I guess I am a family guy after all.
Education has been running in the family since my grandmother, who was a teacher at the elementary school back in 1915. Then my mother who at the age of 15 was already teaching how to read and write to country boys and girls, my uncle and her wife, my only cousin and then my middle brother and me.
Still being a student for my second BA degree, I got my first teaching position at a university in 1993 in the Arts Faculty of a private University in Colombia, offering all my knowledge about art and photography. The funny thing is that some of the professors from my late student years, were my co–workers at other institutions at the same time. As usual, me being out of place.
Fine Arts, beyond the talent and creativity was boiling inside me, it offered me the opportunity to understand incredible methods for researching reality, understanding the world from different perspectives and applying it to an action, communication or object. Artistic research links us deeply with any subject of study, and makes us work as a filter to understand and produce messages, objects or ideas. An accurate and rigorous research is very important. I learnt this working for 7 years at the National University of Colombia Arts Faculty, and running The Bogota Photography Biennial Fotosemana in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
Then came my hard working days in television, video and events production, especially tv connected me to a less academic way of researching, and made me see the importance of working towards the user/reader/audience/consumer. Topics, characters, locations and all details linked with the wishes and expectations of hungry audiences, we wanted to keep and increase.
Market research jobs for sponsors, companies and government came one after the other, teaching me more and more things about the way we live, dream and buy.
My academic profile for about 10 years, was centered in Creative Industries and Market Studies, government, embassies and cultural institutions were my clients. My more profitable work was linked to TV, events and marketing, a strange but exciting mix that evolve into what I do today.
Arriving to Spain in 2004 changed everything. Spain is definitively different as the used to say back in the 70’s. Education opportunities are everywhere, information is all around as are connections with most of the major knowledge centers in Europe. Even though all these resources are there, the tradition for research (specially non-scientific), academia and innovation has not been encouraged at all. During Franco’s dictatorship scientific and social research was very hard to develop and the state would prosecute anyone too involved in that kind of activities. So a very hard delay has occurred in Spain’s Research, Innovation and Development in that sense.
For me, that meant a very big opportunity opening doors and after a couple of years of connecting the right people and proposing to some institutions my research and academic skills started being useful again.
I currently run two a masters degrees in trends research, Innovation and entreprepreneurship at Elisava one of the most prestigious design Schools in town, participate in remote sessions and workshops at the Rotterdam Business School, University of Lisbon, IE Business School, Istituto Europeo Di Design, European University, Ravensbourne College and LaSalle College among others. I am also consulting for clients interested in improving innovation in their companies and lecture in events and government organizations like Barcelona Activa helping students, companies and entrepreneurs develop skills in these areas:
- Service Design and Service Development
- Consumer Outreach and Product Adaptation
- Trends, Audience and Cultural Research
If you are interested in participating on any academic projects join my Lab!