Guadalajara Students and Faculty Participate in Debut Competitiveness Seminar

Guadalajara Students and Faculty Participate in Debut Competitiveness Seminar

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Maha Neouchy
April 03, 2015

In January and February, nearly 60 representatives from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico took part in The Washington Center’s newest seminar. Participants spent 10 days in Washington, D.C., examining the role innovation plays in promoting economic growth with intentions of bringing lessons home to Guadalajara.


Seminar participant Damaris Flores used the seminar to broaden her perspective on how businesses can impact society on a number of levels.


“This experience gave broadened my perspective on what a business can do. It was also great to learn how to work both as a team member and an individual during the seminar,” she said.


The Mexican students and faculty attended sessions that focused on the strategies and mechanisms that organizations in Washington use to support regional business development efforts. They also participated in modules hosted by guest speakers who work in diverse industries throughout the Washington area.


Speakers and modules included:


Understanding the Relationship between Innovation and Competitiveness

Kevin Murphy, president and chief executive officer, J.E. Austin Associates

Marcos Arocha, TWC associate faculty member, competitiveness expert and independent consultant


Understanding Policies to Promote Innovation in Developing Countries

Brittney Bailey, development of innovation ventures, U.S Agency for International Development

Jose Miguel Benavente; science, technology and innovation division chief; Inter-American Development Bank

Cesar Parga; director; Office for Competitiveness, Trade and Innovation of the Organization of American States

Sam Raymond, innovation specialist, World Bank


Understanding Competences and Skills in Innovation

Robert Atkinson, president, Information Technology and Information Foundation

James Brown, executive director, STEM Education Coalition

Peter Stephens, vice president North America, IDE Group


Understanding the Ecosystem for Entrepreneurial Development

Michael Ducker, J.E. Austin Associates

Jonathan Ortmans, senior fellow, Kaufman Foundation


Activities in Washington, D.C.


Participants also took part in different tours throughout the nation’s capital, from iconic Washington sites and museums to the district’s most innovative corporations. Tours included:


U.S. Capitol Building

Library of Congress



National Science Foundation

Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center


A post-seminar survey of all participants found that all key program learning objectives of the program had been met and that 100 percent of the participants would recommend TWC to other institutions, colleagues and students.


To view photos from the seminar, click here

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