In Ten Year Span, Nexus Becomes a Catalyst for Critical Dialogue

As we draw near to our 10th anniversary, we look back on 10 years of engaging conversations, debates and panels at our Nearshore Nexus events. From talent trends to political pressures, Nexus has been at the forefront of discussions impacting the nearshore.

It’s been 10 years since the very first Nearshore Nexus took place in New York. Since then the event has evolved into one of the highlights of the nearshore calendar with buy-side, sellers, analysts and influencers coming together from across the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean to explore the burning topics of the moment in industry.

The conversation has oft-times proved prescient with predictions and emerging trends evolving into realities quickly in the years after each Nearshore Nexus event. This year, in a special anniversary retrospective, we look back on 10 years of compelling conversations.

Country Focus

Nexus has always been about breaking things down to the specifics, and our country-specific debates and conversations have been a highlight of our events. In 2012, CNN’s Rafael Romo sat down with then Colombian president Alvaro Uribe to discuss the Colombia experience and the open conversation that resulted was one of the highlights of that year’s event.

Uribe spoke about what Kirchner did wrong and tackling guerillas, while also positioning Colombia as a good destination for trade. In 2015, the Mexico Leadership Panel examined how the US’ southern neighbor could benefit from growing acknowledgement of the country’s strengths as a nearshore destination and how to leverage that in the current political context.

Talent Trends

Talent has always been at the heart of discussions around the nearshore, from growing talent pools in specific geographies to attracting and retaining the right talent mix. 2011 saw an emphasis on the importance of cultural alignment over cheap labor, a topic that has recurred over the years. Nexus 2013 saw Mike Barrett, CEO at Unosquare, take an alternative view and focus on what nearshoring means for the individual worker. In 2016, Laura Chinchilla, former President of the Republic of Costa Rica, highlighted the need to export “talents not people.” The conversation continues at this year’s event with a special focus on building the ‘extended’ digital team for high-performance, and tackling AI integration into the hybrid workforce.

Political Pressures

While business is always the core focus on Nearshore Nexus, context is everything and our talks and panels have never shied away from discussing the hard issues. In many ways the conversations are still the same. Joe Nocera’s stirring keynote address in 2013 shed light on divisiveness in the U.S. political system and how disagreement over the debt, immigration and education are leading to a nation that in Nocera’s words was “broken”. The same could be said for the 2019 context for Nearshore Nexus. In 2015, the State Dept’s Francisco Palmieri highlighted what he called “a historic moment in the Americas,” drawing out the changing US policy of the time and the opportunities for Latin America.

Automation and Augmentation

Lessons from the successful implementation of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence were an interesting touchpoint at last year’s event, and this year real-world implementation of Robotics Process Automation is again on the agenda as interest in getting it right continues to be a core concern.

Looking forward to this year’s event, it is clear that the discussions are building on the ten years of conversations and debates that have characterized Nearshore Nexus. Banking and fintech is a core concern this year as is digital transformation, with related explorations around data analytics, customer experience and entrepreneurship in the context of Latin America.

2016 awards illuminateOne of the key insights the team at Nexus and Nearshore Americas has gathered over the years is there is not enough recognition of excellence in the Nearshore sector. For that reason, in 2016 we introduced the Nexus Illuminate Awards, designed to spotlight true leadership and outstanding examples of professional accomplishment in the Latin America and Caribbean outsourcing marketplace. In the years since we have honored close to twenty different executives, companies and locations that are representative of a true standard of excellence. (Nominations for the “Best of Nearshore” awards for 2019 are now open – until April 1st).

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