Strategies of Value for Social Innovation in Latin America

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The Foundation EAFIT-Panama University and the City of Knowledge Foundation, committed to the promotion, research and dissemination of new knowledge, presented the conference "Strategies of Value for Social Innovation in Latin America", on Thursday, September 7 at the City of Knowledge Convention Center.

Guest speaker, Manuel Esteban Acevedo Jaramillo, provided a renewed look at sustainable environmental and social alternatives that promote the improvement of living conditions in Panama.

The event began with the words of Miguel Ángel Gómez Quintero, Director of EAFIT Panama, who mentioned that "this is a great opportunity to have a space for discussion around our commitment to balance the social and environmental aspects. Activities like this help us promote knowledge and establish alliances for the benefit of Panama and the region."

Acevedo stressed that shared value only makes sense when a social innovation perspective is made, which becomes the genesis of shared value, creating a change in organizations and in countries. "Experts agree that in this 21st century the key to success is that organizations and companies decide to make social problems the core of their strategy," he said.

The speaker emphasized that there are too many negative externalities on the part of companies that generate harmful consequences for our environment and society, like contamination and corruption. The concept of shared value arises from the need to do things differently, to go beyond what the law requires.

Shared value does not mean achieving economic progress at the cost of social progress, or vice versa, but understanding the connections that exist between the two. "We must understand that the problems of society are what define the needs of it, that is why we must turn these problems into the engine that drives our companies," said Acevedo.

About Manuel Esteban Acevedo Jaramillo

- Specialist in Economy and in State, Public Policies and Development of the University of the Andes, Bogota, Colombia.
- International Negotiator of EAFIT.
- Dean of the School of Management of EAFIT.
- Head of the Center for Innovation, Consultancy and Entrepreneurship (Cice) for 2006-2009 and director of the Medellin Agency for International Cooperation and Investment 2004-2005.