The event was hosted by Tommy Strömberg, Sweden’s ambassador to Colombia, who spoke of his hopes for a long and productive partnership between SEI and the embassy, as well as regional actors.

Carolina Urrutia, Director of the Colombian sustainability magazine Semana Sostenible, gave the keynote speech, outlining the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development in Colombia, as well as the polarized nature of these topics. Commenting on the Latin American psyche, Urrutia underlined that there is a tendency to ponder on and evaluate problems, rather than focus on solutions. She noted that better organised and accessible information is the key to solutions – an area where SEI hopes to contribute.

Carolina Urrutia discusses how think tanks can contribute to sustainable development in Colombia (37 seconds). Video: SEI / YouTube.

Watch Carolina Urrutia’s keynote speech (20 minutes). Video: SEI / YouTube.

SEI Senior Scientist Marisa Escobar presented an overview of her professional journey in the world of water management, underlining the potential that the institute has to expand its work on water in the region. In particular she identified WEAP (SEI’s water planning tool) as a tool with great potential to support decision-making for sustainability in Latin America.

Rafael Mariño from Conservation International Colombia emphasised the importance of collaboration, and Toby Gardner, Senior Researcher at SEI, discussed the Trase platform, concentrating on supply chain transparency and information on Colombian coffee.

Cesar Ruiz from Conservation International Colombia introduces Trase and the importance of collaboration (1 minute). Video: SEI / YouTube.

Karina Barquet, SEI Research Fellow, gave an overview of SDG interactions based on research in Sweden and Mongolia, and also the work that has SEI has started on the SDGs in Latin America.

The event ended with a discussion of an international panel of experts from the region.

Panel discussion (40 minutes). Video: SEI / YouTube.