Organized by 18 ITBA students who believe in dialogue and action as means to contribute to the development of South America, the SABF is an annual three-day conference that brings together 40 prominent leaders with 100 university students from around the world.


The South American Business Forum (SABF) is an inspiring initiative of a small group of university students. For the past five years, they have been coming together and investing their free time to organize a three-day annual event which is held in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The idea of organizing the SABF began when 4 students from ITBA University had the pleasure of attending events in Switzerland and the USA, in which students and business, political, social and academical leaders where brought together for three days to discuss, exchange ideas and generate solutions to the issues that the world is facing. There began the idea that a similar conference tackling the issues of the South American region could be done in Argentina.

An initial group of 12 students was formed and they set to the task of shaping and organizing the conference. The SABF was thus born. The group has changed and grown over the years, and for the 2009 edition it has 18 students, none of which were members in the first year. This is a testament to the forums endurance and proof that its mission is a valuable one. The 5th edition of the conference will be held in Buenos Aires on August 7-9 2009. Everything related to the organization of the event, including fundraising, marketing, designing and running the technological applications, helping and advising the students and selecting and inviting the speakers, is done entirely by the 18 students who form the organizing team.

The SABF is designed as a three-day event in which 100 students from around the world are brought together. Each edition has a main topic of discussion, and the students who want to be part of the forum must write an essay based on said topic. The best 100 entries are determined by an independent jury, and their authors invited to attend the conference. This year’s main topic is “New Paradigms, New Challenges”. It makes reference to the world’s volatile and constantly changing economical, social and environmental order. Nowadays we humans are faced with the biggest challenges we have probably ever seen, putting our own existence in threat. Planet Earth, our home, is endangered by the constant degradation that results from our own activities. Moreover, out of the 6 billion people in the world, about half are below the line of poverty and live in devastating conditions. On the economical aspect, symptoms of recession are becoming increasingly evident. All of this is questioning the functioning and viability of our current global system.

To address the aforementioned issues, the students will be able to share their thoughts and ideas with 40 prominent leaders selected for their outstanding experience and background, who are invited to give lectures and participate in workshops and keynote sessions, favoring the discussion and interaction with the students.

Several hundred students coming from backgrounds as diverse as Bangladesh, Liberia and Bolivia have already registered for the 2009 Edition. Completing the application with the written essay is harder to do, and we are aware of it, which is why we provide some guidance on the topics of discussion on our website. Further information can be obtained from the official SABF Blog, a place where constructive discussion of controversial topics is encouraged. Students have time to submit their essay until May 10th 2009.

As a summary, the South American Business Forum is an entirely student-run conference. The fifth edition will take place in Buenos Aires on August 7-9 2009. To attend the congress, students must write an original essay related to the main topic, which is “New Paradigms, New Challenges”. Authors of the best 100 contributions will be invited to attend the forum and have the chance to spend three days in a diverse multi-cultural environment surrounded by the leaders of today and the leaders of tomorrow, discussing and generating new ideas that will allow them to become aware of the possibilities they have to promote positive change.

Original contributions are due by May 10th 2009. Further information can be found on the official site. The Student Relations department is available at all times for any further inquiries you may have. The SABF is a special experience, and taking part in this event that promotes change and progress is both satisfying and unique.