Why we went to the Rio games?
September 05 2016
You have all heard about Rio. Even in the august holidays, you couldn’t escape from it. To the pre-Olympic scandal to the actual opening ceremony, demonstration of Brazil’s artistic talents and the athlete’s performances; Rio has been on everyone’s mind, and it has been on ACT’s agenda as well.
How it all started is on a warm Sunday night in London, ACT had the privilege to dine with the director of UK Science and Innovation, based in Brasilia. It follows an evening of conversation about the scope of work and the implementation of the so called British House in Rio which will showcase the best of Britain. For this demonstration of force and innovation, two of ACT’s former trustees had been invited to give a speech on their expertise of earth-science, ethnology and most importantly on the Amazon.
The participation of quality companies, the presence of some world experts convinced-us it was worth going. Couple of weeks later, started our 2016 Olympics in Rio. We had been dragged into it because of our status as the only Anglo-Brazilian charity and we have found an incredible opportunity to meet and speak with British companies, Universities and Brazilian partners.
Old friends, new partners. Rio didn’t give us only the prospect to speak with a variety of companies but it has also gives ACT the feeling that a strong collaboration between UK and Brazil exists already and it’s seeking for more. We have the intuition that partnerships between the two countries are solid and on the rise. We have learnt that UK universities are a top destination for Brazilian students and that the dynamic link in research and science between the two countries is more active than ever and the Brazilian Institute of the Kings College has been one of the leaders of this movement.
Is Rio the right place to talk about the distant Amazon and the Xixuau Community? 4657 Km separate the two places not to mention the social and economic divide.
The answer is yes, this is the right place. It takes a project like Xixuau to close-up this gap.
One can still criticised the Olympics and talk about the profound debt in which the State of Rio will find itself by the end of it. Who paid for it? And what are the social and human costs? We are not here to debate, but instead we should recognise the work of the cariocas and all of the people that in time of crisis and political insecurity have made it possible and a success. The Brits put together a wonderful showcase of what’s ‘Great in Britain’ best and we have to congratulate them for that.
Now we are back in London, on the starting block for the next step, and with the reinsurance that ACT might not have won a gold medal yet but the Xixuau Community Olympiad has yet to start.