World Robotics Challenge: We Can be Optimistic About the Future

El Blog de Ricardo Salinas

Once again, Mexico hosted a world-class international event: the World Robotics Championship, the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge, which was held for the first time outside the United States.

During the course of three days, more than a thousand young people from more than 180 countries, as well as delegations comprised of young refugees took part; using robots that they had built themselves to compete and solve energy efficiency challenges. With this event, FIRST Global seeks to inspire leadership and innovation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), so that new generations have the tools to successfully face the challenges of the future and improve the quality of life for humankind.

It was very inspiring for me to see so many young people coming together, overcoming adversity and language barriers to achieve the complex goals set by this competition. I believe that this is a great lesson, and one that we should value. The world needs a cultural change; that is, more enthusiastic individuals with positive and creative mindsets, willing to work as a team, and focused on providing solutions to important problems.

The world needs a cultural change; that is, more enthusiastic individuals with positive and creative mindsets.

I consider myself a rational optimist and am convinced that there is no difficulty that cannot be resolved through knowledge. Moreover, after seeing these young people work with such passion and enthusiasm, but especially united and in support of one another, I am convinced that if anything is required today, it is building more bridges, not walls that divide us.

This spirit of solidarity was impeccably demonstrated by the Mexican team, who received recognition for the outstanding support they provided to members of other delegations. These young people made us very proud and moved us with their exceptional participation, which also earned them the silver “Einstein” medal, awarded to the team for the excellent performance of the robot they built.

FIRST Global placed its trust in our country with this robotics competition. I would like to thank my friend Dean Kamen for that. It was not easy. It involved great effort on the part of a talented team that made this dream come true. My deepest thanks to all of them.

I consider myself a rational optimist and am convinced that there is no difficulty that cannot be resolved through knowledge.

I am confident that all those who participated in 2018 FIRST Global Challenge will return to their respective countries not only as representatives of science, technology, and critical thinking, but also as ambassadors of Mexico. Our country welcomed them with its customary hospitality and the participants had the opportunity to experience a bit of our vibrant history, tradition, and culture.

These young people show us that change is possible and that the world can be better for everyone. Seeing them in action leaves no doubt in my mind: we can be optimistic about the future.

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