BRASA EuroLeads 2021 – Paris
BRASA is an association of Brazilian students who live and study abroad, with the main goal of transforming those into the future leaders of Brazil, giving them what is needed to contribute to our country. I got to know BRASA because of one my closest friends here in Tampere, Julia Tapioca. She is associated with BRASA Nordics and showed me an upcoming event that would take place in Paris, France.
Of course, I was interested in the event at first sight since it was in Paris and I haven’t been there for a few years now. Actually, haven’t been anywhere recently due to the COVID-19 situation around the world. Gladly, the vaccines now provided us this amazing and fruitful gathering of 300 Brazilian students and speakers such as businessmen and businesswomen, professors, investors and leaders. The event BRASA EuroLeads 2021 took place on Saturday, November 6th at École Polytechnique, and lasted from 8 in the morning till 20 in the evening.
I was a bit afraid at the beginning of how the event would be. My political opinions are super important in my life and they are part of me and my values. I was disappointed before with some Brazilian organizations abroad and also with the members of those, mostly for being what we call in Brazil, “bolsominions” (Bolsonaro supporters). That is what we often find when going abroad because the Brazilians here are divided, mainly, in two cases: the ones who are privileged enough to pay for schools and the ones who came here looking for a better life when it comes to no money, and those are many times, less provided of formal education.
All those thoughts left my mind when the day began. An amazing violin player started our day, followed by one of my favorite Brazilian actor and humorist of all times, Gregório Duvivier. He is exceptional and started to introduce “A new look at Brazil”, the slogan of the conference, in Portuguese: “Um novo olhar sobre o Brasil”. His speech, much more like a stand-up comedy, turned into a conversation with the audience, enriched me and I believe everyone else too, with his intelligent historical and sociological approach. Criticizing our “president” Bolsonaro – as he always does – and pointing out what brings us together as Brazilians, as the unique and at the same time super diverse people we are.
The next speakers were Dr. Mariane Melo, Chief Medical Officer of Dem Dx in the UK and Igor Marinelli, startup owner on the list of Forbes Under 30 and the discussion was mainly about systems that promote health, telemedicine, etc. I have to say that what Igor developed sounded criminal to me and I did not enjoy at all the data he was able to collect. I am completely against that kind of work and he seemed to be arrogant when Dr. Mariane was giving her professional/medical opinion and he would roll his eyes even though he has mastery in nothing, he might be just a lucky guy with good people working with him from what I saw.
The other panel was extremely amazing with professor and drag queen Rita Von Hunty and social entrepreneur Danielle Brants. It was just the kind of lecture I like and was used to hear in my university in Brazil, filled with intelligent criticism about different topics but all revolving around education. Rita is so amazing and now I love her very much and everything she represents. She has the power of oratory and she made us reflect on the system we live in, I felt she was defending something I also do, which is Ecosocialism. Danielle was also a really good and empowered businesswoman who has her life goal to spread knowledge to kids, making them read more with her company named Árvore, through the thousands of digital books it provides. Her goal is to reach as many public school kids as she can and then make Árvore a public service too. This is a very noble and beautiful form of entrepreneurship!
Moving forward to the next amazing speakers, Daniela Wietmann and Luana Ozemela, I need to say that I was proud and happy about the number of women lecturing at the conference. It made me remember how intelligent, strong, beautiful and different Brazilian women are. The ladies talked about their careers, in different industries, and in the academic world and it was fascinating to listen to their experiences and how they faced challenges and grew despite the odds many times.
Camila Farani was the next panel and she is the biggest lady angel investor in Brazil and part of Shark Tank Br. I personally don’t agree with or enjoy some of her opinions, but she was funny many times. I was confused about her story, first, she said her mother gave her part of their store. Seconds after that she said she had part of a “shopping center.” This made me question her journey, to be honest. She definitely knows a lot about many things such as investing, technology in general, markets of every kind and she seemed super-connected, which is something obvious for an investor. Going briefly to Camila Achutti, programmer and owner of a successful company named Mastertech also shared her life, journey as a programmer and it was really cool listening to all the knowledge she has in the area and also the criticism she brings to her field.
The last speakers were amazing and despite being tired, I feel like I took advantage of every second. The speakers were all pretty good and it was a fun talk they had, definitely good to watch. I feel like the guest KondZilla, owner of one of the biggest YouTube channels in the world, was someone that people were looking forward to listening to. When he started talking, I could just agree with my perception, it was reality. He was a kid from a favela (Brazilian slums) and became an amazing businessmen and probably the biggest producer in Brazil through funk music. His history was inspiring and he is an intelligent man that believed in himself and in funk, a genre that is quite criminalized in Brazil. The other speakers were Christiane Pinto, head of Marketing in Google Brasil and Ricardo Dias, a super funny and crazy investor.
Besides all that, we participated in workshops and private conversations with the speakers. My workshop was with the biggest drink company in the world and we had to make a new drink, I think my group really succeeded and had great ideas. Career fairs happened all the time and we were able to get to know about international companies and to network with them. Overall, the event was great to encourage criticism for many young adults who probably come from privileged families and have never thought about social aspects that are important in order to change our country even from far away. For those who went there aware of these such as me, the event reaffirms that we can do basically anything we want and that it is always important to empower ourselves, develop new skills, networking and be aware of our roles as citizens who are responsible to build our beloved Brazil, doesn’t matter where we are.