Skip to main content

voices of change 2022

Once again, ICDO opened a dialogue with ICDO Fellows-activists and influencers from around the globe. This year, we had special guests from Colombia, who shared their inspiring story with the audience.

Date: September 16
Time: 19:00 – 20:00

‘Voices of Change’ 2022 Virtual Panel Discussion

Online, ICDO’s Facebook Page

“It’s not too late to connect, to make a change, to make baby steps or even bigger steps,” said ICDO’s President, Josipa Palac at the “Voices of Change” virtual panel discussion on September 16th.

The virtual panel discussion gathered ICDO Fellows from around the world, who actively contribute to the ICDO’s Fellowship program and make a positive change with joint efforts. This year’s topics of discussion were, among others, activism, self development, sustainability and cultural diversity. We had the honor to host CEO and Project Manager at CorpoCampo, Mr. Edgar Montenegro and Mr. Joaquin Gastelbondo, ICDO Fellow – Sarah Goody, ICDO Honorary Ambassador – Parisa Taheri, and TUMA representative – Lidiia Akryshora.

The highlight of the “ICDO’s Voices of Change” was the inspiring story of Mr. Montenegro and how he journeyed to establish CorpoCampo, a sustainable agroforestry business that supports over 1,300 people as well as 80 families of ex-FARC combatants. Among the plethora of insights, the open discussion had participants agreeing that providing education and raising awareness were of utmost importance to encourage action and contribute to the sustainable development.

Parisa and Lidiia also emphasized the role of media, both social and contemporary, and its importance to spread the message of happenings around the world. Among the main takeaways was the recognition that many small changes can build on one another and have a lasting impact in the future. Lidiia summarized her impression through a well known Ukrainian quote, saying, “Крапля в морі – A drop in the sea.” It doesn’t matter what you do, but every single action matters.

Together, Mr. Edgar Montenegro and Mr. Joaquin Gastelbondo began the evening with a heartwarming story of the hardship and perseverance that went into the founding of CorpoCampo. Having received his education in the capital of Colombia, Bogota, Mr Montenegro decided to use his knowledge and return to his roots, and work on improving the welfare of his local community. In a unique manner, Mr Montenegro chose to replace the illegal cocoa production with a sustainable alternative, acai. Not only did he recognize the environmental necessity for sustainable agroforestry, he also helped the community through providing a stable and safe income. In a country that is still in an ongoing conflict and a war on drugs, CorpoCampo directly impacts over 1,300 lives, improving both environmental and social aspects of Putumayo. Throughout his work, Mr. Montenegro has shown that it is possible to change the possibilities offered by the environment, developing a successful and sustainable business in the process.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Gastelbondo added: A final message, well it’s the importance to start seeing how the market can create change that can improve the lives of the people – if done in a responsible way. Always be humble.

About the ICDO Fellowship Program:

The ICDO Fellowship Program aims at opening discussion, raising awareness and fostering intercultural exchanges and educational opportunities addressing key challenges related to sustainable development. The Program is tailored in a way to engage with Fellows and provide them with a range of opportunities for their professional and personal growth.

'Voices of Change' 2020

check them here

'Voices of Change' 2021

check them here

Voices of Change workshop, 2021

play here