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  • Author: Mari Hayman
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Lisa Besserman could be at home anywhere in the world; but last year, the Queens, New York, native put down roots in Argentina to launch Startup Buenos Aires, to motivate, support and connect startups across the globe. The 29-year-old tech entrepreneur, named one of the “100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider Australia in May, says that her goal is to put Buenos Aires “on the map of global startup ecosystems.”
  • Political Geography: New York, Argentina, Australia
  • Author: Kate Brick, Mari Hayman, Rebecca Bintrim
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Some of our hemisphere's emerging leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the arts.
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Ban Ki-moon
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The private sector has long been a key partner for the United Nations on advancing sustainable development initiatives throughout the world. Today, climate change presents one of the most urgent global challenges to sustainable development, and it will demand the support and engagement of the private sector to confront it effectively. Investing in green energy is not only the right thing to do morally, but also, for companies who take it up, benefits the bottom line.
  • Topic: Environment
  • Political Geography: New York, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Business Innovator: Felipe Arango, Colombia The Chocó region in western Colombia is one of the most mineral-rich places in the hemisphere. It is also ecologically rich, boasting species of flora thought to be unique to Chocó. But due to years of commercial gold and platinum mining that have leached mercury and cyanide into local rivers, the Chocó region has also become one of the most threatened natural areas in the world. Felipe Arango has been working to change that. Arango, 34, is CEO of Oro Verde—an NGO based in Medellín, Colombia, that empowers local miners to use more ecologically friendly artisanal mining techniques. Founded in 2003, the organization purchases gold produced by certified artisanal miners, many of them Afro-Colombian, and sells it to socially conscious jewelers around the world. Oro Verde takes a 2 percent cut to fund its operations and administration, and contributes its profits and reinvested premiums to the protection of 11,120 acres (4,500 hectares) of tropical rainforest. Oro Verde's gold certification process, meanwhile, has influenced the development of a global “fair-trade, fair-mined” gold certification process.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: New York, Colombia
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Prost, Brazil! Grab a stein-full of caipirinha and stroll down to Ipanema beach in your lederhosen—it's Germany-Brazil Year in Brazil. The yearlong festival, aimed at deepening German-Brazilian relations, kicked off in May with the opening of the German-Brazilian Economic Forum in São Paulo. “Brazil is one of the most successful new centers of power in the world,” says Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister. “We want to intensify cooperation with Brazil, not only economically but also culturally.” It's no surprise that Brazil, the sixth-largest economy in the world, has caught the attention of Europe's financial powerhouse. Brazil is Germany's most important trading partner in Latin America, accounting for $14.2 billion in imports in 2012. With some 1,600 German companies in Brazil providing 250,000 jobs and 17 percent of industrial GDP, it's an economic relationship that clearly has mutual benefits.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Europe, Brazil, Germany, Mexico
  • Author: Michael Sorkin
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Most of us are familiar with the concept of the "ecological footprint." Originally developed by Canadian academics Matthis Wackernagel and William Rees, the idea embodies a series of algorithms (numerous versions are available on the web) that convert a wide variety of consumption inputs into a single quantity: area. Using this model, one can compare how much of the Earth's surface is required to build a car, heat a house, produce a meal, sink the carbon from a coal-burning power plant, etc.
  • Political Geography: New York, Canada
  • Author: Hannah Thonet
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Several of the region's high-profile mayors who championed sustainability during their administrations have recently left—or will soon leave—office. This raises an important question: what will happen to the policies and programs they left behind?
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Arts Innovator: Luis Antonio Vilchez, Peru Watch a video of Luis Antonio Vilchez dancing in Times Square below. Passing through New York's Times Square one winter day in 2010, Lima native Luis Antonio Vilchez noticed a group of street percussionists playing a familiar Afro-Peruvian rhythm—and immediately decided to join them. Soon, a large crowd gathered as Vilchez, wearing a button-down shirt and a winter coat, burst into a dance performance that was so impressive even the drummers watched in awe. The same kind of impromptu creativity dominates Adú Proyecto Universal (Adú Universal Project), a nonprofit arts organization Vilchez founded four years ago to re-imagine Peruvian identity through dance, theater and percussion. Financed by money the group earns from its performances, Adú (which means “friend” in limeña slang) encourages its 20 members—all dancers—to combine different dance and music genres, crossing back and forth between tradition and modernity.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, New York
  • Author: Richard André
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Graphicanos View a slideshow of Graphicanos prints below. Indiana is better known for the Indy 500 and sports teams than for a thriving art culture, so most art lovers would be surprised to stumble upon the cutting-edge exhibit of serigraphic prints—a contemporary art form that uses block-size ink stencils to print images onto canvas—on display this winter at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Charles Shepard, the museum's executive director and curator of the groundbreaking exhibit—Graphicanos: Contemporary Latino Prints from the Serie Project—likes to point out that there is a thriving art world beyond the traditional centers of New York and San Francisco. And he believes presenting often-ignored contributions of Latino artists in the American “heartland”—not usually seen as a center of Latino culture—reflects the rich diversity of U.S. society today. “Every part of our diverse culture is making art in some form,” Shepard says. “And as a museum, we should be looking at that.” The museum hosts an annual Día de los Muertos celebration every November, which attracts about 2,000 visitors from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The event became so popular that it inspired him to collaborate with the late Sam Coronado, a Mexican-American serigraphic print artist, for the Graphicanos exhibit.
  • Topic: Agriculture
  • Political Geography: New York, Cuba, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Business Innovator: Lisa Besserman Lisa Besserman could be at home anywhere in the world; but last year, the Queens, New York, native put down roots in Argentina to launch Startup Buenos Aires, to motivate, support and connect startups across the globe. The 29-year-old tech entrepreneur, named one of the “100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider Australia in May, says that her goal is to put Buenos Aires “on the map of global startup ecosystems.” Her clients seem to agree. A year after its launch, her organization—which helps local startups find employees and funding, and connects local tech talent to projects and employers—has attracted some 4,000 members, including foreign firms. Besserman is a successful example of a new class of global workers that could be called “tech nomads.” In November 2012, feeling constrained by corporate culture in New York City, Besserman left her job as director of operations at AirKast Inc., a mobile app development startup, and looked at a map to determine where she'd begin her next business venture. The only requirement: the city had to have a similar time zone to the East Coast to make doing business easier.
  • Political Geography: New York, Colombia, Cuba