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“As in the Andersen story*, the pandemic showed us that 'the king is naked.' The king, in this case, are the higher education institutions, which we believed to be prepared for the future, but which, as we have seen, still have a long way to go”. The words of Francesc Pedró, Director of the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNESCO IESALC), set the tone for the closing session of the TICAL2021 Conference and the 5th Latin American e-Science Meeting, which took place virtually from Monday, August 30th to Thursday, September 2nd, bringing together almost a thousand participants from all over Latin America, North America and Europe to rethink the “University driven by digital technologies”.

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Answers to the challenges facing humanity can be drawn from where it is least expected. From a far distance, like a satellite in space, or from a very close one, like the neural connections in our brains. In its third day of activities, the TICAL2021 Conference and the 5th Latin American e-Science Meeting were dedicated to exploring these two very different universes, most extremely important for the future of research and how to face the challenges on our planet.

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A wonderful session, that is how we define the plenary on Tuesday, August 31, the second day of TICAL2021 Conference and the 5th Latin American e-Science Meeting, events that are taking place from Monday 30 August until Thursday 2 September in virtual and free of charge format, bringing together ICT authorities from Latin American universities and researchers from Latin America, Europe and North America.