Mónica Trujillo standing on rooftop

Photo: Mónica Trujillo.

  • Q

    How did you become passionate about your area of research and what inspires you?

    A

    I am in love with the diversity of life on the planet, the impressive stories of species, ecosystems, relationships and functions. I am particularly impressed by the biological, social, and cultural richness of Latin America and Colombia, my country. I feel inspired by the possibility of generating wealth and well-being from bio and social diversity, trying to change the reality of many people who paradoxically live in precarious conditions in areas of high diversity of life and culture.

    In Latin America, there is a lot to do! I have witnessed the problems in the territories: institutional deficiencies in local governments, lack of economic opportunities, unsustainable activities due to a lack of information, technology and incentives. The possibility of facilitating better decision-making by different actors in the territories inspires me, especially when it comes to promoting entrepreneurship with small and medium enterprises that make efforts to achieve sustainable business.

  • Q

    What was your motivation for joining SEI in the first place? Were you familiar with SEI in some form before joining?

    A

    I was not familiar with SEI prior to my job interview. My main motivation was to work in bioeconomy as this approach brings together many aspects that inspire me and that I have dealt with in my work experience with rural communities and green business.

  • Q

    From an employee objective, why do you like working at SEI and what is working for SEI like?

    A

    Working at SEI is intense, multidisciplinary and diverse. That makes it exciting. I like the fact that we can influence decision-making and the generation of public policy based on science which is the aim of SEI.

  • Q

    What do you love most about your work?

    A

    I love the cultural diversity and the possibility to exchange experiences with researchers from different SEI centres. I admire the internal policies and the working environment where democratic and participatory values are promoted.

  • Q

    How do you see your area of research developing over the next five to 10 years and how is it linked to the SDGs or Agenda 2030?

     

    A

    I see a world of opportunities to develop the bioeconomy in Latin America. It is a concrete strategy to implement most of the SDGs and is currently a priority issue on the agenda of several countries at national and subnational levels. It is also an approach prioritized by the private sector and academia. I see a huge potential for strategic alliances and collective actions to motivate changes in the territories connecting sustainable production and consumption.

  • Q

    What is your best tip for a healthy work-life balance?

    A

    For me, family is the priority. It’s important to have daily rituals that strengthen ties with family, friends and oneself. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the lack of time, but I believe there can be nothing more important than dedicating space and rituals to loved ones.

  • Q

    Do you have any personal or professional role model that inspires you?

    A

    My colleagues inspire me. I have the pleasure of working with young proactive and sensitive researchers who want to change the world! that force is very inspiring!