The Improvised Speech at the United Nations

As part of my participation in the Annual Curators Meeting — ACM, for the Global Shapers Community, I was able to somehow give a little speech in the closing session at United Nations. The idea was to take my experience growing up in one of the most violent cities in the world and show how resilience and passion can bring life and transformation to even the darkest places on earth.

Here’s the official idea behind that speech:

In the last few days I’ve been able to meet most of you and get inspired by the wonderful things we’re doing across the globe. It has really been a humbling and energising experience but, there’s still one thing that keeps bothering me: there’s still a lot of misinformation about my country and our current situation. I can’t believe I’m still hearing people talk about narcos and Pablo Escobar as the referents for Medellin and it hurts me.

It hurts me because I grew up among explosions and gunfire, but that was more than 20 years ago. Yes, we used to be the most violent city in the world, but that was more than 20 years ago.

Today, we have been named “the most innovative city in the world” and, it’s because just like me, hundreds of kids and citizens have dedicated their lives to work from their passions and change that black landscape that filled our city with terror 20 years back.

So it hurts me to learn that these bad stereotypes are still harming the image of my city and my country, but it also inspires me to work even harder to change that once and for all. And I know that we — The Colombians — will be able to do it. Because if the ACM is proof of anything, it’s that there’s nothing impossible when we come together with our differences and our diversity. Because when we see those as strengths and compliments to each other, we’re able to co-create wonderful things and that’s how I know that, not only Colombians won’t fail, but that we will definitely take inequality and corruption to our history books.

We are the Global Shapers.