More than 100 future leaders from the UK and Latin America have gathered at the University of Cambridge to discuss the future of work and education in an increasingly global digital era at this year’s Shaping Horizons summit.

Shaping Horizons was founded to promote sustainability using global, cross-disciplinary cooperation as our driving force.

Shaping Horizons founder Dr Matias Acosta

They will explore how emerging technologies like those underpinning genomics, artificial intelligence, clean energy, and smart cities can be used and regulated to create a more equitable and sustainable global community as well as how to encourage sustainable leadership across disciplines and move beyond traditional diplomacy to address global challenges like climate change and social inequalities.

Shaping Horizons 2019 is a Summit and Action Programme rooted in science, policy, and innovation and will strengthen ties and build relationships between young Future Leaders and Senior Leaders from the UK and Latin America. The delegates have been selected from across academia, industry, and government.

Professor David Cardwell, FREng, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategy and Planning at the University of Cambridge, welcomed delegates at the start of the Summit on behalf of the University.

“On every front, the University has been and continues to be engaged with Latin America, including the pleasure of hosting this fantastic summit, Shaping Horizons, where the mission is to empower and promote youth, create networks and to drive change,” Cardwell said.

The week will culminate with the Future Leaders pitching for prize money to support their own innovative social impact projects they have developed through mentorship and learning during the Summit.

Winners will be supported in further developing and launching their projects through the Action Programme which will follow on from the Summit.



Nigel Baker, OBE MVO, Head of the Latin America Department at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office told delegates that all their ideas would help shape the future.

“Shaping Horizons is absolutely driven by the sense of entrepreneurship, innovation, and ideas of the young people involved. It is going to be fascinating to see the proposals that are coming out,” Baker said.

“There are 24 different teams and there are going to be some spectacular proposals and ideas. Some will win prizes, some will not, but I suspect that all of those ideas are going to be applicable in the future.”

Shaping Horizons is a non-profit initiative organised at the University of Cambridge with the support of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and the Cambridge Hub of Global Shapers Community, which is an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Shaping Horizons was founded by Dr Matias Acosta, a UK-Canada Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy, and Theo Lundberg, a NanoDTC PhD Student in the Department of Physics.

“Shaping Horizons was founded to promote sustainability using global, cross-disciplinary cooperation as our driving force,” Acosta said.

“We are a team of 40 undergraduates and academics from across more than 20 departments from the University of Cambridge bringing this initiative forward. Our goal is to build a shared and sustainable future between Latin America and the UK.

"We will be providing more than £30,000 in support for cooperative bilateral projects and also have designed a continuous mentorship programme to maximize the chance of success of each of the ideas.”

Creative Commons License
The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ©University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.  All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our main website under its Terms and conditions, and on a range of channels including social media that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.