SustainableSanti

Beyond running (and ruining) of cities *

Who I Am

I am a researcher and entrepreneur committed to making more just and sustainable urban spaces.  I believe that good leadership means recognizing 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 and social 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! (I’m also learning French at the moment)

About Me

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.

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