Be part of the Naumann Hack!
How does the future relationship between the European Union (EU) and Latin America (LA) look like? What is the EU's role in Latin America? How to achieve an ideal relationship between both regions?
The Naumann Hack is a three-phase initiative for young people from all over Latin America to propose solutions to the above questions and have the opportunity to present them to decision-makers in Berlin.
Initially, participants will be part of the Theodor Heuss Bootcamp for a week to learn about the current context and the main challenges and opportunities. At the end of the Bootcamp, they will have 48 hours to present a project - policy paper, event, artwork, there is no limit - that improves relations between Europe and Latin America.
The three best projects will travel to a to-be-announced country in Latin America, where experts will help them refine their proposal and put together a pitch to experts from the region, who will decide on a winning team that will then travel to Berlin to present their recommendation along with all the winners from each part of the world.
The Russian war on Ukraine poses several challenges for the EU and the international liberal order. The abstention of several states condemning Russia ́s war within the United Nations framework accentuates the conformation of new geopolitical blocs, alliances, and changes in foreign policy postures. The EU ́s liberal model of democratic, open, plural societies is at risk under new strategic rivalry between authoritarian states on the one hand and liberal democracies on the other.
There is no doubt that the strategic value of LA has increased for the European Union since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Politically, LA governments are important when it comes to voting on resolutions on Russia in the United Nations General Assembly. Economically, LA has raw materials (for example, natural gas and oil) that Russia supplies to the EU. Strategically, important raw materials are already imported from LA such as fluorspar (25% from Mexico), niobium (85% from Brazil), and lithium (78% from Chile), which, as in the case of the latter, are crucial for the green transformation of European economies. Based on its climatic (sunshine and wind) and geographic conditions (ample space and proximity to ports), LA is considered to have the largest potential to produce and export green hydrogen at competitive prices among the different regions of the world. Europe is one of the biggest future markets for green hydrogen. Latin America has enjoyed more autonomy to make its own decisions. The pandemic also exacerbated the strategic autonomy of each country, and under this atmosphere of reduced foreign influence, governments have had more room to maneuver.
Latin America is the region with more commonalities with the EU: cultural background, historical ties, trade agreements, education exchanges, and dual programs for companies that provide thousands of jobs. Latin Americans recognize Europe’s leadership in domains such as the environment, human rights, peace, poverty and inequality, and humanitarian aid. However, Europe is perceived as less influential or even weak when it comes to science and education, military power, as well as technological development. Europe’s economic power in Latin America is perceived as much lower than that of China or the US.
Under such an international context, the region is becoming seen as part of the solution to global problems. Latin America has the food and energy the world needs due to the vast land, and natural and mineral resources. As a whole, it is the only region that can compete with China as a source of the critical minerals that are required for the energy transition. It has the labor force and the geographic proximity for nearshoring to the U.S. some production processes that relocated to China during the last two decades. Some countries, especially in Central America are experiencing a demographic bonus.
Above all, due to shared values, Latin America is a safe and reliable partner that neither has the interest nor capabilities to start international wars. The enhanced role of Latin America does not automatically translate into greater prosperity: for that to happen, it is necessary to strengthen democracies with checks and balances systems with a long-term vision for the region.
The Naumann Hack is a unique ambitious program to accelerate and strengthen the relationship between the EU and Latin America. We invite young people in any area between 18 and 35 to develop inspiring projects that leave a positive print on our societies.
For that, The Naumann Hack will be divided into three phases:
Online Theodor Heuss Bootcamp
To understand more about the main challenges and opportunities in the relationship between Europe and Latin America, we will hold a bootcamp with international experts from both regions to explain the panorama in relation to the various issues they are going through, as well as the areas of incidence and the most relevant topics.
The program will be supported by major universities in the region and will have a duration of 1 week starting on April 10, 2024.
Students will later have 72 hrs to create a product, service, or policy that provides replies to the following questions: How does the future relationship between the European Union (EU) and Latin America (LA) look like? What is the EU's role in Latin America? How to achieve an ideal relationship between both regions? Presentations will take place on Tuesday 18.04.2023. Three winners will be selected to travel to Mexico and present their idea to decision-makers.
Second stage: Mexico City
The teams that produce the most innovative products, services, or policies from the online seminar will have the opportunity to enhance their work in a day Hackathon in Mexico. The teams will present their solutions to a jury and the winning team will be able to travel to Germany to present their idea.
Reshape Europe in Berlin
Winners from the Mexico City stage will present their project at the Berlin Conference Reshape Europe of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation along with the winners of all the other regions.
We will be taking applications between February 28 and March 31 and writing the selected applicants on the first week of April.
Any young person between 18 and 30 years currently residing in Latin America can be part of The Naumann Hack. Since the whole project will take place in English, knowledge of the language is important, but other than that, the only important requirements are creativity and the will to learn!