Alianza IN: “Innovation is the most powerful tool to transform societies”2020-08-02 | Juan Ignacio Correa
Conversation with David Luna about Alianza IN and its role to face Colombia’s innovation challenges.
In May of this year, eleven technology companies with operations in Colombia reunited to form #AlianzaIN, a new association that aims to transform the country’s social and economic dynamics by designing and implementing digital solutions to face the innovation challenges of the country.
This new movement was the response of the tech industry to several years of regulatory constraints, lack of public platforms to strengthen their capabilities. But most importantly it was a clear opportunity to join towards one purpose, supporting the communities they serve by continue delivering transformative solutions amidst the pandemic.
We were involved since the early beginnings when we were designing the core structure and purpose of the movement. For us, our role was clear; on one hand, our methodology and DNA would allow to continue building disruptive and intentional solutions, which is our founding core. On the other, we would leverage our vision and experience to become innovation ambassadors among other companies and government institutions that are redefining their digital structures and asking how to generate sustainable innovation from the core.
The pandemic is presenting new and evolving challenges to our economy and in consequence to societies. The role of Alianza IN will be key to structure how our country faces this new reality, that is why we wanted to talk to David Luna, the leader, and spokesperson of the association, to understand the context around the association foundation, but most importantly his vision around the upcoming months.
Why is it necessary to create an innovation association in Colombia?
David Luna: Alianza IN was born with the goal of making the life of our citizens easier, solving daily problems to consumers and offering to the communities innovation and technology, so every day we can all have a better life quality by reducing the inequality gap and ultimately building better cities for all.
Innovation is a fundamental piece of this equality process because with it we are able to solve painful differences among our society. We seek to reduce the gap between people and enable social and economic development. All the associated companies represent a new generation of entrepreneurs that understand their social role and their responsibility to generate a positive and sustainable impact on the communities they serve and the environment.
In your opinion, whats the role of innovation in social transformation?
David Luna: Innovation is the most powerful tool to transform societies, each step towards human development is made of a groundbreaking idea, its because of that transformative power behind proposing new and disruptive ideas. Its been thanks to digital and tech innovation that we have unlocked the possibility to radically improve the quality of life of our citizens.
That is why, innovation is a social transformation tool that helps us fight against poverty, insecurity, inequality and allows the construction of better human beings and societies.
“The biggest challenge is to remove barriers and fears towards innovation. Yes, the unknown comes with uncertainty, but you need to take risks to achieve true transformation.”
What are the biggest accomplishments of the association up to now?
DL: We have made significant accomplishments; first, we have successfully explained to the society the meaning of collaborative economy, which basically is the economy that seeks the common good by benefiting the citizens, the consumers, and the final users.
Second, we have made relevant progress to position innovation and technology among the general population and key stakeholders, as problem-solving tools for the communities, to fight corruption, face monopolies and even fight climate change.
Third, our association and each of our associated companies are supporting the construction of better and more sustainable cities. Smart cities are not made of sensors, they will be cities designed to make their citizens happier, to live without traffic and safety, but most importantly with better and more opportunities.
Lastly, and related to my earlier comments, we need to continue promoting our causes and off course making concrete regulatory agreements with clear rules for everyone.
What’s the vision of the association for the upcoming months?, What do you aspire to achieve?
DL: Alianza IN has three bets that will continue to foster in the upcoming months. The first one is to continue the digital alphabetization of communities that currently do not have access to technology. The second one is to form developers and programmers to respond to the current demand and contribute to generate employment opportunities.
The last one is to create sustainable and smart cities, but additionally, with this Alliance we want to enable the economic reactivation of our country and protect the life and wellbeing of our citizens. Lastly, we want to support the development of hundreds of entrepreneurs through the knowledge and experience of the associated companies, with real examples they will be able to learn about success and failure.
How do you see the role of Polymath Ventures in the Association, what’s their role?
DL: Thanks to Polymath Ventures we created the innovation pillar within Alianza IN, which is a fundamental pillar to continue enabling the development of our society and ultimately generate opportunities that unlock social balance.
For example, Polymath promotes entrepreneurship at multiple levels; empowering women entrepreneurs, supporting young entrepreneurs, and enabling regional access. These three bets can change the journey of Colombia, positioning our country as an example of how we support and leverage the economy for the greater good.
What’s next for Polymath Ventures
Our commitment towards the association is stronger, we believe that this new reality will create even more stressing challenges to the middle-class, our key audience, which means that the role of builders and innovation designers will be key to re-build our society. Also, our role as ambassadors of entrepreneurship continues to be one of the anchors of our structure and as David mentioned before, we are convinced this trait will be key to support upcoming business leaders and ultimately support the birth of new and thriving business for the country.