Trained as an agricultural engineer at the chair founded by René Dumont in Paris, he has spent most of his professional career in Latin America, with more than two decades of managerial experience in NGOs. He is currently a consultant at FAO, has been living in Cuba for years and his area of interest for the future is climate change.
What do you think are the current challenges in the cooperation sector?
I think that one of the greatest internal challenges facing the development community in general is its ability to question itself, to address its contradictions, to reinvent itself and thus humbly but truly contribute, from its modest size, to the deconstruction and change of the paradigms that govern the global disorder. The development community cannot be satisfied with merely patching things over.
Externally, the challenges are colossal because the development community is experiencing an image crisis, it is more often attacked than defended, it is manipulated, it is becoming a business like any other. At the same time, we could say that its existence is becoming more and more necessary. How can we restore its legitimacy?
How do you consider they should be faced?
With listening and dialogue. With a certain urgency. With perseverance. Perhaps it is necessary to become aware of the need to move into an era of collaborative alliances and new forms of power distribution and co-creation, both internally and together with the rest of the stakeholders with whom the sector operates.
The international development community could be a new source of hope and reconstruction of meaning and of the fabric of humanity, as well as a powerful driving force for reversing the lethal trends that are shaking the planet, if it were able to break out of the culture of short-termism and promote new ways of bringing about transformational processes. In this sense, another of the sector’s major challenges is to influence those who bring water to the mill of the development community.