Juan Cajiao joined us with zeal on the recent Grameen Challenge where one of his fab Concepts went on to become a challenge winner. He's currently doing his best to enjoy the Dutch weather and learn about consumer markets while working at the frontline of a global corporation. He's passionate about entrepreneuship, technology, education, business development plus shares ideas and consults acquaintances with start-ups in Latin America. He even managed to find some time to chat with us:
What first drew you to get involved in OpenIDEO?
I first found out about OpenIDEO when a friend of mine thought I would be interested in the IDEO Resident Program. While exploring the opportunity, I was lucky enough to find the platform, sign up and discover this great network of people and ideas.
And how's the ride been so far?
It has been refreshing! Ideas are always popping up in my mind and OpenIDEO has becoming a catalyst to make them better and more actionable. Besides, I feel so welcome and thankful every time I engage with someone in the platform around one of our concepts or inspirations – it gives me a unique sense of belonging. Thank you all for that!
So, tell us about your professional journey from an NGO to a corporation:
I was the president of AIESEC International and from there I went on to join Procter & Gamble in The Netherlands. While both organisations are very focused on delivering results, they have different approaches. AIESEC management philosophy focuses on inspiring innovation and leadership from the ground, while the P&G I have experienced values operational excellence and career development. This transition is helping me to learn more about myself, especially about what triggers me to succeed and how I can take ownership of these drivers, ownership of my life.
How have different places you've lived helped shape your perspectives on social innovation?
I have visited more than thirty countries and I have lived for more than a year in five of them: Australia, China, Romania, The Netherlands and Costa Rica. All social innovations I have came across have a common denominator: one eager person doing good. But what triggers a person from thinking to doing is the science I feel passion about, once I figure it out I promise I’ll share!
What are your future plans as a self-described 'agent of change'?
I am giving it my all to acquire expertise in marketing and technology from the best. Further down the road, I want to use this for social good. Therefore it is important for me to stay connected and share with people driving social and business innovations. It helps me to steer my learning in the right direction and OpenIDEO is a great avenue!
Cheers Juan. We hope to see more of your ideating goodness in future!