Web Summit Rio prefers English for Brazilian audience – 18/04/2024 – Tec

Even after losing focus on international attractions and focusing on Brazilian speakers, the second Web Summit Rio technology conference, held this week in the capital Rio de Janeiro, decided to prioritize lectures in English – and heard criticism that this made the event exceptional .

One of the speakers—Guillermo Barbosa, CEO of a climate action startup—was even scolded for speaking Portuguese during his presentation. The Master of Ceremonies, also Brazilian, asked in English for Barbosa to continue in the official language of the event.

The production team of the event did not respond to the reporter’s question about the episode by the time of publication of this text.

The Portuguese-Irish-led organization has decided to maintain the preference for using English in lectures, although it has made some exceptions. The participants of the first edition have already complained about the exclusive use of English on the national territory.

In its second edition, Web Summit Rio partially lost the appearance of an international event, but at the same time it gathered a record number of visitors – more than 34,000 people.

The biggest attractions at this year’s event came from Brazil: Luisa Trajana from Magalu; Fabio Coelho, CEO of Google Brazil; and Marcia Aguilar, who leads Nvidia in Latin America.

The focus of the discussion has changed from technological trends developing around the world to decisions made at home. Local companies have presented their AI strategies or launched products such as Magalu Cloud, Magalu Cloud.

The Web Summit’s expansion program managed to attract more global names to its edition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which was attended by executives from Microsoft and chip giant Qualcomm.

The biggest international names in Rio were linked to the cryptocurrency market and the so-called Web3 (blockchain), a subject that has lost ground amid the furore surrounding artificial intelligence following the success of ChatGPT. Crypto firm Block, owned by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, sent representatives to the event.

However, blockchain still has a place in the local business environment with the launch schedule of the Central Bank’s digital currency Drex.

Entrepreneurs see a window of opportunity to develop financial products through technology. Another sign of Web Summit Rio’s top priority for the local economic agenda was the space dedicated to sustainable development. Energy companies such as EDP, Eletrobras and Vibra exhibited on large stands and dominated the scene dedicated to this topic. Renewable sources became the main topic.

To discuss the technological agenda, there was a presentation of robots working to maintain generation sources and a lecture on smart grids that avoid waste.

BYD Brasil President Tyler Lee also presented the Chinese company’s plans to increase the weight of electric vehicles in the Brazilian automotive network.

Dane Jens Nielsen, founder of the World Climate Fund, an NGO that works to influence companies to adopt more sustainable practices, was responsible for showing that boards of directors can earn money and public sympathy when they choose the ESG path.

In addition to its success with the public, Web Summit has replicated its success with companies. There were 175 partners, which is more than last year.

A total of 1,066 startups presented their business to investors. Some received investment tours right there, in the pavilions of the Rio Center.

The event hosts a contest to see which company offers the best product offering, called a “pitch.” Rio’s deco.cx, an AI-powered platform to make website creation easier, won. The CEO of the startup, Guillermo Rodríguez, said that the victory over the Canadian competitor showed the conditions for Brazilian companies to compete on the world stage.

Participating startups showcased products ranging from a robot dog to a totem that can examine patients with a camera to an AI that specializes in Brazilian Portuguese.

Web Summit Rio also highlighted the presence of women, who make up 45% of startup founders. Banco do Brasil supported the scene with lectures aimed at encouraging women to be active.

The event also served as a showcase of the countries’ race to attract tech talent. At the opening, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Páez (PSD) said the city’s doors are open to digital nomads.

Representatives of Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Portugal, on the contrary, tried to attract Brazilians with technical training in various fields. “We have very well-educated professionals in Finland, but our population is small, we need more,” said Heidi Kuusamo of Work in Finland.

The reporter came at the invitation of Web Summit Rio

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