Nearly 1,000 citizens participated on workshops, consultancies, and conferences with 60 Colombian talents abroad who connected from countries such as Oman, Norway, France, Spain, United States, Sweden, Korea, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, Mexico, China, Brazil, Argentina, among others.

The “Conexión Sin Fronteras” program was born with the aim of attracting Colombian talent abroad to train Medellín citizens.

As expressed by Jonathan Ballesteros, director of Local and International Relations at ACI Medellín, “The ‘Conexión Sin Fronteras’ program has been a success for so many citizens who have been able to receive training, workshops and advice from Colombian experts living abroad. Thanks to this diaspora we were able to develop talks on topics such as technologies, tourism, creative industries, bilingualism, exports, migration processes, urbanism and computer security, among others, making many people benefit from this knowledge free and close to their needs.”

The 90 events and more than 202 hours of knowledge-transfer benefited 30 companies and 1,000 people in the city; in addition, the project was led together with the Secretariat of Youth and the Secretariat of Women to impact their audiences with special customized themes.

For Medellín to be a Software Valley, we must have human talent specializing in science, technology and innovation to connect the world’s opportunities set here in the city, that’s why along with ACI Medellín we had a great program where we identified the 60 most talented professionals who had left the city, who we ‘recovered’ to be part of the Software Valley. We are fortunate to have such great results and we will continue moving forward toward achieving the dream of connecting Medellín with the world,” said Alejandro Arias, secretary for Economic Development.

Among the outstanding overseas talents that supported the program were Sandra Cano, U.S. Senator from the State of Rhode Island, who spoke about women in politics, sharing her story on how she migrated from Medellín to the United States at the age of 16, and now she has an influential political position in that country.

Sixty Colombians abroad connected from more than 15 countries on five continents to share their experiences and learnings with entrepreneurs and the community. 

Oscar Chamat, responsible for research and policies in Metropolis, participated talking about the development of cities from the field of tactical and strategic urbanism, while Andrés Restrepo, writer and filmmaker who lives in Argentina talked about advising film and documentary projects in that country. One of the three “paisas” (people form Antioquia) that is currently working at NASA, Ricardo Restrepo, who was born in the municipality of Andes, Antioquia, and is now working on the design of space vehicle trajectories for NASA-JPL, California, with the group that designs missions to planets such as Mars and Jupiter, was also one of the program’s participants.

Conexión Sin Fronteras’ was the ideal platform for me to meet face to face with Antioquian entrepreneurs to whom I was able to share my knowledge and experience for their endeavors by means of a pitch and an appropriate oratory to American and foreign investors,” said Alejandro Echeverri, director of U.S. Investment for ProColombia for the southeastern United States and who has lived outside the country for more than a decade.

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