How the Finker-Frenkel World Leadership Forum Promotes Essential International Dialogue

Published by Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation on

President Calderon and the Dean of the Miami Business School answer audience questions after the president's talk.

On September 11, 2019, the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation hosted a presentation on U.S.-Mexico relations from former Mexican president Felipe Calderón at the University of Miami Business School. The sold-out talk marked the second Finker-Frenkel World Leadership Forum event in less than a year, after a December 2018 presentation from former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak that touched on technology, commerce and global security.

A tangible expression of the Foundation’s dedication to international relations, the World Leadership Forum brings tenured world leaders to Miami and gives them a platform to inspire and exchange ideas with an audience of motivated young people – many of whom will one day be in positions of power themselves. The goal of these forum events is to advance international dialogue, spark conversation and nurture collaboration between people of different cultural backgrounds. Additionally, the forum events serve to educate young Americans on the complex and often intertwined issues currently facing the global community.

President Calderón’s presentation was the ultimate realization of this goal. Mexico’s place as an essential, peaceful neighbor and partner in trade to the U.S. should be recognized and fostered.

In his speech, President Calderón dispelled several oft-repeated myths and underlined just how important Mexican trade and commerce is to the United States economy. In fact, while many Americans view Mexico as a country that relies on support from the United States to survive, the reality of the relationship between the two countries is quite codependent on both sides.

“We are the most important trade partner with the United States,” said President Calderón. “Mexicans love to buy American products, and those exports to Mexico represents real jobs and income for American families. More than 1.1 million jobs in America are associated with exports to Mexico.”

In the final minutes of his speech, President Calderón addressed how the global community can and should come together to protect the planet – the one thing we all share.

“This partnership is priceless,” said President Calderón of U.S.-Mexican cooperation. “But all human beings need to be partners in another global threat: the environment and climate change.”

The former president presented data to contradict the myth that sustainable energy isn’t profitable; from retrofitting apartment buildings to investing in solar and wind energy initiatives, environmentally-minded companies can actually grow their profit margins while also helping to create a world in which future generations can thrive.

 “We can do well by doing good,” said the former president.

Watch President Calderón’s full speech, and the Q&A session that followed here.