Laura Villa (Cofounder, Executive Director)
Laura holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Munich, with a specialization in Literary Hermeneutics. She returned to Colombia in 2006 to take an active part in the country’s transformation. To this end, she worked in the public sector for seven years, at the three levels of government: local, regional and national. At the Agency of Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area (ACI), she headed the creation of the south-south cooperation platform and the city marketing strategies “Medellín Model” and “Medellín Laboratory,” in alliance with the IDB and UN Habitat. At the Antioquia Governor’s Office, she was director of sub-regional support of the MANA Management, where she was in charge of developing public policies and plans for Food Security and Nutrition for the 125 municipalities. At the Governor’s Office, she was also director of the Antioquia Alliance for Equity, where she worked on cross-sector alliances for the MDGs and coordinated the social inclusion strategy of the Secretariat of Citizen Participation. At the National Agency for Overcoming Extreme Poverty (ANSPE), Laura worked in the Center for Social Innovation as a regional advisor.
She has also worked in the private sector for four years in radio, television and city and art museums. She has taught at the university level for seven years. She has written for various publications on art and politics and has been a speaker and moderator at national and international events. She speaks and writes fluent English, German and Spanish. What she most likes is traveling around the world. Laura is an environmentalist, an activist, and a vegetarian.
Jenny Melo (Cofounder, Knowledge Director)
Jenny studied Business Administration and a Master of Social Sciences. She has dedicated the last 10 years to processes of diffusion, consultancy, management and research regarding the participation of the private sector in development processes, and themes of social responsibility, inclusive business, social innovation and social impact business models. As a consultant, she has written various analytical documents about inclusive business, social inclusion, social innovation, inclusive agriculture and micro-franchises for international agencies including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ), Ashoka, FUNDES, and others. As a broadcaster and promoter of new business paradigms, she served as Latin America editor of the NextBillion platform, specialized in inclusive business and managed by the University of Michigan, and the Líderes Agentes de Cambio platform, specialized in business with purpose and managed by Ashoka Mexico.
In the private sector, she worked at Minka-dev as the production coordinator for social impact business opportunities. She has taught at the university level and is a member of the Humanism and Management Research Group, which investigates socially responsible business practices. Additionally, she has training as a facilitator of the “Art of Hosting” social technology, which promotes significant and horizontal conversations based on collective intelligence. What she most enjoys is reading about social sciences and spending time in the countryside with her dogs.