Tijuana Innovadora is a 10 day event that aims to celebrate the best that Tijuana has to offer in a creative way. Started in 2010 by a binational group of citizens, the Tijuana Innovadora event has grown to become a civic movement, where participants and speakers can freely discuss innovative approaches to improve the quality of life in the Tijuana-San Diego region. Thousands of volunteers from Tijuana, San Diego, and neighboring Baja California towns make the event possible by donating their time and resources. Participants in the event are able to attend panels and workshops, watch keynote speakers, and see an Iron Chef style culinary throw down by the finest chefs from the city. Performances by local musical and theater groups as well as movie screenings will give the event goers a taste of the cultural side of Tijuana.
In the past, the event has attracted distinguished speakers such as ex-Vice President of the United States Al Gore, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Carlos Slim, media personality Larry King, and Biz Stone, founder of Twitter. This year’s event is sure to be an even bigger success with speakers like Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Bruno Ferrari, Mexican Economic Secretary, Chris Andersen of Wired, Emilio Azcárraga of Televisa, Ada Yonath, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, and Blake MyCoskie, founder of Toms Shoes.
The event will host speakers from around the world, who are considered to be innovators in their fields. Tijuana Innovadora is divided into three main categories: creativity, industrial, and humanities. Attendees will also be able to walk through the pavilions, where they will be able to see interactive exhibits from Tijuana’s aerospace, medical, technology and automotive sectors. The Cultural Center of Tijuana, locally known as “CECUT”, will be the venue for this year’s event, which is expected to draw over 700,000 people from all over the region.
In addition to organizing the Tijuana Innovadora event, the movement has also spawned 5 different sub committees focusing on the following areas: Volunteers to Leaders, Digital City, Green Tijuana, Binational, Youth and Innovation.
In the Volunteers to Leaders program, students from the region are involved in an 18 month program which aims to encourage efficiency and have a multiplying effect when it comes to producing tomorrow’s leaders. Students in the program are able to participate in lectures, company visits and other workshops.
Green Tijuana focuses on Tijuana’s commitment to build a more sustainable environment through actions, not just words. In 2010, Mexico’s National Water Commission donated a plot of land which was turned into a water park. The purpose of the water park was twofold: to provide a space for family fun while teaching citizens about the importance of conserving water.
The goal of the Digital City committee is to promote innovation in the area of information technology and attract international investment. According to Tijuana Innovadora, “Tijuana is the only city in México with fiber optic border connectivity with access to information networks that interconnects all major regions of the world.”
The aim of the Binational committee is to dispel the myths about Tijuana and encourage business and community leaders from both sides of the border to work together to promote investment. Many people are unaware that the Tijuana border crossing is the busiest in the world, and the amount of trade that takes place daily between the US and Mexico is a staggering $1 Billion USD.
The Youth and Innovation committee awards young residents of Baja California, aged 16-24, whose purpose is to “transform and modernize” Mexico. Winners of the award receive a financial incentive, as well as a number of connections with influential leaders and international institutions.
Opening ceremonies - October 11th
Creativity – October 12-14
The event kicks off with the creativity phase, highlighting Tijuana’s Youth cinematography, medical excellence, strategic design, and the culinary arts. Many people aren’t aware that one of the world’s most famous salads, the Caesar, was said to be have invented in Tijuana in 1924.
Industrial – October 15-17
It’s no secret that Tijuana has long been known for its factories which make everything from circuit boards to pacemakers. Tijuana is home to a number of foreign companies like Sanyo, Samsung, etc. Tijuana is the largest manufacturer of Televisions in the world, earning it the nickname “TV-Juana”.
Humanities – October 18-20
The Humanities category will cover entrepreneurship and leaders, humanism, economy, digital city, as well as philanthropy and Nobel Laureates.
Closing ceremonies – October 21st
The economic ties between San Diego and Tijuana have always been important, but the Tijuana Innovadora event hopes to strengthen those ties by showing the region’s best companies