate.
There’s also the chance for five university students – one from each of Brazil’s geographic regions – to attend the event on a bursary, bringing with them themes for discussion. “We are bringing engaging and inspiring young people to a conference where they will listen, learn and engage with speakers, students, and leaders, and then apply what they have learned in their own initiatives,” said Costa.
For the Conference’s organizers, the biggest takeaways are the importance of diversity of thought, and the exchange of ideas and knowledge across different generations to build towards progress. “Listening to stories and advice from great national and international names is very beneficial for the inspiration of young Brazilians who want to change the reality of the country,” Costa explains. “By hearing big names, this generates a greater potential for #AcaoQueTransforma, from the learning we can take.”
Jorge Paulo Lemann, one of the supporters, will be present for the fourth year running. Further information regarding speakers will be available via the Brazil Conference at Harvard & MIT website closer to the time.