“My goal is to grow as a positive leader in my community”

Economist Fernando Ibargüen Bedoya, participant in Swedish Institute Management Programme Bolivia, that this year has been conducted online due to the Corona pandemic, shares his reason for applying to the programme and what his future goal as a leader is.

Why did you apply to Swedish Institute Management Programme Bolivia?

I truly believe in the potential of my country, Bolivia. I am sure that responsible leadership can conduce it to brighter days. For the past 12 years I have been working with business development in companies and institutions with different profiles and sizes. I have found that the traditional environment they all operate in is their common holdback. Currently I work for the biggest agricultural machinery and supplies company in the country, where I just understood the significance of moving on to efficiency to create a real impact in a sector that is so sensitive for the economy. New ideas and knowledge are demanded daily to keep competitiveness, whether by using better technology or by new production approaches. Therefore SIMP is a unique opportunity to understand the change we need to face, the importance of sustainable development in our goals and the required skills to become a leader. But more important, to meet people with distinct backgrounds that think alike, willing to create a local network to do things differently.

Photo: Private. Image: Fernando Ibargüen Bedoya

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

So far the programme has been enlightening. We have been introduced to the combined concepts of responsible leadership and sustainable business.  And the diverse concepts fit together naturally lecture after lecture. Through a complete diagnose about the world´s condition, the dangers we are facing and the limits we need to apply to restore balance, we are challenged to assume a strategic role. In our case, as a private company, to amend the route of development adjusting our goals to the sustainable indicators such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

The programme is outstanding in the way all topics are supported with real cases. For example, I was really fascinated with the exclusive interview made with Blanca Juti, the Global Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, at Heineken International. Through her story I was introduced to an up-to-date leader. Highly passionate about sustainability with a brilliant way of social capital management, Blanca got to set a new DNA in the company´s worldwide operations enhancing its value. Quite an inspiring example!

 How has it been to participate in an online module?

This pandemic have resulted in a worldwide massive lockdown, where many daily activities have turned into digital. The new state set everyone, including myself, to be more familiarized with a virtual environment and the online module has adapted to our current needs and fulfilled all expectations. SIMP provides well balanced tools to interact in our online learning platform but also to bond as a group using social media and tools like Slack.

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

My goal is to grow as a positive leader in my community and be part of the changes we need to accomplish to evolve as society and as a country. I am confident that private companies are meant to be in the front line of this process. We must think business differently, we must prioritize value and profit differently and we need people leading differently. I see myself as part of making that possible.