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IDB Youth and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation convened youth from across the U.S. and Latin America to address social innovation

One hundred students participated in IDB Youth’s “Think & Do Tank” co-hosted by the Office of the U.S. Executive Director of the IDB where young social Innovators from Latin America and the U.S. presented their innovative projects.

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), established by the White House in 1987, promotes U.S. Latino leadership in the classroom, community and workforce. HHF’s Latinos on Fast Track program brought together the students who are interning with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies this summer. “Hispanic Americans and the wider Latin American community are vitally important to the U.S. economy, “said Gustavo Arnavat, the IDB’s U.S. Executive Director. “The U.S. Government recognizes this fact and, through the IDB, it seeks to promote our shared prosperity. By connecting the region’s young leaders with the tools they need to succeed, we can create growth through innovation.”

Young social innovators participating in the IDB program included Armando Regil from Mexico, founder of the Agora Institute for Strategic Thinking, a think-tank of young leaders that connects youth with decision makers; Valentina Quagliotti from Uruguay, founder of Ikusi, a non-profit organization that promotes storytelling for social impact; and Claudia Flores from Honduras who designed a mobile app for cancer awareness.

IDB Youth promotes opportunities for participation, leadership, and entrepreneurial development in the world of business and social action. Youth social innovation and participation is critical to solve traditional development challenges. “Latin America and the Caribbean need the vision, energy and creativity of its young citizens to transform their communities,” said Iván Duque, Chief of the IDB’s Cultural, Solidarity and Creativity Affairs Division. Considering the high level of youth participation and the commitment of countless agents of change throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region, IDB Youth launched a social innovation program to foster the innovation, entrepreneurial and leadership capacity of young people to address age old problems with new solutions.

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