Leading change in the region: the INCAE Presidents’ Club

Friday, 24 April 2015 11:18


Executive Education

foto grupo 2

Picturesque Guatemalan volcanoes formed the backdrop to the INCAE Presidents’ Club held last month, which brought together some of the most influential business people in Latin America, INCAE professors and international experts. Social impact strategies for the region, as well as actions to boost competitively, improve basic education and instill good governance were some of the areas touched on over the two days. The second edition of the Latin American business leaders forum, the “INCAE Presidents’ Club” took place this year in Antigua (Guatemala) with 23 members (presidents, founders and directors) from 8 countries participating.


“This forum is the most senior program we offer, it’s the pinnacle of our range of Executive Education”, explains Camelia Ilie, Dean of Executive Education at INCAE, she adds, “here our role is to listen to the concerns and interests of the members and based on them, create a special program, aimed at opening new areas of debate and knowledge while also facilitating networking.”    

The forum opened with a debate on the main concerns of the leading business people present. Some of the common challenges were: the role of women in business in the region; sustainable development; the possible monetary and customs union in Central America; how to improve political governance; and perhaps the most mentioned, how to have a positive impact on basic education. 

The academic content of the program focused on: the role of public-private alliances, how to increase competitivity in the region and investment strategies. Sessions were taught by Dr. Olinga Ta’eed, Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance in the UK; Dr. Roberto Artavia, President of the Viva Trust; and Dr. Pedro Revantós, Professor at INCAE. 

The group also enjoyed a keynote speech on the current hot topic, “The challenges and opportunities for Latin America in Cuba-USA relations” lead by Ambassador Otto Reich, US Diplomat and Ex-politician. Finally a workshop was lead by INCAE’s rector, Dr. Arturo Condo and Sr. Enrique Bolaños, Executive Vice-president and Rector Elect, during which the group reflected on the content and different perspectives put forward.

Richard Aikenhead, President of IDC Central America and participant commented, “The great challenge in Central America is whether we are going to continue going at the speed of a steam engine in the age of the jets. In education, we have to think about how to carry out a reform quickly enough; in democracy, how to play within the democratic system while creating better governors; and in private companies, how can we generate more projects, more companies, more entrepreneurs to really make a change. I believe that this discussion on the change in Central America should be lead by INCAE and that’s why its a great pleasure for me to be here at the Presidents Club.”

Dr. Arturo Condo, highlighted that INCAE’s mission is to have a positive impact on the region, stressing that the role of INCAE has always been much more than that of a business school: “Over the last 50 years we have started many high-impact initiatives and for the next 50 we hope to walk side by side business leaders such as yourselves to continue instigating positive change in the region.”

The next Presidents’ Club will take place in Costa Rica on the 22nd and 23rd February 2016.