There are plenty of urgent reasons to embrace sustainable arts practices: climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and water use already have far reaching consequences on the natural equilibriums upon which we depend. The arts, like any other sector, draw on these resources, and have a real ecological footprint.
Who I am
I am an entrepreneur committed to sustainable practices in the creative industry. I believe that good leadership means recognising and driving new ideas that connect communities, economies, and values. I am convinced that the power of those ideas, when incorporated correctly and shaped into cultural values, will bring best practices towards a sustainable creative industry.
My life and skills have been shaped by my work, my studies, and my travels. Most importantly, I love what I do, and I love to spread the joy of living in environmental awareness. And, I’d love to have a conversation with you about project design, management, assessment and implementation, Life Cycle Analysis, interdisciplinary qualitative research, analysis, development and implementation of the Circular Economy model, blues music or riding horses. Whether the conversation is in English or Spanish, it doesn’t matter - I am fluent in both languages!
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I was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, one of the most culturally and naturally diverse countries in the world. Early on in my life I developed an interest in human social behavior and its cultural relativism. Immersed in the country of Garcia Marquez magical realism, I gained a particular perspective about the world, its people, and their dynamics. I finished high school and took my first trip to Europe just before I turned 16. I returned to Bogota with the strong conviction that I was going to become an anthropologist. Understanding cultural processes had become my passion.
I volunteered for over six months with EUDES Foundation in Bogota, tutoring blind children diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and training staff members in Braille and Abacus. Through that experience I discovered in myself a natural leader that I wanted to challenge in practice.
I studied anthropology at Universidad de los Andes where, during my first year, I decided to start a second undergraduate program in Environmental Engineering. The combination of both programs gave me the opportunity to see the world with two different perspectives. I focused my studies on topics such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability and alternative economies. The simultaneous study allowed me to merge the understanding of cultural processes, and the implications of those processes on environment and people’s well being.
During that time I worked with Engineers Without Borders Colombia, the Geography Research Team and the Public Relations Office of the Universidad de los Andes, MINCI Foundation and other institutions, each of which challenged and refined my skill set.
I complemented academic theory with continued explorations of the world. I traveled most of Europe, always looking for new cultural experiences, and new ways of learning. In 2011, I was invited to co-produce a full-length blues show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. We called the show “Blues!,” and it featured a full twelve-piece band and the auspicious goal of covering one hundred years of blues history in an hour. The show was a hit, touted with five-stars reviews and awards, and was a new experience in culture. I was hooked. I returned to Edinburgh year after year, for six years now, to execute and manage the increasingly ambitious production. I met my wonderful partner during the festival in 2014.
One thing led to another, and in 2015 I began a graduate program at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. The MSc in Sustainable Urban Management gave me a wealth of opportunities practically and academically. I designed and executed programs that ranged from a month-long circular economy festival that included screenings from the third Disruptive Innovation Festival curated by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to a brand new community garden in the heart of the campus grounds.
If you are looking for a person with outstanding experience in project design, management, assessment and implementation, high expertise in Life Cycle Analysis, advanced knowledge in interdisciplinary qualitative research, analysis, development and implementation of the Circular Economy model, you should contact me so we can grab a lovely Fair-trade Colombian cup of coffee and start brainstorming ideas.
Executive officer, Heriot-Watt Sustainability Society. Edinburgh UK.
August 2015 - June 2016
Sustainable practices think tank part of the National Union Society of Scotland.
Achievements: Executive produced a Circular Economy festival, presented over 30 webinars and 10 guest speakers; implemented a recycling program adopted by Heriot-Watt University achieving the installation of over 20 recycling points in campus; designed and implemented ongoing sustainability engagement programs, introduced new active transportation initiatives in collaboration with local and national organizations. Introduced and managed implementation for an urban agriculture project, which resulted in the Heriot- Watt Community Garden.
Executive manager, The Blueswater. Edinburgh, UK.
2011 - Present
The Blueswater is a five-star and award-winning 12-piece blues band based in Edinburgh.
Achievements: Management of nine productions presenting daily shows for 23 consecutive days in four different venues during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since 2011. Direction of a team of 25 people. Brand management generating over £50.000 annually. International tour manager for South America resulting in a recording of an EP in collaboration with local musicians.
Director of development, Bamboobelly Band Stage Garden. Edinburgh, UK.
Garden project aiming to revitalize a derelict public area through performative arts.
Achievements: Recipient of South Central Neighbourhood Partnership Community Grant. Execution of over 150 performances in 23 days in an outdoor stage. Successful revitalization of the public space.
Project designer, MINCI. Bogota, Colombia.
October 2013 - January 2014
Entrepreneurship and innovation towards sustainable development organization (internship).
Achievements: Design and implementation of an urban agriculture project resulting in the installation of 3 vertical gardens. Direct community engagement and participation, towards food security and alternative economies. Development of workshops and implementation of the local urban agriculture plan in collaboration with Brisas del Diamante School, in the Vista Hermosa neighborhood.
Environmental engineer, Engineers Without Borders Colombia (ISFC). Bogota, Colombia.
August 2008 - December 2010
NGO delivering innovative technologies towards sustainable development (internship).
Achievements: Research and design of award winning DIY slow sand-filters. Managed volunteer team; designed and led over 10 behavior change workshops on water access and health. Successful implementation of 6 pilot filters as part of a collaboration between three research institutions, in an impoverished neighborhood of Bogota. The project was replicated in towns over 3 regions in Colombia. Design won the TIC-Americas Eco-Challege 2010 (YABT – Pepsico).
Consultant (international)/part time, VitalBriefing S.A. Luxembourg.
February 2014 - Present
Creation and delivery of customized, essential business intelligence products.
Achievements: Implementation of SEO analysis strategies. Management and improvement of B2B and B2C strategies using CRM software (Salesforce). Hired as a remote consultant upon internship completion.