Firstly we are partnering with Universidad EAN from Bogotá, Colombia and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland as well as Asohumea an agro cooperative from Colombia in a regional development program. During the conference we presented a first outlook of this exciting project and what we are aiming to achieve with it. In the presentation Asohumea took center stage introducing the institutional set up of their organization as well as its main activities.
Secondly we are working together with Roberto Gutierrez Poveda from the Facultad de Administración of the Universidad de los Andes on a research paper to better understand how stakeholder dialogue can nourish business model innovation. The aim is to learn if stakeholder engagement can help develop profitable ways to serve currently un-served low income households by Colombian utilities companies; and if so, how stakeholders can support the redesign of processes that can promise successful delivery of utilities services to low income communities? During the conference Roberto Gutierrez Poveda and Ernst von Kimakowitz had the great pleasure to jointly present first results of this exciting endeavor.
The conference was opened by a very warm welcome from the Rector of Universidad de Los Andes, one of Latin America's leading higher education institutions followed by an address of Manuel Rodríguez Becerra, professor at Universidad de los Andes and former Minister for the Environment of the Republic of Colombia. Subsequent presentations were given by a diverse international group of scholars and practitioners on decentralized water distribution, impact investing, visualization techniques for social enterprises, the configuration of cultural symbols and entrepreneurship in water supply and the Liter of Light initiative among others. Closing the event, the two principal researchers of this initiative, Yvette Sanchez of the University of St. Gallen and Roberto Gutierrez Poveda of the Universidad de los Andes moderated a discussion on next steps and the future collaboration of the participating organizations.
You can view some impressions of the two day event in the gallery below and also view the full conference program here.