More than 300 university and high school students participated in a conversation on social entrepreneurship and a forum on young social entrepreneurs at Universidad Latina’s Miravalles Campus. This was the first national initiative devoted to analyzing the role of the young people who are leading or planning to lead initiatives for positive social change.
In 2012, Universidad Latina launched the I BELIEVE Award, in partnership with Laureate International Universities and the International Youth Foundation, to identify and support young social entrepreneurs. Since then, the University has made efforts to raise the profile of young leaders and to create a community within Costa Rican society.
The objective of this particular event was to create a community where all stakeholders involved in innovative social change and entrepreneurship were given the opportunity to interact and identify synergies, both in Costa Rica and the region. 20 Universidad Latina student leaders were part of the organizing team and were in charge of the logistics of the event.
Dina Buchbinder, YAN Program fellow and member of the IYF Board, was one of the keynote speakers of the event. Dina co-founded the initiative Sports to Share, an educational program that shows children in Mexico how to develop their citizenship skills through participatory sports. She moved the audience with her phrase: "The key is finding your element", and urged the participants to get involved in service programs in their communities.
Day 1 of the forum included a panel discussion with Dina Buchbinder, representatives of public and private sector of Costa Rica and Costa Rican young social entrepreneurs. Dr. Miguel Gutierrez, Program Director of "STATE OF THE NATION" in Costa Rica, provided the context of social entrepreneurship in the country and a vision of development. The renowned journalist Michelle Mitchell moderated the panel. On day 2, more than 160 attendees heard presentations and participated in motivational workshops focused on different areas of interest: Minorities, Education, Culture and Citizenship, Environment, Human Rights, with the purpose of sharing strategies and establishing connections.
The event concluded with a Social Fair during which young people had the opportunity to present their projects and invite others to get involved as volunteers, donors or employees of organizations.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.