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Medellin’s many attractions for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2016

The elevated Medellin Metro is in motion as it rushes into the Parque Berrio Station in front of the illuminated Palace of Culture in Plaza Botero in Medellin, Colombia.
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Colombia’s “City of Eternal Spring” is making vast preparations for the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in March.

Voted the most innovative city in the world in 2013, Medellin has shed its long-stigmatized past and has entered a new era of entrepreneurial possibilities.

This year’s GEC summit promises to build upon 7 years of international success, with over 100 countries represented in attendance by hosting a veritable feast of uniquely Colombian experiences.

What

This year’s agenda is a whole range of “what’s next” for wireless cities, connecting people, civic innovations, and scaling businesses.

GEC 2016
GEC 2016

Where

The majority of the conference will take place in the Plaza Mayor’s Gran Salon, with a warm welcome from Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez.

Plaza Mayor Gran Salon
Plaza Mayor Gran Salon

Who

Some keynote speakers at the event include Larry Alder, Google’s Project Link director, representatives from the World Bank (that should be interesting given the enormous decline in the peso), and a whole slough of startup CEOs joining the craze that is “Medell-Innovation.”

Larry Alder, Google
Larry Alder, Google

When

The itineraries are out for March 14-17, and it looks as though Medellin has quite a few surprises in store for those lucky attendees who make the trek to Colombia’s second-largest city, including yours truly with The Sociable.

Iglesia Jesus de Nazareno
Iglesia Jesus de Nazareno

How

In Latin America salsa dancing is a must, and the GEC is pulling out all the stops to ensure visitors receive a well-rounded experience in “paisa” culture by inviting them along for a salsa tour put on by Latina Union, a dance corporation which aims to keep children away from violence through the practice of dance.

Other activities include a graffiti tour of Medellin’s Comuna 13, along with a theater tour, and an exploration of the city’s botanical gardens.

Comuna 13
Comuna 13

Food and Fun

If you do plan on attending, there are plenty of sights to see, and the food is absolutely delicious! Some notable regional dishes include the Bandeja Paisa, Cazuela, arepas, and of course, EMPANADAS!

Bandeja Paisa
Bandeja Paisa

Additionally, Medellin is home to the beautiful Jardin Botanico, and the city’s numerous parks are like portals to tropical rain forests with crawling vines, palm trees, and occasionally the dank, sticky smell of freshly burnt kripa (marijuana).

Jardin Botanico

A short trip up through Medellin’s metro system and a breathtaking cable ride up to the mountains lands you in Parque Arvi, a natural park filled with exotic birds, lush forests, and mountains of mushrooms.

Metro Cable to Parque Arvi
Metro Cable to Parque Arvi

Also, this section wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the city’s hopping night scene in the El Poblado district, where gringos and paisas alike can grab a shot of aguardiente (fire water) while dancing it up in one Latin America’s hippest night cultures.

Parque Lleras in El Poblado District
Parque Lleras in El Poblado District

2 Comments

  1. Hey Tim. Thanks for the article. Good read. Where did you get that image? The first one at night?

    Thanks

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Tim Hinchliffe
Tim Hinchliffe is the editor of The Sociable. His passions include writing about how technology impacts society and the parallels between Artificial Intelligence and Mythology. Previously, he was a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa and an editor at Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co