Innovation is the esencial key in the development of a country. In the latest ranking of The Most Innovative Countries in the World, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States lead the list, as reflected in the recently published 2017 World Innovation Index, jointly prepared by Cornell University in USA, the INSEAD Business School and the Organization World Intellectual Property (WIPO).

But, when it comes to innovation, Latin America has not changed too much in recent years. None of the countries in the region are on the first 45 position in that report.

But maybe that will change very soon. “The scores for the economies of Latin American and Caribbean countries has increased an average of 2% over last year,” explains Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General in an interview on BBC World.

In the middle of this wave of change, Brazil does not want to stay back and has started walking the path of tech scene with enormous steps: “The tech scene in Brazil is pretty good. Instead of the economic turbulence and political instability, the tech market is growing and this year the forecast is expected to grow at least 3%. Compared to other emerging markets, the Brazilian one is different because Brazilians are very open to innovation, secondly because as we are a developing nation there are many opportunities to automate processes, to transform business models, no matter if you are talking about government or private investment. There are many projects on IoT, for example, involving local governments. In São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro it is common to talk to executives that are investing on AI, big data, analytics, the second wave of cloud computing. So you can find here many scenes and diferente kinds of opportunities,” comments Vitor Cavalcanti, Director of Product and Content of IT Midia Company that is organizing the next IT Forum.

The IT Fofum is a example of this statment, it is the anchor event of São Paulo Tech Week, a festival that celebrates the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial DNA of the city of São Paulo. The meeting is considered the stage of the IT sector and will be held on November 7th and 8th – 2017, at Transamerica Expo Center in São Paulo. The show will bring together the entire IT community through unique experiences in technology, innovation and creativity, as it is quoted in its statment.

Credit: T Forum 2016

The topics are varied: “[The IT Forum will bring] presentations and workshops to discuss not only the technical aspects of IoT, AI, big data, analytics, cloud computing and digital transformation, but topics related to leadership and how emerging Technologies are affecting our lives and are transforming our Society. Instead of investing in big keynotes, we have organized 6 big panels divided in Future, Market Society. Each one has a mediator and 5 CEOs from the IT industry or from companies that have been investing on technology as a way to transform the way they do business” explains Cavalcanti.

This 5th edition will be really different form previous ones: “IT Forum Expo will delivery a totally diferente exhibition compared to our main competitiors, like Futurecom, by organizing the event in squares. Each square will have activities like labs, a hackaton, workshops, content focused on CXOs, a TV studio and so on. Our stage, called Stage 360, is positioned in the middle of the venue so everyone can whatch and listen to the main panels”.

For the two days conference, are expected 8.000 professionals between C-Level and their team, and 140 speakers in total.

Big companies will illuminate the event: Google, IBM, Twitter, Amazon, Oracle, Buscapé, Microsoft, Dell, Walmart, PayPal, VISA, Intel, Livelo, Schneider, Lenovo, Cabify and a few more showing that Brazil does not have anything to envy from the United States or any European country.

Vitor Cavalcanti believes that things are changing very fast on the continent, especially in Brazil and Mexico: “Both countries have talent, a strong startup ecossystem. [Also,] Argentina now is rebirthing, and because of its talents and assets, it can also play a big role. But if you compare us to the US or Europe, there is a big lacking because of the investment on education and innovation. We have only started investing on that, so we have a long journey to a brilliant future. Of course, it requires focus and more and more investment, but there are some movements in these countries, specially Brazil, that I believe will impose ITC as an strategic pilar for our economy”.

Many specialists predict good changes for Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world may achieve in 2018 to be known for more than just football, beaches and Carnival; and now it can become a symbol of latent innovation in a continent with great potential but few opportunities.