Day 1: On late-night reflections, Latinos speaking English and credibility

Hello, hola and olá to all our readers! This is Botín Scholars Team #4's first contribution to Global Conversation, so please meet Ana Flavia, Annick, Carina, Carlos, Felipe, Karen, Kristell, Luiza, Mariel and Pedro. We are the Latin American minds behind this blogging profile, and we will give you updates on the big ideas, discussions and random reflections we'll have throughout the Botín program.

After hours of late-night discussion (that ranged from reading notes to choosing official languages for the discussion, and from inflation to moral values), we have come up with three ideas that we have taken away from today's experience and that we want to share with you:

1. Let's not set aside the Economics teachings of the day: Latin America is not the same region it was years ago. We have learned from our past mistakes, and right now we feel more empowered (or is it that we have more power?) to face future challenges. We believe the foundations for the future are being settled, and we must thus strive for stable macroeconomies with solid institutions. We also have to promote global integration, and remove the barriers that have prevented us from incorporating new technologies in the solutions to our problem. We must invest in human capital and infrastructure. Politics and economics must be correlated, rather than act as independent disciplines.

2. In today's leadership exercise, we had the opportunity to get to know different ways leaders behave, and that we all have different leadership styles. We have also been able to realize that each of these roles is very valuable for the functioning of teams and institutions.

3. Credibility. Economics, politics, big picture decisions... all of these are nothing but illusions in societies where people don't believe in the power and honesty of their institutions, and in their own power to achieve their goals. But this confidence cannot be blind, nor based on unfulfilled promises or political campaigns; public servants must give their people good reasons to believe in them. People don't look for words, but for actions and results. Credibility is the foundation for every policy in stability macroeconomics, and for the environment that is needed for development in our region. Credibility is the one which all subjects we have studied today have in common: we must know how to have credibility to get our chance to improve society.

We'll be back tomorrow with more thoughts.