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Dartmouth's Latin American Community Explores Innovation

Aug 21, 2023   |   Dartmouth Development

Dean Alexis Abramson accompanied President Sian Beilock on her first international trip for Dartmouth. Along with several Dartmouth trustees and senior administrators, they met with Latin American thought leaders in Lima, Peru to explore ways the university can expand its community and impact in the region.

Dean Abramson moderated a panel discussion entitled, "The Problem—and Solution—Is People: How Human-Centered Design is Changing the Way We Tackle Global Challenges." Pictured (l to r): Hernán Carranza, Former Chief Innovation Officer, Intercorp; Colleen O'Connor '19, Engagement Manager, Oliver Wyman & Incoming MBA Candidate, Harvard Business School; Alexis Abramson '93a.

Over three days of thought-provoking discussions in Lima, President Beilock spelled out her vision for a globally engaged Dartmouth, with a particular focus on advancing collaboration and driving innovation to address many of the world's most urgent challenges. Discussions probed several pressing topics, including how wide-impacting forces such as artificial intelligence will drive opportunities in Latin America, the potential for digital technology to improve mental health in the region, and of the role of human-centered design in developing more enduring and empathetic solutions.

"Latin America is a region in which promising Dartmouth partnerships and research are experiencing rapid growth," said President Beilock as she opened a series of panel discussions Saturday. "Today is both a celebration and an exploration of the capabilities of our community, and I can't wait to see where it will lead."

Speakers and guests at the Innovation in Peru event, representing seven nations, included the Honorable Lisa D. Kenna, US ambassador to Peru; Jorge Quiroga, former president of Bolivia; Fernando Zavala, former prime minister of Peru; and Claudia Cooper, chair of the Lima Stock Exchange. Academic leaders representing Dartmouth were Provost David Kotz '86; Alexis Abramson, dean of engineering; Matt Slaughter, the Paul Danos Dean of the Tuck School of Business; and Lisa A. Marsch, director of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health and the Andrew G. Wallace Professor at the Geisel School of Medicine.

Participants visited several sites in Lima featuring vibrant examples of innovation and entrepreneurism. A tour of an Innova School introduced the group to a growing system of private-sector schools that offer a high-quality, affordable education to Peru's emerging middle class. There, Sergio Campos Legonia '26, a Lima resident and graduate of Innova, described his first year at Dartmouth and how he is engaging in social entrepreneurship projects through Dartmouth's Center for Social Impact. Attendees also participated in a workshop led by La Victoria Lab, an innovation hub created by Intercorp, one of Peru's largest business groups, to pursue projects aimed at improving the well-being of Latin American families through design.

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