The Organization of American States (OAS), the Government of Peru and the Humanities, Arts Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) today inaugurated the Sixth Conference of the institution, whose central theme is “Hemispheric Pathways: Critical Thinkers in International Networks,” and which aims to deepen collaboration to drive economic and social development in the region.
The Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the OAS, Sherry Tross, highlighted that this is the first time that HASTAC has held its annual conference outside the United States, and praised the fact that it chose a country from Latin America and the Caribbean for the meeting. HASTAC is a network made up of more than 15,000 humanists, artists, social science researchers, scientists, technicians and visionaries committed to the development of creativity and critical understanding of the new technologies in life, learning and society.
Executive Secretary Tross said the conference represents a great opportunity for cooperation between the academy and politicians to share knowledge and experiences, concerns and ideas on possible solutions to contribute to the development of innovative policies and strategies for development. “The intellectual firepower of the distinguished scholars and researchers from world class universities in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean; experts, artists and educators assembled here in this room is impressive,” she said.
The senior OAS official said the conclusions of the Conference will serve to contribute ideas to the post 2015 Development Program of the United Nations, currently being debated by regional organizations across the world. “As countries are in the process of formulating the post-2015 development agenda and focus increasingly on sustainable and inclusive growth, partnerships for development will become even more important to spur innovation and help find solutions to the profound challenges being faced by countries,” she said.
Executive Secretary Tross said the OAS, with its political understanding and HASTAC with its academic knowledge, could develop synergies in order to promote development in the region. “We must take advantage of this unique opportunity to build bridges and close the gap between our two worlds. We, at the OAS can bring to the attention of our hemispheric authorities the resources of creative and critical thinking, science, art and technology, available in spaces like HASTAC that can contribute to the design and development of better and more effective policies and programs,” she added. Tross also highlighted that the central theme of the next OAS General Assembly will be “Development with Social Inclusion,” and said the choice of this theme is “an implicit recognition that the intellectual and practical framework for analysis of development should perhaps be revisited to address economic and social development as a new, joint paradigm.”
For her part the Minister of Culture of Peru, Diana Álvarez, said the Conference will contribute to promoting multidisciplinary research, creativity, and innovative thinking through the exchange of knowledge between the countries of the region.
Minister Álvarez said “the challenge we face is how to articulate new technologies, the digital and interactive world, with the development of the different sectors that are of great interest to our country like art and culture, education, social identity, gender equality, and other areas whose results can be strengthened and broadened.”
The Peruvian authority referred to the central theme of the meeting and highlighted the interdisciplinary focus it proposes. “I am sure that this issue will help us to rethink concepts of development and technology, and will help us to give better support to the new possibilities of innovation and learning offered by the digital age as a catalyst of cultural production,” she added.
In addition to the Department of Economic and Social Development of the OAS, the Ministry of Culture of Peru, and HASTAC, the Conference, being held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education in Lima, Peru until Sunday April 27, is supported by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and by RedClara. The agenda of the Conference is available here.
Other participants in the symposium include the Director of Education of the MacArthur Foundation, Constance Yowell; the Deputy Minister of Cultural Patrimony and Cultural Industries of Peru, Luis Jaime Castillo Butters; and the Founder of Alta Tecnologia Andina, José Carlos Mariátegui.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.