I recently had the honor to participate as a speaker at several intellectual property workshop in Buenos Aires organized by the Argentine National IP Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The workshops were targeted to university administrators, IP managers, attorneys and entrepreneurs.
This was my third involvement in such an endeavor, with prior engagements in Latin America and the Carribean. I love participating in these international workshops because I get the sense that there is a real need to move forward with local development in the area of innovation, entrepreneurship and value creation. I often teach these subjects in the U.S., but in these regions the thirst for learning and applying the material is palpable.
I also personally benefit from these trips, which often take me to places that I would rarely consider visiting otherwise. In these trips, I gain a broader understanding of the world and the unique challenges each region faces. I also get to experience the warm hospitality that each region provides. For example, on my last day in Argentina a local attorney graciously provided me and another presenter with a day-long private tour of Buenos Aires. I’ll never forget that experience.
These travels help me understand the differences and similarities across regions. Among the differences are various levels of development, historical trajectories, and resource endowments. The similarities include national pride, unique opportunities and a desire to advance and compete in the global economy.
Now that I’m back home I can look fondly on these experiences. I can also hope that I’ll be asked to participate in future international workshops, as they always provide an opportunity for professional and personal growth.