SLASummit is a social entrepreneurship non-for-profit whose main event is a case competition and speaker series happening at McGill University from March 17-21, 2016. With top university students from all over North America and Canada, this student-led conference aims at the development and financing of sustainable social development projects to help increase the living conditions of Latin American communities.
During the conference, participants will be divided into teams, and each team will be associated with a community and introduced to the issues reported by its inhabitants.
Thanks to our workshops, working/brainstorming sessions, and speeches from social development experts, each team will build up a financially feasible and sustainable plan to help its assigned community. On the final day of the conference, each team will present its project in front of a jury made up of professionals and experts in international development. The winning project will get 5,000$ to go to Latin America and set up its plan with a long-term perspective.
SLASummit's 2015 Winning Project: Luna de Monte Sinai, Ecuador (Women's Empowerment Project)
Last Year's Winning Project
By implementing the winning project “Construyendo Conciencia Femenina” in the community of Monte Sinai in Ecuador (where more than 90% of women report domestic violence), we have put forth sustainable long-lasting change.
The winning team of SLASummit 2015 implemented workshops, completed by 120 women, consisting of technical training to provide the women with the necessary skills to boost their competitiveness in the labour market. In addition, the set of workshops also included business development techniques for their participants to gain insights into building an independent venture. We believe the technical skills acquired are essential for this marginalized group to achieve economic independence and subsequent autonomy to realize their dreams.
SLASummit holds a firm belief in bottom-up, self-empowering forms of economic development. The proposed solutions will not only be answers to problems communicated directly by our partner NGOs, but also selected and implemented in conjunction with the local community.
By taking this participatory approach, our model ensures long-term sustainability and improves the efficiency of implemented projects, catering to communities’ needs as specifically as possible. Our model strengthens the development of ideas deemed viable from the diverse perspectives of students and experts alike in order to reach more complete solutions.
1. First Part of the Event: a Multi-Speakers Conference
SPEAKERS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!
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2. Second Part of the Event: Working on the Communities
150 Driven university students from across North America will be grouped into teams of 7 and given case studies on one of three communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
We have been in constant communication with these communities to ensure that they are the ones communicating what their needs are and that our participants are working to implement creative and sustainable responses to these needs.
3. Workshops and Mentorship
Throughout the conference, participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops presented by social entrepreneurship groups at McGill to learn about specific issues within the context of development.
Each team will be assigned a mentor to work with throughout the competition.
These mentors will be professionals in the fields of Latin American affairs, sustainable development and social entrepreneurship. Mentors will serve as a guide with real-world experience to fine-tune the project pitches during the competition.
4. Networking Opportunities
Networking cocktail featuring the consulates of Peru, Mexico, Honduras, le Chambre de Commerce Latino-Americaine du Quebec (The Latin American Chambers of Commerce of Quebec), and top Montreal-based startups.
5. Discover Montreal
At the end of the event, participants will have the opportunity to experience a night out in North America’s capital of culture and entertainment, followed by a Sunday brunch with our team.
1. Raise awareness about current political, social and economic issues in Latin America
2. Build interdisciplinary problem-solving skills necessary to address societal challenges
3. Showcase Latin America and Montreal as hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship
4. Connect the brightest participants and professionals to devise and implement viable solutions
5. Establish SLASummit as a viable replicable incubator model for sustainable development initiatives and social entrepreneurship
1. ANDREA BOZA
A third-year student at McGill University, I am completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts & Science, double majoring in Psychology and Economics. I am currently the Co-Chair and Co-Founder of SLASummit 2016, the President of the Spanish and Latin American Students Association at McGill, and the Director of Branch Management of the Americas team of 180 Degrees Consulting (the world's largest consultancy for non-profits and social enterprises). I grew up in the sunny city of Barcelona, but moved to Montreal in 2013 to complete my degree, where I learnt the importance of gaining a global education. I am passionate about sustainable development, education advancement and cross-cultural communication in a globalized world. When I am not working on projects such as SLASummit or running from one meeting to another, I enjoy practicing sports with friends (especially basketball and skiing), trying all types of exotic unknown foods, and planning my next adventure abroad.
2. CONSTANCE CORDIER
Currently enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, I am majoring in Political Science and double minoring in Communication Studies and Art History. I was born in the Loire Valley in France, and I’ve lived half of my life abroad in Germany, Mexico and finally Canada. Striving to remain in touch with Latin America, at McGill I became the Marketing Coordinator for the Spanish and Latin American Students Association. After witnessing the energy and passion of SLASummit 2015’s participants and executive team, I decided to get involved in SLASummit this year and am currently Co-Chair of the 2016 edition.
SLASummit offers an innovative perspective and experience of what social entrepreneurship is all about, while also contributing to Latin America’s development through the establishment of sustainable projects. I know that SLASummit has all the necessary components to make a real change and the success of last year’s winning project ‘Luna de Monte Sinai’ in Ecuador confirms this conviction. With this crowdfunding campaign, we hope that you can once again help us reach our goal of 5000$ to finance another project this year and keep improving the lives of at least 30 people !
3. VINCENT SIMBOLI
I came to Montreal from Connecticut 4 years ago to study the History, Economics and Literature of Latin America. It’s a fascinating region filled with so many different stories – and there’s a lot of stories still to be told. I’m fed up with the two dominant narratives about “Development” in Latin America: (1) The idea that we North Americans need to “save” Latin America, and (2) the idea that Latin America can privatize its way out of poverty. These ideas don’t place nearly enough importance on the complex histories and identities of Latin Americans, and ignore its people's agency and right to self-determination. I am thrilled to be a part of the SLASummit team, which has worked to make sure that the communities we’re partnering with have been 100% involved in the process, 100% of the way. SLASummit gives students an opportunity to approach the conversations about “Development” in a critical and healthy way, and that’s an extremely important conversation to be having. We have the distinct honor to be a part of Latin America's telling of its own story.
AND THE REST OF US !