Matías Alcalde, representante ante el Consejo Chile California: “Para surfear una buena ola hay que caerse muchas veces”

Recién salido de la universidad, impulsó dos ONG: una en ayuda a los damnificados por el terremoto de 2010 y otra que buscaba impulsar social y económicamente a las comunidades costeras a través del surf. Esta última experiencia lo consagró como joven líder en 2013 y trazó su camino profesional ligado a causas sociales, medioambientales y tecnológicas.

“Visibilizar a las personas, otorgar liderazgos y trabajar en iniciativas inclusivas, constituyen uno de los motores que me mueven en este camino”

Cuando Matías Alcalde estaba por terminar Ingeniería Civil Hidráulica en la Universidad Católica, el país se remecía con el terremoto del 27 de febrero que afectó a gran parte de la zona centro sur. Cuenta que el sentido social siempre ha sido parte de su vida, por lo que no lo pensó dos veces y, junto a un grupo de amigos, impulsaron una ONG llamada Costa Sur, que buscaba ir en ayuda de las localidades ubicadas entre Cunaripe y Cobquecura, zonas afectadas por el fuerte sismo y posterior tsunami.

Luego de esa experiencia, Alcalde terminó la carrera y comenzó a trabajar en el sector empresarial, pero la inquietud social jamás la dejó de lado y, en paralelo, seguía trabajando en la costa de Chile impulsando GiveSurf, donde “identificamos liderazgos positivos para establecer programas sociales-deportivos-educativos en torno al surf. Este es un modelo que busca valorar al líder local y darle herramientas para trabajar en programas deportivos extracurriculares. Hoy abarcamos comunidades costeras en Arica, Mehuín, Pichilemu y Matanzas”, explica.

A juicio de Alcalde, ambas experiencias fueron formadoras en su vida profesional. Tanto así, que siguió a Nicholas Davis, presidente de EuroAmerica, en un proyecto ambicioso de construir un hotel de un piso, que no alterara el paisaje ni la naturaleza de Punta de Lobos, en la VI Región. Así, fue gerente general del Hotel Alaia y luego director, cargos que le dieron la posibilidad de observar de cerca lo importante que es para la comunidad de esa zona conservar el lugar.

Consciente de ello, Davis creó la Fundación Punta de Lobos, cuya misión es establecer un proyecto de conservación perpetua en el borde costero de Punta de Lobos y expandir este modelo para salvaguardar el borde costero de Chile, ONG donde Matías Alcalde fue director ejecutivo durante cuatro años.

“Existía en ese entonces -y todavía- una amenaza en Punta de Lobos por los proyectos inmobiliarios. Eso fue lo que me llevó a trabajar allá, donde viví por cinco años buscando dar una estructura a un sello colectivo que quería proteger el lugar”, explica.

Hoy, se encuentra viviendo en San Francisco, California, liderando la organización público-privada Chile California Council, que se dedica a fortalecer las relaciones entre Chile y California, en el punto de intersección entre la naturaleza, personas, ciencia y tecnología.

“Ha sido fascinante trabajar en un eslabón distinto, donde se une el sector público y privado, abriendo la cancha a otros temas también importantes de resolver, como la energía, el suelo, el agua. Cosas propias de mi profesión”, sostiene.

A sus 37 años, juntando todas sus experiencias laborales, el ejecutivo reflexiona sobre qué lo inspira al crear proyectos con impacto: “Visibilizar a las personas, otorgar liderazgos y trabajar en iniciativas inclusivas, constituyen uno de los motores que me mueven en este camino”, puntualiza.

“Tener fracasos es muy importante para probarse, ser resiliente (…) En ese sentido, hay muchas tomas de decisiones que son parte de la curva propia de aprendizaje y puntualizar en uno es difícil, siempre hay muchos mini fracasos”

-De todas esas etapas, ¿en cuál tuviste que tomar la decisión más difícil o más riesgosa?
-Cuando nos fuimos a Pichilemu, estaba recién casado e, incluso, fue en ese lugar donde tuvimos con mi señora a nuestras dos hijas. Fue una decisión importante trasladarse de región indefinidamente. Era de ese tipo de cambios que no sabes hacia dónde te lleva, pero que sabes y sientes que es lo correcto.
Luego de eso, estaba la oportunidad de salir del país con familia armada y todo y, sin duda, ambas fueron decisiones difíciles, pero bien tomadas, con mucha valentía.

-¿Durante este camino has tenido alguna lección o tropiezo que te dejara una marca profunda en tu vida profesional?
-Tener fracasos es muy importante para probarse, ser resiliente, observar cómo uno se levanta y se plantean objetivos. En ese sentido, hay muchos fracasos o tomas de decisiones que son parte de la curva propia de aprendizaje y puntualizar en uno es difícil, siempre hay muchos mini fracasos. Lo importante es entender que para surfear una buena ola hay que caerse muchas veces.

-Mirando en perspectiva, ¿cuál es la evaluación que haces de lo que ha sido tu carrera profesional?
-Ha sido una aventura porque he tomado caminos que no sé bien hacia dónde me llevan y me toca navegar en aguas nuevas muy recurrentemente. He tratado que todas mis experiencias se unan en un relato y para adelante, espero no perder esa senda de crecimiento experiencial.
Mientras sienta que es lo que hay que hacer y que estoy en el lugar correcto, generando un impacto -y además esté equilibrado con la familia-, está todo perfecto.

-¿Hacia futuro tienes algún sueño o algún plan para tu carrera?
-Me apasionan mucho las transformaciones que se requieren para unir lenguajes del trabajo público-privado. En ese sentido, me encantan los proyectos que estamos haciendo en Chile California Council porque se encarga de eso mismo y, además, visibiliza talentos de lo más abajo hasta la más alta esfera. Sin duda, cosas que me apasionan y que espero seguir trabajando en el futuro.

“He tratado que todas mis experiencias se unan en un relato y para adelante, espero no perder esa senda de crecimiento experiencial”

Fuente: jll.diariofinanciero.cl

Urban Agroecology: designing biodiverse,productive and resilient city farms

Urban agriculture (UA) has been bolstered as a major sustainable alternative to enhance food security on an urbanized planet. Although it has been estimated that UA can provide 15–20% of global food, it is questionable weather UA can significantly contribute the level of food selfsufficiency of cities, due to low yields reached in most existing urban farms. Agroecology can help enhance the productive potential of UA by providing key principles for the design of diversified, productive, and resilient urban farms. Herein we describe the principles and practices used in the redesign of urban agriculture featuring: (a) increasing soil quality via enhancement of soil organic matter content and biological activity that lead to protection against pathogens and efficient use of oil nutrients and water and (b) enhancement of plant health through biological control and plant productivity via optimal planning of crop sequences and combinations.

Read more.

¿Y después qué? Filantropía: un motor clave para la activación económica

The crisis we are facing worldwide has led us to rethink our economic and social system in search of the best ways to reactivate development more consistent with environmental processes and cycles. We have already seen this in the Chile California Council and Ladera Sur series of talks, “And then what? Building a resilient planet,” where we brought together various professionals from the world of business and philanthropy to discuss the possibilities of private entities contributing and providing solutions to public problems. Can philanthropy be a key driver in economic recovery? We invite you to read the summary and watch the video of this inspiring meeting.

This Wednesday, October 14th, the sixth discussion of the cycle “And then what? Building a resilient planet” was held, entitled “Philanthropy: a key driver in economic activation.” On this occasion we met with Herbert Bedolfe, the executive director of the Marisla Foundation and co-founder of Oceana; Patricia Morales, an economist, general manager of Filantropía Cortés-Solari, and member of the Environmental Philanthropy Network; and Eugenio Rengifo, the Executive Director of the Amigos de los Parques Corporation, to talk about and reflect on environmental philanthropy and future environmental challenges.

What is philanthropy? How can you help reactivate economies after a year as eventful as 2020? Those were some of the questions that the prominent guests answered. For Bedolfe, this is not about money, but about serving causes and about what people need. In a context of environmental crisis, a dedication to supporting environmental initiatives becomes even more indispensable. In Bedolfe’s words, “It is putting yourself at the service of others. A civic responsibility to the community.”

Strictly speaking, philanthropy means “love for humanity.”  It comes from the Greek “philos,” meaning love, and “anthropos,” meaning human. Rengifo uses this definition to extend it to love and care for nature, which we cannot live without. According to Rengifo, “Without nature there is no man, there is no humanity, there is no possible human activity.”

As for Chile, in the context of the political setting now existing and the upcoming referendum on a new constitution, Patricia Morales pointed out that this was a new opportunity to change our country vision.  She explained that “It is important to highlight the role of the private sector … They are also called upon to develop public policies through philanthropy.”

Morales points out that Filantropía Cortés-Solari defines this term as “publicly useful actions by private individuals.” He emphasized that Chile needs an institutional framework that promotes the participation of the private sector in public matters, based on what the State and civil society need. As Morales said, “Not only the State can take public policy action, but also other agents, and even better if together.” It is therefore imperative to improve the regulatory framework for the donation law and to resolve any doubts that people may have in this respect.

“Everyone is called upon to take up the banner of their passion, love, and local cause. And that can be by donating resources, time, connections, a series of actions that can be more powerful than money itself,” said Rengifo, who agrees with Bedolfe that philanthropy is not only about financial support. All kinds of private entities can participate, not just those with great resources. “Everyone is called upon to contribute,” he said.

Morales remarked that “We are a unique natural laboratory, with a unique natural wealth, yet our economic model is grounded on the significant extraction of natural resources.” She stressed the need to migrate to a model that provides services in other less extractive industries.

Bedolfe said that “Things go better if we work together,” who highlight the importance of collaboration between communities and public and private entities to jointly overcome social problems environmental. No one is left out of this because we all have a job to do, no matter how small.  That was the call that our guests made to the audience.

Throughout the conversation, different visions and perspectives were exchanged based on the experiences of the guests. They were in agreement that the role of philanthropy must be emphasized in searching for solutions and community development, especially in a context of political and environmental crisis in which we are all called upon to act. Would you like to learn more about this? Relive this interesting discussion here and do not miss the upcoming ones sponsored by Ladera Sur and Chile California Council.

Watch video here

¡No te lo pierdas! Nuevo conversatorio “Filantropía: un motor clave para la activación económica”

¿Qué es la filantropía? ¿Cuál su rol en la activación económica y su importancia en el contexto actual? ¿Cómo ayuda en la educación ambiental, protección de territorios y conservación? Estas son algunas de las preguntas que se buscan abarcar en el conversatorio “Filantropía: un motor clave para la activación económica”, en la que destacados expertos hablarán sobre la relevancia de la colaboración entre el sector público y privado para la mayor visibilidad de problemas territoriales, la creación de empleo, el desarrollo de ciencia y la comunidad, entre otros asuntos. Esta actividad es la sexta y última del ciclo de conversatorios virtuales “¿Y después qué? construyendo un planeta resiliente”, organizado por Ladera Sur y Chile California Council. Aquí compartimos el link para inscribirte. ¡No te lo pierdas!

California y Chile comparten una impresionante similitud en su configuración geográfica. En otras palabras, se les podría llamar “mellizos transhemiféricos”, por lo que el intercambio de experiencias exitosas para el desarrollo de modelos sustentables se hace fundamental, sobre todo, en un contexto post pandemia. En este proceso, la filantropía cumple un rol relevante y trascendental.

Es por esto que será el tema del sexto y último conversatorio del ciclo de conversatorios virtuales “¿Y después qué? Construyendo un planeta resiliente”, organizado por Ladera Sur y Chile California Council. En esta ocasión, llamada “Filantropía: un motor clave para la activación económica”, se abarcará qué es la filantropía y su rol clave en el contexto actual, tanto nacional como internacional, tomando los casos de California y Chile.

“Filantropía: un motor clave para la activación económica”, será el miércoles 14 de octubre a las 13:00 horas (Chile). La transmisión será en vivo a través del Youtube en vivo de Chile California Council y te podrás inscribir a través de este formulario.

En este capítulo, comprenderemos la importancia del trabajo de colaboración entre el sector público y privado para mejorar la visibilidad de los problemas en los territorios, las posibilidades de creación de empleo, el desarrollo de la ciencia y la comunidad.

La actividad, al igual que en los conversatorios anteriores, estará moderada por la periodista Bárbara Tupper. En esta ocasión nos acompañarán los expositores Patricia Morales, Herbert Bedolfe y Eugenio Rengifo.

Para saber un poco más sobre ellos:

Patricia Morales es gerente general de la Filantropía Cortés Solari y miembro de la Red de Filantropía Ambiental de Chile. Es economista de la Universidad Católica de Lovaina y tiene un máster en Economía, de la Escuela de Economía de París. Tiene experiencia en la dirección y gestión de proyectos, así como en el diseño, la aplicación y la evaluación de políticas públicas sobre cuestiones relacionadas con el desarrollo económico y social. Formó parte de la División de Políticas Públicas de la Oficina Regional de la FAO para el LATAM, el Ministerio de Economía de Chile y de la Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica de Chile, a cargo del Programa de Innovación para la Competitividad. Fue galardonada con el premio “Las mujeres hablan” de 2007, por promover el papel de la mujer en los espacios públicos y en la política en particular. En 2017, se convirtió en la Directora General de Filantropía Cortés Solari, una iniciativa filantrópica chilena con más de 18 años de experiencia, dirigida por Francisca Cortés Solari, que promueve el desarrollo integral y sostenible, a través de la ciencia, la educación y la conservación.

Eugenio Rengifo es director ejecutivo de Amigos del Parques y miembro de la Red de Filantropía Ambiental de Chile. Convencido de la necesidad de cambiar paradigmas acerca del significado de la vida en comunidad con otras personas y con otras especies del planeta, Eugenio ha dedicado su vida personal y su carrera a aportar a esta reflexión con ideas y acciones. Cientista Político de la Universidad Católica de Chile y Máster en Políticas Públicas UAI, es Eisenhower Fellow. Actualmente se desempeña como director ejecutivo de la Corporación Amigos de los Parques de la Patagonia, desde donde trabaja para fortalecer la protección de los Parques Nacionales de la Patagonia y promover una cultura que valore y cuide nuestro patrimonio natural protegido. Anteriormente se ha desempeñado como profesor universitario; asesor ministerial; asesor parlamentario, fundador y director ejecutivo del Plan de Desarrollo Sustentable de Frutillar.

Herbert Bedolfe es director ejecutivo de la Fundación Marisla, que durante más de dos décadas ha canalizado recursos filantrópicos en Chile para el sector ambiental. Tiene una licenciatura en psicología en el Swarthmore College y una maestría en administración de empresas en la Universidad Luterana de California. Fue voluntario del Cuerpo de Paz en Paraguay. Fue uno de los fundadores de la ONG Oceana, organización internacional de conservación marina y también fue miembro de la junta y tesorero del Grupo Consultivo sobre Diversidad Biológica. Además, es miembro de la junta directiva del Fondo Ambiental de la Asociación de Fabricantes de la Industria del Surf y forma parte de la junta asesora de la Alianza de los Cinco Océanos. Antes de unirse a Marisla trabajó para la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional y el Banco Mundial, completando asignaciones en Mozambique, las Islas de Cabo Verde y Santo Tomé y Príncipe.

Fuente: Ladera Sur

¿Y después qué? Parques para las personas: diseñando para el bienestar social

In pristine places or in the midst of cities, national and urban parks each play a fundamental role for people and nature: for people, they make contributions at a conscious and unconscious level; and for nature, they help in its conservation and protection. This is a topic that was discussed in depth by prominent speakers in the discussion “Parks for people: designing for social wellbeing.” Why is it important to create and maintain national and urban parks? What are the challenges in including them when planning watersheds and cities territorially? How is nature conservation essential to creating employment, to science and tourism? We invite you to watch the video and written summary of this activity, which is part of the Webinar cycle “And then what? Building a resilient planet,” organized by the Chile California Council and produced by Ladera Sur. Do not miss it!

On Wednesday, August 5th, we broadcasted live the talk on “Parks for people: designing for social wellbeing,” the fourth panel discussion in the webinar cycle “And then what? Building a resilient planet,” organized by Chile California Council and produced by Ladera Sur.

Three outstanding panelists were part of this discussion, moderated by journalist Barbara Tupper, who have dedicated themselves to creating, maintaining and managing national and urban parks in Chile and California. They were Kris Tompkins, President and Co-Founder of Tompkins Conservation; Greg Moore, CEO Emeritus and Special Advisor to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in California; and Martín Andrade, director of the Metropolitan Park in Santiago, Chile (Parquemet). All have focused their work on the maintenance and conservation of natural spaces, thus contributing to the wellbeing of communities and their visitors.

Here we share some of the main topics discussed by the panelists, who spoke about the social welfare of parks and how they can create opportunities for economic reactivation. They also explored the role of tourism, science (applied, for example, to rewilding projects), job creation, nature-based solutions and the role of philanthropy in conservation. They commented on parallel experiences in Chile and California, trans-hemispheric twins.

Parks for People: Social Welfare in Conservation

For Kris Tompkins, national parks are the jewels of any country that have an individual impact on each person: “we can be miserable with the wind, rain and snow, but it is an experience in which we come in contact with the planet.” That is how they affect us physically and emotionally, making us understand that we are part of the circle of life and not that we are in the center of it.

Parks play a part in entertainment and give joy to people, yet many more things also emerge from it. For example, as explained by Greg Moore, parks “are part of the public health system because they help our mind, body and wellbeing. They are part of our education system because we learn about nature through them, and that is culture. They are also part of the economic system because they are drivers of the economy, and of the democratic system because they are places that belong to us as citizens and as a society.”

Two more concepts also transcend the latter, according to Martín Andrade: dignity and a sense of belonging. “In my work, I have had to get to know and work in many low-income communities where the construction of green areas is creating dignity: people feel part of society and have a sense of belonging … When you create green areas, public projects, quality parks, you generate these concepts. It is a regenerative cycle not only from the point of view of public space, but also from a social point of view, where people want to contribute to their environment and, therefore, aspire to have a better future.”

This is also linked to something on which all the panelists commented: the democratic value of natural parks. In the case of Yellowstone Park in the U.S., for example, Greg said that it is a place that “belongs to everyone,” placing an emphasis on equality. And according to Martín, Parquemet’s mission is to be a place of social integration.

And, on the economic and social side, job creation is an important issue. For example, in the parks donated by Tompkins Conservation to the Chilean State, Kris remarked that more than 200 jobs have been created, and that many of them are in neighboring communities that have developed a good sense of attachment and care for the place.

Greg then discussed the role of tourism: “The national parks in the San Francisco Bay Area are among those most visited in America … This contributes a lot to the local economy since more than a billion dollars is collected from the visits to Golden Gate National Park.”

The benefits also go towards nature

An important concept when talking about natural parks is that they function as biological corridors. In other words, they are places for the conservation of biodiversity.

In the case of San Francisco, the parks are on the edge of the city. Using a map (which can be seen in the video), Greg shows an urban park that includes hectares of protected land and marine areas. “What we have is an incredible potential to connect the natural spaces with the places where people live. The important thing is that in this corridor we have restored forests, wetlands, and we have protected endangered or very rare plants … It is a way in which a deteriorated nature has been returned to good condition and generates biodiversity.”

On the other hand, as concerns Chile and city parks, the Metropolitan Park has also made progress in conservation. This place encompasses 737 hectares, it is the fourth largest urban park in the world, so one of its challenges is to conserve so that people understand the importance of protecting biodiversity and can see for themselves and learn to respect the flora and fauna. One of the current projects is the elaboration of a record of the species in the park to advance in the conservation measures.

Kris Tompkins commented that when preparing the conservation plans for the parks along the Patagonia Park Route, the basic question was: who is missing? So, species such as the South Andean deer or huemul, whose populations were threatened and fragmented, were found and rewilding plans were started, which are still being implemented.

As Kris explained, “The idea was to create protected areas, but we didn’t know who was there or who was missing. When we arrived in the Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, we saw that there were new answers to that question. In the case of the huemul, the population was small and fragile and our mission has been to help expand it by detecting and reducing the threats. We developed strategies to recover the huemul and we are working on recovering the nandu in Patagonia and other animals because the dynamics of the ecosystem must be respected due to their importance.”

In the Californian case, Greg commented that “parks belong to wild beings and humans.” He said that their rewilding was developed based on the consensus of the population and their collaboration in conservation. As a result, new species of birds have arrived, and endangered species have been protected and others reintroduced: “We must investigate species and we have worked with the impact of climate change, fires and droughts. The first job is to save these places. I would say that restoring nature is an initial premise that makes people come together and once they see the results, they are delighted.”

Conservation requires the involvement of people. Martín explains that we usually see the negative impact of humans, but there is also a positive side–the contribution to rewilding. For example, the same Metropolitan Park was, years ago, filled with quarries, but thanks to the work of some, it was reforested and has become Santiago’s “green lung,” as it is known today.

Chile and California: How close or distant are we?

When comparing Chile and California as trans-hemispheric twins, Kris Tompkins values ​​the work that has been done by the governments on both sides. Both are places that were among the pioneers in inaugurating national parks and that have made progress in conservation since then. But, says Kris, “Chile is not that far behind in terms of national parks. However, two things have happened in the United States but not in Chile: more Chileans need to know that these national parks exist, that they belong to everyone and that they are worth visiting, falling in love with and defending; and that transportation can, over time, help people visit these distant places.”

In regard to the central zone of Chile, Martín alluded to the similarities such as financing, volunteering, regulations, and business ties, saying that in general there is a change in the way people think and that society is more aware of conservation issues.

As to the involvement of the population, both Greg and Kris referred to the importance of the Park Friends Network, committed to the communities and the diversity of the parks.  It is a support structure for these natural places that helps assure their protection.

Everyone’s Commitment: The Role of Philanthropy

Philanthropy is selflessly helping another. It means understanding that we are part of everything and it does not revolve around us. And everyone has a role in this: citizens, organizations and companies, among others. This takes on special relevance in the conservation of nature because, as the panelists explained, it reaps multiple benefits for different areas. Greg commented that “philanthropy means contributing to a public good and there are many ways to do that.”

As Kris said: “Companies cannot be on the sidelines simply watching society go by and make a contribution only when there is a real disaster. The role cannot only belong to the government or government companies … We must move towards a map of goodness, dignity and health for all. I am referring to the intrinsic value of each life, which requires that all segments of society be proactive and philanthropical, that they become immersed, and that the engine that drives them to earn money is the same engine that is fueled by goodness. Positive lives for all living things.”

So, people, organizations and governments can get involved. Urban and national parks and other protected areas are becoming increasingly essential for children and adults.  They are spaces for education, connection, enjoyment and relaxation that reap multiple benefits for us.  Everyone is part of this ecosystem. As Greg mentions, “If we believe in restoring national and urban parks, we have to connect them with people because they share the same DNA.”

Watch video here.