“Ensuring that businesses are sustainable is essential for humanity”

Commercial engineer Romy Cronenbold, works for an non-governmental organisation dedicated to nature conservation and is one of the participants in this years Swedish Institute Management Programme (SIMP) Bolivia. She shares her reasons for applying, her learnings from the programme so far and her future goals.

Why did you apply to SIMP Bolivia?

For the past 12 years I have been working in a non-governmental organisation dedicated to nature conservation, and I have come to understand that ensuring that businesses are sustainable is essential for humanity to be able to respond to the great challenges reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). To me it seemed a perfect opportunity to learn from Sweden’s experience as a leading nation in the area of sustainable development. But also, the possibility to be accompanied by fellow Bolivian professionals from different business to learn, combining knowledge, human relations and cooperation with potential for impact.

What are your learnings so far in SIMP Bolivia? Can you share some examples?

Getting introduced to alternative ways of looking at the economy considering the planetary limits and critical human deficiencies has been a new learning. It was also very inspiring and timely to see an example of how this can be adopted as a strategy post-COVID-19 crisis.

The content in the module related to leadership in times of crisis challenged several paradigms that I had about leadership and motivated me to evaluate myself and to make an effort and apply the principles I have learned.

How has it been to participate in an online module?

The truth is that it turned out much better than I expected! The sessions have been organized in such a way that we all can participate, get to know each other better and to exchange experiences in smaller groups really gave a lot. I feel that although we as a group never have met personally, we have overcome barriers with openness and honesty very quickly and created a bond and even become friends!  I am particularly excited to have met fellow Bolivians with such a high professional level and great human qualities. And I would like to highlight that I am also very glad to meet other women with inspiring experiences.

Where do you see yourself in the future – what’s your goal?

My ambition is to become a member of the leading team of an initiative or project for nature conservation and sustainable development in the department of Santa Cruz, working with innovative strategies and creating alliances with the private business sector. In a short term, as a result of having improved my knowledge and leadership skills, I see myself designing initiatives and projects together with a team that is more motivated and open to new approaches.