Santiago, Jan 17 (EFE).- The 11th edition of Chile’s Congress of the Future, which will feature the participation of internationally renowned scientists and researchers and is being organized this year under the slogan “Learning to Live Together,” kicked off on Monday.
In attendance at the inauguration were outgoing President Sebastian Piñera and President-elect Gabriel Boric.
More than 80 experts from 20 countries will come together during the five-day event in 11 Chilean regions, including Santiago, to discuss the various challenges facing humanity, including the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and forced migrations.
“We have the tools to address these challenges like never before. What we need now is to bring it all together with the political will to act before it’s too late and we continue to destroy our planet,” the 72-year-old Piñera said in his opening remarks.
“We face enormous risks … human, natural, artificial, that require us to take decisive action,” Piñera said. “Many people think the biggest threat to humanity isn’t the pandemic, immigration or climate change. It’s human beings.”
Boric, a 35-year-old former student leader who is taking part in the event for the first time, stressed the need to promote science, education and knowledge as fundamental tools for meeting the challenges of the future and said children must play a central role.
“When we talk about the future of science, we automatically turn our thoughts to boys and girls. Time and again, we love to refer to them as the future. But the future only exists as a hope linked to the present,” Chile’s president-elect said. “So I prefer to say our work today is to make sure the future belongs to our boys and girls.”
Artificial intelligence, the climate crisis, economics, the role of science and the origin of knowledge are some of the topics that will be explored in the 2022 edition of the Congress, whose participants include renowned researchers like French-American economist Esther Duflo, co-recipient of the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and a professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Ethiopian-born American computer scientist Timnit Gebru, who works on algorithmic bias and data mining.
Also taking part will be the first president of Chile’s Constitutional Convention, Mapuche linguist and indigenous rights activist Elisa Loncon; German virologist Harald zur Hausen, the 2008 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; and Ko Barrett, a senior adviser for climate at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. EFE