13 September  |  São Paulo, Brazil

In a full day of conversation, discussion and reflection, the Canning House UK-Brazil Conversa 2024 gathers influential individuals from diverse backgrounds to discuss critical issues related to UK-Brazilian relations. On this page, learn more about what's happening in São Paulo, Brazil on 13 September.

Message from the founder

Dear friends of the Conversa,

The UK-Brazil Conversa is a dialogue between policy makers and influencers, business leaders, academics, diplomats and governments, to help build closer relations and contacts between the UK and Brazil. Founded in 2014, the Conversa brings together influential people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss key issues pertaining to UK-Brazilian relations.

Alternating annually between the UK and Brazil, participation is by invitation only. It is supported by both the Brazilian and British governments, and Canning House - the UK’s leading forum on Latin American politics, economics, and current affairs - is the secretariat.

This year, I am delighted to say that the Conversa will take place in São Paulo, returning to Brazil following the great success of 2023's edition held at Oxford University.

Yours faithfully,

Discover our panels

Across seven thematic panels, running concurrently over three sessions, the Conversa 2024 tackles topics from climate change to trade; pharmaceuticals to the energy transition; and technological innovation to geopolitics; and how the UK and Brazil can work together on these critical challenges and opportunities.

Click below to learn more about each panel 



Geopolitics & global governance: Shared perspectives between Brazil & the UK

The first panel will see participants discuss how both countries address and respond to the most pressing contemporary geopolitical and global governance issues, identifying common ground and differences between UK and Brazilian approaches.

•  Where do the UK and Brazil sit within the shifting geopolitical landscape?
•  Do the UK and Brazil have a shared agenda for global cooperation?
•  What overlap is there between the UK and Brazil’s G20 priorities?
•  Is Brazilian and UK foreign policy converging or diverging?
•  How does each country define and see itself and each other in the contemporary multipolar world? (e.g. G20 state, global south, western, BRICS member, UNSC member).
•  What are the historical motives, preconceptions and biases that inform each country’s viewpoint?
•  How do both countries view existing international institutions, and is there any scope to reshape the world order?
•  Who will be on the right side of history?


Strategies and Key Priorities for Driving the Energy Transition in the UK and Brazil

This panel will aim to discuss approaches being taken by both countries in respect achieving net zero, assessing both past and current trajectories vis-à-vis reducing carbon emissions, and identifying where there is potential for mutually beneficial collaboration.

•  What are the main strategies of each country vis-à-vis reducing their carbon emissions, and how successful are they?
•  How are both countries doing with regards to honouring commitments made at COP conferences?
•  Where is there potential for collaboration between the UK and Brazil in order to help each other in the race to net zero?
•  What role do mining companies play, given the importance of the sector to both the UK and Brazil?
•  What can both countries do to help other nations, particularly in the global south, achieve net zero?


Technological Transformation – How digital developments and access are changing ways of life

This panel seeks to assess the impact that technological advances, and access to them, are having on the way of life in both the UK and Brazil, identifying the similarities and differences, whilst evaluating both the opportunities and risks associated with such change in each country, and what lessons can be learnt about successes and failures.

•  How has the workplace in both countries evolved over the past decade?
•  What impact are new technologies having in sectors such as education, banking and finance, and how are these impacting the lives of people in each country?
•  How is social media impacting the daily routines of citizens in the UK and Brazil, and is this having a positive or negative impact?
•  How is AI perceived in each country, and who will be the biggest winners and losers?
•  At the political level, what does each country see as the main risks associated with the technological transformation?


Societal trends and their impact on Brazil and the UK

This panel will seek to provide insight into the main social trends in the UK and Brazil, and identify and assess the possible drivers behind them, taking into consideration societal concerns such as crime, violence, and corruption; socio-economic concerns such as inflation, poverty, inequality, and unemployment; socio-political concerns such as education and healthcare; as well as other important social trends such as generational differences, aging demographics, and the decline of religion.

•  What have been the main social changes in both the UK and Brazil over the past 30 years?
•  How have demographics evolved and what impact has this had?
•  What are people’s attitudes towards immigration, LGTBQ rights, gender equality?
•  How have people’s trust in institutions - such as the police, government, church, judiciary etc – changed?
•  Are Brazilian and British values becoming more aligned or less?
•  What can each country learn from each other about the direction and speed of social change?



Climate Disasters: Risks, Preparedness, Prevention, Mitigation, Response, and building resilience. Perspectives from the UK and Brazil

This panel seeks to address how both the UK and Brazil are preparing for and responding to climate-related natural disasters brought on by a noticeable increase in extreme weather events in recent decades, affecting an ever-increasing number of people, many of whom are the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

•  What are the major climate-related risks affecting both countries?
•  How are the UK and Brazil preparing to prevent and mitigate the risks, and protect the most vulnerable members of society?
•  How has the response to recent natural disasters in both countries been received by those most affected?
•  What are the main political obstacles to helping build resilience?
•  How are both the UK and Brazil helping other countries prepare for and respond to climate disasters?
•  What can both countries earn from each other regarding disaster planning, response, and management?


Deepening economic ties: Collaboration between UK and Brazil in emerging industries and the future knowledge economy

This panel seeks to identify opportunities and discuss strategies for increasing collaboration and bilateral trade between the UK and Brazil in burgeoning industries such as EduTech, FinTech, Agribusiness, fast moving consumer goods (FMC) and AI. Key questions to be addressed:

•  Do both countries have a strategy for promoting emerging industries and what are their priorities?
•  Where is the ‘low-hanging fruit’ for both the UK and Brazil in terms of increasing collaboration with each other?
•  How easy is it for UK and Brazilian companies to work closely together in these industries, and what are the main obstacles and barriers to overcome?
•  Would the UK’s membership of CPTPP (pending ratification) help or hinder collaboration, or have no impact at all?
•  Might collaborative approaches with other more established nations in these areas, such as China, the USA, India, be more lucrative for both countries?


Innovation in the Health, Live Sciences and Pharma sectors: Areas of collaboration for the UK and Brazil

This panel seeks to identify opportunities and discuss strategies for increasing collaboration, bilateral trade, and research and development between the UK and Brazil in areas of health innovation, life sciences, and the pharmaceutical industries.

•  What are the priority areas for collaboration between the UK and Brazil in the health, life science and pharmaceutical sectors?
•  Do both countries have a strategy for promoting R&D in these sectors?
•  Where is the ‘low-hanging fruit’ for both the UK and Brazil in terms of increasing collaboration with each other in these areas?
•  What have been some examples of ‘success stories?’
•  How easy is it for UK and Brazilian companies to work closely together in these industries, and what are the main obstacles and barriers to overcome?
•  Should collaborative approaches include other nations as well, or are bilateral approaches easier, more efficient, and cost effective?
•  What can each country learn from each other with regards to strengthening health systems, increasing pandemic preparedness, and ensuring equitable access to healthcare?

Conversa through the years

Now in its ninth edition, the UK-Brazil Conversa was founded in 2014. Take a look back and learn more about its previous instalments, alternating between the UK and Brazil and fostering deeper connections and understanding between the two nations over the years.

Conversa 8

Big questions facing the UK and Brazil

In June 2023, the UK-Brazil Conversa took place in Oxford at the world-class facilities of the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government.

Across six panels, participants discussed big questions facing these two countries: the global order, infrastructure, climate change and net zero, health and social care, economics, and education.

Sir Alok Sharma KCMG MP, Member of Parliament for Reading West and President of the COP26 climate change conference, delivered a keynote speech, addressing global approaches to climate change, and how the UK and Brazil can work together to build a more prosperous, greener future.

Conversa 7

Doing more, doing better

In 2022, after two years of holding Conversa online due to the pandemic, we were once again able to hold an in-person event.

Conversa was held in Rio de Janeiro in June, bringing together figures from both the UK and Brazil to discuss the most pressing issues of the day, including international cooperation, public security, renewable energy, sustainable development, environmental protection, race and gender in society, and many more topics.

We were also privileged to hear keynote speeches from Marco Longhi MP, UK Trade Envoy to Brazil, as well as former Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.

Conversa 6

Bringing the UK and Brazil closer together

The sixth edition of the UK-Brazil Conversa was also held online in 2021, due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On 3rd September, Canning House welcomed six panels of speakers to discuss issues such as: collaboration between Brazil and the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, how the UK and Brazil can improve relations in bilateral trade and business, executive, legislative and judicial decision making, bilateral approaches to tackling inequality in the UK and Brazil, collaborative solutions to the clean energy transition and how Brazil and the UK can cooperate to build back better.

Conversa 5

The e-Conversa

Owing to the global coronavirus pandemic, on 3rd September 2020 the the fifth instalment of the UK-Brazil Conversa went ahead online, as the e-Conversa.

After welcoming comments from HE Fred Arruda, Ambassador of Brazil to the UK, and outgoing UK Ambassador to Brazil HE Vijay Rangarajan, panel discussions focussed on what should be the trade-offs between life, livelihoods and liberty, in light of Covid-19; and the key areas for cooperation between the UK and Brazil.

Conversa 4

The fourth instalment of the UK-Brazil Conversa took place in São Paulo, Brazil, in February 2019.

A broad array of speakers including diplomats, journalists, filmmakers, artists, figures from the world of business, academics and military figures met to debate topics as diverse as the separation of powers and the dynamic between the political and legal systems in each country, the importance of the defence and technology industries and key points for crossover, and the increasing urgency required to deal with the climate crisis.

Conversa 3

The third edition of the UK-Brazil Conversa took place at Kings’ College London in May 2017.

Discussions centered around healthcare, the economy and the role of globalization in each country’s development, the importance of striking a balance between security and privacy in modern society, ways to prepare future generations for success through education, and the importance of soft power for both countries.

Conversa 2

The success of the first Conversa in Cambridge created momentum for Conversa 2 at the Palácio da Cidade, Rio de Janeiro, in February 2016, at a time of political and economic difficulty in Brazil.

Discussions focused on issues pertinent to UK-Brazil relations, including: transparency in politics and business, security and defence, innovation, energy and environmental sustainability, healthy lifestyles and living, and capital markets and financial institutions.

Conversa 1

The inaugural Conversa was held in September 2014 at King’s College, Cambridge, and was attended by a mix of senior figures from the fields of policy, business, academia and government, to discuss key issues of importance between the two countries.

Conversation focused a variety of issues including infrastructure, education and research, energy, cities, defence and aerospace, health and food, and youth engagement.

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