Initially from Brazil, Alex beforehand lived in Chile and now lives in Spain.
Throughout his time dwelling in Latin America in early 2016, Alex noticed what he describes as a “data hole”—seeing the way in which abilities, content material and experience are shared in an open, pleasant manner at conferences within the US, Alex needed to copy that in Latin America.
To deal with this hole, Alex began planning meetups. “Our first meetup began in a Starbucks espresso store, with just some folks round a desk. Rapidly, they remodeled into gatherings with as much as 70 folks in a chosen room. My aim was to create an area for information lovers in Latin America to share data with others.” Alex estimates he ran over 50 meetups with over 1,000 attendees in complete, permitting folks to attach over know-how and meet quite a lot of distributors and folks working within the area.
“It was a stunning expertise to share my data, get in contact with folks, and practice others! I noticed the way in which the open supply neighborhood works and the way folks engaged to share skilled experiences, and that motivated me to do the identical factor in Latin America.”
Utilizing his contacts at a number of universities and know-how faculties in Chile, he started to advertise an area the place information lovers may join, whereas additionally providing coaching alternatives for professionals and college students to achieve employment and subsequently diminish the technical hole, beginning with hands-on workshops showcasing the know-how. However Alex likes a problem, and needed to do one thing larger—a convention. His buddy Max mentioned, “Are you positive about that?” And Alex definitively answered “Sure!”
Completely utilizing their contacts and networks, Alex and Max started to prepare their first occasion. “That first occasion, we had 400 attendees at a one-day convention, combining hands-on labs with delivered content material. The thought was to convey native folks from native companies and universities collectively to be taught from that content material. It was superb! It was actually arduous work as a result of we had no funds, however we achieved our aim—to convey data and folks collectively.”
With the income generated from that first convention, Alex and staff donated to an area nonprofit supporting know-how schooling for girls and women, and started working planning their second occasion.
In partnership with Telefónica, the 2019 convention introduced in 600 attendees, along with distributors corresponding to Google and AWS. Alex and Max teamed up with Federico to launch a giant information convention chapter in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with over 400 attendees. Even because the attain and enter grew, the core mission of the occasions remained the identical: to share data and produce information lovers collectively. “The people who attended these conferences began out with zero data about information, and now they haven’t solely information literacy however a community of friends. These attendees would by no means in any other case have the prospect to listen to from folks within the trade about achievements, failures, and classes discovered,” he says.
“Their suggestions was the gasoline to inspire us to proceed giving again increasingly more. These occasions are the most important skilled achievements in my profession.”
Sadly, the pandemic put future conferences on pause (though they’ve since began once more!), and through this time Alex moved to Spain. He began delivering extra content material on information to native universities. This culminated in an invite from the Faculty of Administration in Madrid asking Alex to ship information and open-source content material and share skilled experiences with a world viewers of scholars.
“For some folks, this helped them to understand that information is their ardour, one thing they need to dedicate extra time to as an expert specialty.”
Reflecting again, Alex notes that friendship was a key part to this work. “We discovered actually good folks to work with alongside the way in which. As a result of we had no monetary assets, we needed to be open, collaborative, and resourceful all through the planning course of.” On the occasions, friendship and networking was additionally a main part. “These gatherings had been a possibility for attendees to fulfill reachable professionals, who’re open to communication and prepared to assist.” Finally, bettering entry to employment and schooling within the information area, selling friendship and connection and supporting numerous entry into the info trade is what Alex is keen about.
Alex is now volunteering with Médicos del Mundo in Spain, due to an initiative to attach college alumni with NGOs to share their skilled and specialist data. “In our enterprise, particularly through the gross sales cycle, we’re focussed on closing offers. However on this case, the impression is completely different—there’s no financial return, however we join with folks with completely different abilities, and I’m studying extra concerning the impression that these NGOs have. I’m at the moment a part of a bunch of volunteers working with Médicos del Mundo, to prioritize their digital transformation over the following three years, ensuring they will implement options which might be impactful for them and the folks they assist, with the assets they’ve.”